Back when I was in college, my classes took up ALL my time. During one quarter, I was attending five classes in one day, from 8 AM to 10 PM. It was brutal! As you can imagine, I got burned out pretty easily and wanted to do something fun in between all the work. That’s where extra-curricular activities come in!
There are sports teams, community service clubs, and other interesting things to do in your spare time! I joined my campus Circle K International and since that day, I had tons more fun and learned a lot of useful life skills that I just couldn’t learn in the classroom. Check out a few of them:
Nothing will make you prouder than overseeing something important and dedicating your efforts to make sure it succeeds.
I had the pleasure of becoming club treasurer while I was in Circle K, and that responsibility really helped me mature.
- I was in charge of all the club funds and decided how to spend them,
- I worked with our fundraising chair to come up with ways to bring in more money,
- I wrote checks to all the charities we donated to.
It was great! Everyone needs to develop their leadership abilities in some way. You’ve got to learn how to take ownership of something you care about because that’s what sets you apart! It’s how you find success later on as you build your career!
Spending your time only at home and at school isn’t very good for you. Why? Because you’ve got to learn how to talk to people! This means learning how to listen, to have a good conversation and to use your natural charm to persuade. This is how you relate to others and make friends! You can’t get a lot of that in class, as you’re supposed to be paying attention, and you definitely can’t do that at home. Get out and meet people! It sounds intimidating (it was to me at first)! The goal is to become comfortable in your own skin. You’ll be more proactive, attract success, and be the best person you can be.
Service And Empathy
During my time in Circle K, I was involved in a lot of community service projects. I worked at food banks, volunteered at sporting events and charity walks, and even cooked dinner at a homeless shelter. Helping others feels great, plain and simple. You should get into the habit of serving others once in a while because it teaches you one very important lesson:
It’s not always all about you.
I spent so much time worrying about my grades and finding a job that I would often forget that there are many in our world that don’t have even have a roof over their heads, much less the opportunity to go to school. Empathy is a very important trait. It’s related to social intelligence, too! It pays to be able to sense what people are feeling in order to be a better human being overall.
Marketing, Management, Strategy
Running an on-campus club or trying to become class president is a lot like running a business. You’ve got an overseer / rulemaker, a second-in-command, a bunch of other officers that oversee specific aspects, and a large group of people that benefit from what your club offers. As you get more involved, you start to wonder how you can make your club more popular and successful. Like any political process, that’s where marketing, management and strategy come into play. Delegate tasks to different people, advertise your club based on what you think people want, and plan events and activities that your members will want to come to. It’s not so different from the real world!
Creativity And Resourcefulness
Sometimes (Often), things just don’t work like they should.
Once, my club was scheduled to volunteer at a dog show one Saturday at noon. At the last minute, many of our freshman members called me to ask for rides to the event. Suddenly, with only an hour left to get there, my team and I scrambled to find a way to pick up twelve additional members and still arrive on time! So what did we do? We pooled our resources. Our club secretary had an old van that would accommodate half the members, and the rest of us split the other six among our own cars.
Was it a comfortable ride? No.
Did it work out in the end? Yes!
And that’s what matters. When things go wrong, you’ve got to know how to use your head, think on the fly, and come up with a solution.
They may say that extracurricular activities are all about having fun, but they do so much more than that. They teach you real-world skills and allow you to apply them in a whole bunch of situations. That’s valuable! Think about that the next time a friend invites you to their business club meeting!