High school presents students with a myriad of opportunities to engage with their peers, explore academic areas of interest and delve deeper into hobbies and passions outside of the classroom. Satisfying academic obligations aside, students should make thoughtful choices about how they invest their time. The extracurricular landscape in a student’s life should be varied with activities that enable the student to build skills, meet new friends, further knowledge, take creative risks, and spend valuable time with peers to relax and recharge amidst the stresses of high school life.
Students should be mindful of the fact that their extracurricular choices matter not just to them but also to college admission officers who will one day review their applications. Students’ efforts to expand their education outside of traditional high school classes and spearhead initiatives to make the world around them better are respected and praised by college admission officers. As decisions are made about activities and sports teams to join, students should reflect and ask the following questions:
What is my motivation for participating?
How can I benefit from this experience?
The answer to the second question should not always be “I get to hang out with my friends.” Gaining more exposure to an academic discipline of interest, developing new skills in a job or internship, earning spending money, honing creative talents, and seeking out leadership/growth opportunities are just some of the motivations that should drive students’ extracurricular decision-making.
As this school year comes to a close, the time is ideal for students to reflect and assess their extracurricular options. Should adjustments be made for the coming school year?
We are happy to be a sounding board as students ask these important questions and make decisions for the future.