Everyone knows that it’s important to obtain a good GPA. Though this may be true, it’s not the only thing that matters. Doing well in school is just one step out of the multiple you need to take to impress a college or employer. The one thing that can be often overlooked is importance of extracurriculars and what you do outside of your studies. In fact, it might be the very thing that makes you stand out from your peers/competition.
Why they matter
Typically when applying to a school, whether it’s high school or college, you will assume that the people reading your application will be primarily focused on your grades. This is definitely a major concern, but they are actually looking for well-rounded students. Employers/schools want to see what you do in your spare time to improve yourself, your community, etc. Schools and colleges emphasize the importance of extracurriculars. A lot can be learned outside of the classroom. If you are joining a sports team, you will learn the value of teamwork and physical strength/endurance. If you are joining a club with a mission (like competitive math), you will learn the value of individual and group responsibility. If you are joining a social/global or cultural club, you will learn the values of diversity and get a sense of community and culture. Most of these things are not lessons you can learn solely from your textbook. Don’t overlook the importance of extracurriculars.
Think of it this way; if you do nothing but attend school, you won’t have much to talk about in an interview. You have to make sure that you are studying, but also growing into the person you’re meant to be. However, this is a double-edged sword because if your grades drop because of it, that will be the first thing they notice.
What should they be?
There is an ever-present question that lingers in many students minds; what should I get involved in? Well, first things first, you should join things that you like and are passionate about, but also that you can grow and/or learn from. Sports, clubs, a job, etc. are all good options, but you shouldn’t be doing things just so you look good on paper. Try everything! There is no harm in trying something out for a few weeks as a test-run. You can do research on different clubs and what takes place, what your responsibilities would be, and what you will get out of it. It is easy to tell someone to follow their passions, but it is okay if you don’t know what yours are yet.
What if I need a job?
This is a common scenario for a lot of students. You might have the desire to be more involved on or off campus, but maybe you don’t have the luxury of time. It is not uncommon to need money and it can be very easy to stretch yourself too thin. A solution to this would be to look for jobs in the right places. If you love fashion, consider a job in retail. If you love socializing, consider a job as a server where you will get to talk to people all day. If you love art, look for jobs at local museums. This way you will never be short of inspiration, even when you are just making ends meet.
Keep your future in mind when looking for your involvement outside of school. You might not find the perfect job or club that aligns with your future, but you could try to make one yourself! If the classroom gets too challenging though, call us for personalized assistance(813) 328-3036. We offer one one-on-one help that might even be able to assist you in your math team endeavors! Find all the tutoring options we offer at our website: www.milessmarttutoring.com.