Extracurricular activities are the key to enhancing your university experience. They are the places where students gather to share their interests, and it is where many opportunities and relationships are formed. If you’re a new student, extracurriculars are a great way to get involved with not only those your own age, but students in the upper years. Depending on the type of person you are, this can help you get comfortable and adjust to post-secondary life much easier and faster, and it can very much prepare you for your future.
Though they may seem like ways to have fun and do what you love, extracurricular activities can also be great for networking. That doesn’t mean you need to walk in on your first day and start asking about jobs, but the connections you build and relationships you form could one day lead there. For example, joining the university radio station could introduce you to various contacts in the radio industry, while at the same time, give you experience you can present to potential employers. Participating in a club or a society is the easiest way to create these networking contacts because of the social interaction that comes along with the activity. People within these networking circles are looking for others with potential, and doing your best in such a place can present you with a good employment or educational opportunity that could make your professional career so much better.
Seems great, right? Here’s the “beware” disclaimer: Remember that you have to juggle your lifestyle. Too much focus on extracurriculars may not leave enough time allotted to your schoolwork, part-time job, or other aspects of your life such as family and friends. Don’t overburden yourself by joining too many clubs and societies; it can have a negative impact on your studies. However, this is entirely individual. Some students thrive off joining different societies and it helps them stay motivated to do well in their studies. If you’re already feeling swamped with work and school, and you have club meetings to attend, it may not be worth the sacrifice. Plan carefully and don’t overburden yourself; ultimately your grades will get you your degree, and if you can balance your commitments, extracurriculars could land you your job.