Reasons Why College Freshmen Should Join Extracurricular Activities

In high school, I was constantly reminded of the importance of being involved in extracurricular activities. Teachers, parents and counselors would frequently check up on students making sure they were either on the soccer team, in the National Honors Society or involved in a rotary club.

I began to realize how being involved in various activities would help me stand out as a “well-rounded applicant” when I applied for colleges. What I didn’t realize at the time was that once I got to college, the pattern was the same.

Extracurricular involvement is just as important, if not more important in college than it is in high school; so don’t let anyone fool you.

Many friends of mine seem to have the notion that making it to college means they’re off the hook and all that matters is schoolwork and frat parties, but this is far from the truth.

Involvement in extra curricular activities in college is sometimes more important than your actual schoolwork.

Yes, more important.

In college, the activities you participate in outside of school contribute to your resume, and adding to your resume to apply for jobs is one of the most important aspects of college.

Once you have made it to a college or university, extracurricular activities act as building blocks for resumes, internships, grad schools, and eventually your career after you graduate.

So as you may have guessed, selecting the best activities to participate in is critical for advancing your skills and gaining experience in your field of interest throughout your college career.

In high school, this concept was less important because many people had not yet chosen a career path to advance, but in college, the activities you participate in should be career-related more so than anything else. This does not mean playing intramural hockey and joining chess club should not be done, but at least one of the extracurricular groups you join should be used to enhance your resume and build skill sets for the career you hope to have

Here’s my story…

I am a journalism major at Michigan State University and one of the extracurricular activities I participate in is writing for a campus magazine called The Big Green (TBG). Writing for TBG helps me improve my writing and interviewing skills, and has helped me to get writing samples to show to potential internship employers.

See what I mean?

Another important reason to involve yourself in activities is the possibility for networking opportunities. Most colleges and universities have activities and groups available that host guest speakers, conferences, and other events that can get you shaking hands with the top professionals in your field of interest.

So again, I cannot stress enough the importance of choosing at least one activity that is relevant to your potential career.

As a freshman especially, it is important to get involved in activities and groups on campus.

Starting early has many benefits. For instance, I started as a staff writer for The Big Green as a freshman, and now as a sophomore, I was promoted to section editor, which again, helps enhance my resume and advance my career-related skills.

Jumping into activities as quick as possible can never hurt. It can give you an edge over other freshman in your field that were too lazy to join, help build your resume early, and can be a great opportunity to make new friends.

However, there is a less glamorous reason for joining extracurricular activities; discovering your dislikes.

You may join a career-related club, or any club for that matter and end up hating it, but this can also be a good thing. For instance, if you start writing for a campus publication and can’t stand the work, you may realize a career in reporting is not for you. Clubs and activities help you discover your interests and lack there of, and give you a clearer picture of what career path you may want to take.

Overall, college is a time to explore your interests and discover your passions. Participate in activities you enjoy and that you will stick with, all while helping you become that hirable applicant when internship and job positions start calling.

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Madeline Fetchiet

Madeline Fetchiet

Madeline Fetchiet is a sophomore at Michigan State University, studying journalism and philosophy of law. Aside from reporting, Madeline enjoys tae kwon do, reading, writing, researching and traveling, and can be considered a music enthusiast. Madeline currently works as an intern for thecollegehelper.com, and is a banquet server at Travis Pointe Country Club in Ann Arbor, MI. Perfecting the storytelling side of reporting is something she looks forward to in her future career as a journalist.
Madeline Fetchiet

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