By Erika Norton – StepUp Utah Scholars Program Manager – Posted on 10.24.2017
When I was growing up, I heard over and over again how important it was to get involved in extracurricular activities throughout junior high and high school. I heard these extracurricular activities would help me get into college and that my involvement in the community could potentially get me scholarships. What I didn’t realize at the time was all of the other reasons why it was important for me to join the lacrosse team or write for my school newspaper.
Here are the top five reasons why getting involved was amazing for me and why you should consider getting involved too…
Meet new people and make new friends
When you join a club or volunteer with an organization in your community, you meet new people. You might have a lot in common with some of these people and others might open your eyes to different points of view. In 11th grade, I went on a humanitarian trip to Kenya. On the trip I met a girl who I thought was so different from me and there was no way we would become friends, but by the end of the two- week trip we were inseparable, and we are still friends to this day, over ten years later.
Learn to work in a group and develop your leadership skills
Learning to work on a team is crucial. In college there are group projects that you will have to work on ,and when you get a job, you are going to be in a team of people working to accomplish a goal. Many teams need someone to step up to the plate and be a leader. It’s not always easy to work in a team or be a leader, but the sooner you learn and develop those skills, the easier it will be for you.
Build your resume and scholarship opportunities
Sometimes the extracurricular activities you are involved in can lead to a scholarship. You might be the star of the football team or an amazing violin player and colleges will want to pay you (in scholarships) to do it. Keep in mind that those scholarships can be very competitive. Don’t forget—some scholarship want to see that you’re involved with your community! Keep track of those activities and build your resume.
Ask for a letter of recommendation
At some point in your life, you may need someone to write a letter of recommendation for you. You may need the letter for college, for a job, or for a scholarship. The more involved you are, the more options you have of people who could write that letter for you. Make sure you do your best in whatever club or team you join, so your advisor can write you a stellar letter.
Discover your interests and passions
Getting involved helps you realize your interests and passions. When I was in high school, I joined the service club. There were opportunities every week to volunteer with different organizations. I loved being able to give back to my community. I ended up doing over 200 hours of service and became a Service Scholar for my school and I even earned a service scholarship. If I had not joined that club I would never have realized how much I loved volunteering.
Do you want to get involved? Check out resources available at your school and learn about all sorts of community service, engagement, and involvement projects from Utah’s own UServeUtah here.
Participating in extracurricular activities that you enjoy can be fun right now, but keep in mind they can also pay off in the long run! What extracurricular activities are you involved in? Let’s talk about it and share with others! Please share with us on any of our social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.