Why Are Extracurricular Activities During College Important?

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Reviewed by Linda Weems I got started researching colleges and universities about 10 years ago while exploring a second career. While my second career ended up being exactly what I’m doing now, and I didn’t end up going to college, I try to put myself in your shoes every step of the way as I build out College Cliffs as a user-friendly resource for prospective students.

Updated: March 21, 2024, Reading time: 3 minutes

Some students turn their heads away from the idea of extracurricular activities. To them, it’s a waste of time and energy. Why bother joining a sports team or an organization when there’s already too much to do? Surely, getting excellent grades in college is already enough, right?

Wrong, although that’s what most students would think. Joining extracurricular activities in college actually has a lot of rewards, from a better social circle to a higher chance of getting employed.

Extracurricular activities widen your social circle.

Whether you join a sports team or an organization, you’ll be surrounded by like-minded people who have the same interests as you. By joining extracurricular activities, you can get to meet people with whom you can form long-lasting connections.

Joining a group also tells a lot about your interpersonal skills. How you get along with people will matter greatly when you’re applying for jobs.

Extracurricular activities can improve your professional skills.

When you’re part of a sports team, you’re not just there kicking a ball around for hours during practice. You’re actually gaining valuable skills in teamwork. Being part of the debate circle doesn’t just mean you’re eager to strike arguments.

It implies that you’re confident when it comes to public speaking and that you can convince people. In sum, your extracurricular activities actually teach you important professional skills that you can use in various aspects of your life, especially at work.

Extracurricular activities can train you to manage your time.

Even though joining extracurricular activities does add more things to your plate, it’s the best way to test your time management skills.

Many students would find adding more commitments to an already full schedule to be a completely insane idea, but it can train you for a more packed schedule in the future.

Balancing multiple activities while maintaining excellent grades and meeting deadlines will force you to partition your time wisely.

Extracurricular activities look good on your applications.

Good grades matter, but these days, they don’t matter as much. Companies are looking for individuals with a good work ethic and strong interpersonal skills. These will matter more in the workplace, anyway, because how you interact with your coworkers can determine your ability to transcend your ideas and make plans work.

Most companies these days won’t bother considering your application if you have no experience at all, so it would help to have a part-time job.

If you’ve had experience, employers will think that you’ve gained transferable skills, as well as have a general idea of what it would be like to be an employee. All part-time jobs, even making coffee and being a cashier, are relevant because you will have learned something valuable from that experience.

Extracurricular activities come in different types, like sports, community service, employment, hobbies, and academic-related activities, so you’re bound to find something that best suits your interests. If you join one now, you will soon become an active member of the community who is also sure of his skills and talents.

Good grades are important, yes, but what they really do is put a graduation cap over your head. If you’re looking to achieve more, then it’s best to invest your time in good extracurricular activities.

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