The most successful and happiest of college students are those that combine study with extracurricular involvement. The art of getting the most, both professionally and personally, from extracurriculars is learning how to balance them with scholastic demands. For example, candidates for medial school undoubtedly enrich their career prospects by volunteering in clinics and hospitals; and sporty students will certainly enjoy participating in intramurals. The art of involvement in these kinds of extracurriculars is knowing how to do enough to benefit, while showing enough restraint to avoid a backslide in academic performance.
We at Unemployed Professors have supplied you with five helpful tips to help you achieve a balance between academics and extracurricular activities which will serve you and your career, without damaging your GPA:
- Always put studies first: Remember why you attended university. Was it to join a club for baking enthusiasts? Was it to volunteer for charity? You know that these are things anyone can do, on-campus, or off. Your purpose in attending university was to pursue your chosen academic discipline, and to do it as well as possible. Study comes first.
- Be extremely discriminating in extracurriculars: Do not overextend yourself outside of class, especially as a freshman in your first term. You do not yet know how demanding your studies will be, nor will you have such insight until at least one semester is finished. The best strategy is to begin with just one extracurricular, perhaps something important to your professional aims. See how it goes through your first semester, and then reevaluate through retrospection: perhaps adding another is warranted.
- Schedule everything: Establish a daily schedule, inserting classes, travel time, breaks for eating and clearing your mind. Then insert time for study, planning for excess. Only then schedule in extracurriculars, including social life, time for exercise, and any relevant commitments, including clubs and organizations. Remember that we are not saying to avoid extracurriculars: they are critical to your happiness. Just assure they align with your overall purpose at college.
- Don’t get distracted: In the age of highly addictive digital distractions, whether they be PlayStation, smartphones, or Instagram, many students lose copious amounts of time in pursuits that add nothing to their lives, academic or otherwise. Be aware of your technological time-sinks, and seek to limit them.
- Reassess at regular intervals: Remember not to continue with the same strategy if it isn’t working. You may feel overwhelmed in keeping pace with your classes. In this case, you might want to refine your study methods, and/or clear away some extracurricular commitments. Or, you might be keeping up in class, but constantly be missing social interaction and your favorite activities. In this case, you might want to carve out an evening for friends, or clear away an afternoon for volunteering.
Part of the reason the college years are so deeply enriching is the variety and value of extracurricular options on campus. By following the above tips, students can draw the personal and professional benefits of these options, without them detracting from the ultimate purpose of attending college – to become educated, and to excel in doing so.
With that in mind, ask the team of academic professionals at UnemployedProfessors.com any questions you may have regarding their college writing services and they will be more than happy to guide you along the arduous path!