How do you like to spend your time after a lecture? If you had some time to burn before a seminar, what do you do with it? Did you know that how you choose to spend this time could be one of the most important ways you shape your future?
In university life, extracurricular activities are a critical component of your development as a well-rounded individual. But you might not know what good extracurricular activities look like or what you should be spending your time on.
We’ve got you covered here in our guide of examples of extracurricular activities. Read on to get some insight about how to spend your valuable free time at university!
What is an Extracurricular Activity?
Extra-curricular activities are activities for students that are not part of their curriculum, school timetable or course. These activities can either be sponsored by the school or unauthorized. An extra-curricular activity should be an activity that primarily demonstrates a talent or helps in bringing value to other people. Thus, activities that may be primarily self-centred might not necessarily count as extra-curricular activities.
The Importance of Extracurricular Activities
In developed countries, when looking for a job, most companies require that the candidates not only have academic achievements but also activities or achievements that are non-academic, which show that outside of academics this individual has a life. If you do not make the most of the opportunities that present themselves to you as a student, then you might end up missing a very fun and stimulating aspect of uni life.
Extra-curricular activities help students to learn about themselves and develop and use their skills and knowledge in different contexts.
Getting involved in different extra-curricular activities is one of the best ways that any student can get to meet new people, develop long-lasting friendships, derive enjoyment from studying at university, and make sure that the element of the social life aspect in the studying-social life balance is provided for.
These activities in all situations will make the participants not only better candidates for graduate roles, by giving them lots of practical examples they can point to in their job applications to display their skills, but also give the recruiter a positive all-round view of the candidate.
List of Extra-curricular Activities You Can take While Studying
Sports and Recreation is probably the go-to category for most students at university. When considering joining a sports club at your university, remember that your choice is not limited to the ones just at the university. Local communities are known to have something for their students. So do take advantage of such opportunities. Here are some sports & recreational clubs/activities you may find:
- Baseball and softball
- American Football
- Climbing Club
- Hiking Club
- Intramural Sports
- Martial Arts
- Ping Pong Club
- Skate Board Club
- Track & Field
- Frisbee Club
- Water Polo
- Yoga Club
The following activities may be centred on different cultures, languages and religious groups, or societies with political interests.
Cultural and Language Societies
With these activities helping participants reconnect or keep in touch with their roots, they are some of the best groups to join when entering university. These societies also allow the participants to enjoy the world’s diversity as promoted by their university. For example, UK universities have some of the most multi-cultural students you can find in any part of the world. Some of the most common ones are listed below:
- Afro-Caribbean Society
- British Cultural Society
- African Society
- Nigerian Society
- African American Student Alliances/Clubs
- American Sign Language Club
- Chinese Club
- Korean Cultural Society
- French Club
- German Club
- International Food Club
- Latin Club
- Pacific Islanders Club
- Russian Club
- South Asian Student Society
- Spanish Club
- Church groups
- Fellowship of Christian Students
- Jewish Student Union
- Muslim group
- Missionary work
- Youth Groups
Political Interest & Speech Societies
For those in law-related careers, political aspirations or even normal students seeking new experiences, joining these clubs can be of great benefit. Many universities will sponsor these groups and some of them are competitive on local and national levels.
- Debate Club
- Euro Challenge
- Foreign Affairs Club
- Forensics Team
- Law Society
- Mock Trial Club
- Model United Nations
- National Speech and Debate Association
- Speech Club
Using your free time, there are several ways to make a difference in your university’s community. Furthermore, giving your time to causes that matter for free is another way to develop your skills and connect with potential employers. If done well, volunteering can increase the volunteer’s knowledge of a particular type of work, help them decide whether the career path they intend entering is the right one for them. In addition, when you put volunteering on your CV, it makes your CV a lot more polished – the display of doing something for free for the value of others shows that the owner of the CV has a level of empathy. If you deal with people in your volunteering role, you are most likely to develop the confidence that comes with dealing with people.
There will most likely be a host of volunteering opportunities at your church, charity or non-profit organisation, a school, a hospital or a local community centre or elsewhere in your neighbourhood. One to bear in mind for some volunteering opportunities, you may need to have experience or some form of training before getting the role. You can volunteer with the following:
- Age UK
- British Red Cross
- The National Trust
- The Prince’s Trust
- Cancer Research
- Animal rescue
- Church outreach
- Hospital volunteer
- International volunteer program
- Volunteer Fire Department
- Work with a local charity
- Work with a local soup kitchen
Whatever amount of time you can dedicate to a volunteering cause, there’s no limit to the opportunities available. However, when going for such roles, remember that your primary purpose at that point in time is that you are a student. As such, your time should be dedicated primarily to excelling at your studies.
So there we have it, a list of extra-curricular activities that you can partake in while at your university. The list is by no means exhaustive; as such you can add any that I have missed. You could even go ahead with creating your own personal extra-curricular activity. Remember that if the activity is not part of your university course and brings value to others, then it most likely can be called an extra-curricular activity.
Charles is a writer, practising lawyer and personal trainer who loves learning and developing himself. He graduated from Middlesex University, London with eight first-class grades in the second and third years of his law degree, and received a postgraduate offer from Cambridge University. He loves strength training, boxing and encouraging people to succeed in their pursuits (legal ones)
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