Ever thought about whether you should participate in extra-curricular activities?
Maybe some of these questions have popped into your mind a few times:
- What should I do with my school life other than studying for HSC?
- Why should I take extra-curricular activities?
- Wouldn’t extra-curricular activities sacrifice the time needed for my study?
Well stay tuned because I’m going to break each of those questions down for you and explain why you should be taking extra-curricular activities!
Let’s get into it!
What are extra-curricular activities?
Extra-curricular activities refer to any commitments you undertake that are not included in your school syllabus or curriculum. In high school, the most commonly taken extra-curricular activities are debating, sporting, music and chess clubs.
As boring or exciting they may seem to you, you may question yourself why should you even take them in the first place when they aren’t even included in the school curriculum? Well, keep reading to find out the surprising truth!
Are extra-curricular activities necessary?
When you are trying to cram the mole calculation formula into your brain, the thought of trying to find a club to join or school involvement may just be a waste of time!
The truth is however, joining a club or getting involved with any extra-curricular activities during high school will definitely give you a head start in life from developing your interest as well as your social skills. Not only will they sharpen the skill required in your specialist interest, they will also help to develop your leadership skills in a carefully guided way.
As a bonus, the time pressure derived from extra curricular activities will motivate you to spend your time wisely and effectively. As a result, this enables you to build on the essential life skill of time management.
For example, joining debating in your junior years will definitely be worthwhile because this will develop your fundamental skills to improve your public speaking and teamwork! Plus there is a bonus – you will definitely have a head start in HSC English speaking tasks!
Whatever you’re interested in, you should choose an extracurricular activity you enjoy, where you have the opportunity to work with other students in your school and potentially from other schools! Not only will you able to meet a whole new crew of friends, but you will also be able to strengthen your confidence!
Non-School Based Activities
Apart from getting involved with the extra-curricular activities offered by your school, there are groups or clubs out there in your wider community that you can reach your hand into!
Getting involved with YMCA, also known as ‘The Y’, is a great way to connect with people from different communities and ethnic backgrounds. Not only can you make a difference within the community alongside other people, but you’ll also gain valuable soft skills and work experience.
If you’re interested in being part of YMCA, you can check out their website here!
You may not realise this, but extra-curricular activities do make important contributions to your HSC and beyond as they allow you to develop your interpersonal, communication and time management skills not only within your school community, but outside of it too! This will help you not only during your HSC, but with anything you do after school, whether that may be university or work.
When do extra-curricular activities matter?
Have you ever thought about applying for scholarships or early entry programs for university?
With a scholarship, you’ll be more at ease financially with your university needs and depending on the value of your scholarship, you may not have to worry at all about paying tuition fees! Being offered early entry into the course you’ve been dreaming about also means that there’s less pressure on you when sitting HSC exams.
All these things sound amazing, but you’ll have to prove why you’re worthy of receiving a scholarship or an early entry offer through an application. This is where extra-curricular activities can make a difference!
Curious about some of the most lucrative scholarships on offer for Australian universities? You can read about them here!
Examples of Application Questions
Let’s pretend you’re applying for the Macquarie Leaders and Achievers Early Entry Scheme while you’re prepping for the HSC.
You’ll need to answer the Leadership and Community Engagement questions in order to be considered for the scheme. There are two parts to it: Activities and Reflection.
Within the Activities section, you’ll need to provide 2 to 3 examples of leadership and service activities you were involved with while in Year 11 or 12 – these are any extra-curricular activities that demonstrate how you’ve been a leader or have served in the community. For the Reflection, you will go in-depth about the skills and qualities you’ve developed from participating in these activities and your influence on your community.
As your application is assessed, the university looks at the value you’ve found in engaging in extra-curricular activities, so you should always have a purpose when taking part in them!
Need some more advice filling out early entry/scholarship applications? Check out our guide to making your application stand out!
So extra-curricular activities don’t mean anything after the HSC?
Well honestly, to me they never really meant anything… until I started my university degree. When university first opened the door to me two years ago, I was anxious, excited and yet scared.
Having been accustomed to the friend zone and the environment during high school, the thought of me having to enter a new chapter of life made me want to run away. This was exacerbated by the fact that every single of my friends were going to a different university from me – I was literally on my own!
Joining Societies in University
One day out of curiosity, I came across the UNSW MathSoc subcommittee application on Facebook – the role of a subcommittee member is similar to the role of employees, where the ’employer’ is the society! Having the thought “there’s no way I can make it, but whatever”, I decided to apply anyway.
Little did I know was that this decision would bring me a myriad of friendships, memories and valuable experience that will last me my entire university life!
As a MathSoc subcommittee member, I was given the privilege to take on the role as Marketing Representative. From then on, I was on my venture in conquering numerous tasks and roles which I would definitely not be exposed to otherwise!
At first, I was given the humble tasks of scheduling lecture bashing and catering for events, but I eventually found myself promoting MathSoc and liaising with sponsors. These valuable experiences and friendships definitely helped me grow and shaped me as an individual.
Every university offers a range of clubs and societies for many different interests that will give you the opportunities to enrich your university life! In fact, to a greater extent, getting involved during university years will be highly beneficial when applying for jobs and internships after you graduate as well!
So what are you waiting for? Start getting involved in extra-curricular activities!
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Yifan Shen completed his HSC in 2014 and is currently studying the Bachelor Of Economics/Advanced Mathematics at UNSW. Apart from nutting out equations and helping out students with their academics, you will find him either reading thriller novels or introducing a range of new people to the intricate and mysterious world of mathematics as the marketing representative of UNSW MathSoc. When he is drained from all these work, you will also see him hiking, planking and water bending in his recovery mode.