By Anne C. Sacks
High school can be overwhelming for incoming students. They are taking challenging courses, meeting new friends and teachers, and deciding what extracurriculars to participate in throughout high school. With an abundance of extracurricular activities to choose from, it is important that students pursue the right ones.
First, incoming students should not feel that they have to do a certain activity because their friends are doing it or they think it will help them in college admissions. College admissions officers want to see students being active in extracurriculars that they are passionate about.
If students aren’t sure what extracurriculars interest them in their school, they should experiment with various activities. 9th grade is the perfect time for discovery, especially since colleges do not focus on 9th grade as much as the other years.
If a student is really enjoying an activity, he or she should consider why that activity brings fulfillment and try out other clubs in that area. On the other hand, if the student is miserable performing an activity, he or she should not feel forced to continue with it. Teachers are very understanding and will likely not be offended if a 9th grade student drops their activity.
If a student has an interest that is not pursued in other clubs, the student should feel free to create a club. To create a club, students should find a staff member who will sponsor the club and plan out the logistics with that person. Where will the club meet? How often will it meet? What will weekly meetings consist of? What is the mission of the club? How will the club attract students? Why should students join the club (what benefits does it offer)? These are examples of questions that should be thought about before initiating the club.
Students are also not limited to their school’s extracurricular activities. Students can volunteer in hospitals, become a leader for a local organization, or even create a nonprofit. There are an infinite number of possibilities.
There is no perfect number of extracurricular activities. The most important thing is that students love what they are doing.