Rate this article and enter to win
If you’re ready to jump into extracurricular activities, you might want to slow down first. By doing some research and refining your activities list, you’ll be able to happily balance life in and out of the classroom.

Where to Begin?

Many schools have activity fairs that showcase different ways to get involved. Erica D., a senior at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, says, “It’s the best way to get information about existing and new clubs.” You can also contact group organizers, your school’s student activities department, and cultural groups for more information. If you’re looking for a job or internship, contact your career center and speak with your academic advisors.

Choose Wisely

Activities are a chance to continue a favorite pastime, try something new, make friends, or even prepare for a career. While sticking to activities that match your career goals might look impressive on your résumé, also consider what makes you happiest, such as volunteering in your community. These experiences also boost your credentials and demonstrate commitment.

Most students need to consider money. Jobs are a great way to gain experience, and there are plenty that are fun, too. For example, if you’re a musician, look for jobs at local venues. If you’re a budding astronomer, see if the nearest observatory needs someone to give tours.

If you’re deciding between a mediocre paid internship and a fabulous unpaid one, use your best judgment and ask for advice. Think about what will give you the best experience, and which you can afford both time- and money-wise.

Tips for Choosing

Here are some questions to ask yourself as you consider which extracurricular activities to join:
  1. Do I need to make money?
  2. How much time do I have to offer?
  3. How does this fit with my academic and career goals?
  4. What do I want to get out of this experience? (E.g., Am I looking to share my culture, meet new people, volunteer, or express myself creatively?)
  5. Do I want to be active? Are there intramurals that interest me?
  6. Am I joining something because I feel pressured?
  7. How will I balance academic and extracurricular commitments?

Quality Over Quantity

By not spreading yourself too thin, you’ll be able to contribute in meaningful ways and still have time for relaxation and schoolwork. “I consulted with people who were already involved to see how much time each [activity] would take,” says Sara G., a junior at Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan.

Nicole Surething, director of counseling and psychological services at University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia, suggests starting with one or two activities. After a few weeks, reevaluate your schedule and routine. Tijana S., a senior at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts, says, “As a freshman it’s okay to check out all kinds of clubs. Find the ones that speak to you and stick with them.” But remember that academics come first.

Surething says many students overcommit to extracurricular activities and wind up feeling stuck and overwhelmed. “‘No’ is actually a good boundary,” she explains.

By telling group members what you’re willing to do, you’ll be taking care of yourself and helping the club or activity to prosper.

If you need help prioritizing, speak with a trusted advisor or counselor. More experienced students and club leaders are also a resource.

No matter which activities you choose, with balance you’ll be a well-adjusted, productive member of the team.


You must enter your name, email, and phone number so we can contact you if you're the winner of this month's drawing.
Your data will never be shared or sold to outside parties. View our Privacy Policy.

What was the most interesting thing you read in this article?

If you could change one thing about , what would it be?

HAVE YOU SEEN AT LEAST ONE THING IN THIS ISSUE THAT...

..you will apply to everyday life?

..caused you to get involved, ask for help,
utilize campus resources, or help a friend?

Tell us More
How can we get more people to read ?
First Name:

Last Name:

E-mail:

Phone Number:

Want to increase your chance to win?

Refer up to 5 of your friends and when each visits Student Health 101, you will receive an additional entry into the weekly drawing.

Please note: Unless your friend chooses to opt-in, they will never receive another email from Student Health 101 after the initial referral email.

Friends Email 1:

Friends Email 2:

Friends Email 3:

Friends Email 4:

Friends Email 5:

What was the most interesting thing you read in this article?

If you could change one thing about , what would it be?

HAVE YOU SEEN AT LEAST ONE THING IN THIS ISSUE THAT...

..you will apply to everyday life?

..caused you to get involved, ask for help,
utilize campus resources, or help a friend?

Tell us more.
How can we get more people to read ?
First Name:

Last Name:

E-mail:

Phone Number:

Want to increase your chance to win?

Refer up to 5 of your friends and when each visits Student Health 101, you will receive an additional entry into the weekly drawing.

Please note: Unless your friend chooses to opt-in, they will never receive another email from Student Health 101 after the initial referral email.

Friends Email 1:

Friends Email 2:

Friends Email 3:

Friends Email 4:

Friends Email 5:



HAVE YOU SEEN AT LEAST ONE THING IN THIS ISSUE THAT...

..you will apply to everyday life?

..caused you to get involved, ask for help,
utilize campus resources, or help a friend?

Tell us more.
How can we get more people to read ?

First Name:

Last Name:

E-mail:

Phone Number:

Want to increase your chance to win?

Refer up to 5 of your friends and when each visits Student Health 101, you will receive an additional entry into the weekly drawing.

Please note: Unless your friend chooses to opt-in, they will never receive another email from Student Health 101 after the initial referral email.

Friends Email 1:

Friends Email 2:

Friends Email 3:

Friends Email 4:

Friends Email 5:





Get help or find out more