One of the most thrilling things about campus life is delving into the many extra-curricular activities available. College is supposed to be a period of self-discovery; outside the confines of the classroom is where much of this exploration happens. To truly make the most of college life, students should develop an array of interests and get relevant experience by participating in various college activities. The best colleges offer something for every type of student, allowing everyone to blossom and find their hidden talents. These are some extra-curricular activities that will not only make campus life fun, but also add a lot of value to your resume.
1. Event Management
This covers a wide range of campus activities, from college festival administration to organizing literary, academic, social and cultural events. To achieve the status of an event manager, you will most likely first have to join the student body in charge of events. Most colleges have multiple societies for varying interests. Event managing can be crazy, hectic, confusing and challenging – but the satisfaction at the end makes it well worth the trouble!
Resume Appeal: Managing an event successfully requires a tremendous amount of organizational and coordination capability. To future employers, it demonstrates your leadership skills, resourcefulness and gumption. Even if the event doesn’t go off as smoothly as you hoped, it’s an incredible learning opportunity.
2. Social Service
It can be easy for college students to remain ensconced in their little bubble and avoid the concerns of the society around them. Social service – which in some universities is compulsory – is a great way to give back to the community and expand your world view. While the main attraction of this extra-curricular activity is the spiritual and emotional satisfaction one gets from reaching out to those in need, it’s not just about the duty. Social service can be incredibly fun and fulfilling if you choose an activity you’re well-suited to. For instance, if you like performing, you can teach dance and music to underprivileged children. If you’re social and like chatting, then you can volunteer at an old folks’ home. If you’re more of an organizational whiz, then a big charity requiring interns for accounts and management might be the right place for you.
Resume Appeal: Employers always appreciate those who show an engagement with the community and an interest in the world around them. Besides, volunteering, though ‘free’, is not easy. It requires a certain level of patience, sensitivity and commitment that speaks wonders about your character.
One of the best ways to distinguish your resume and build your writing, investigation and reporting skills, while still in college, is to join the staff of the college newspaper or journal. This is one of those extra-curricular activities where the rewards are tangible and the sense of accomplishment, very strong. This isn’t just for those interested in writing or journalistic careers. You can strive for a column in the paper pertaining to your area of interest. Alternatively, you can join the journal or newsletter (provided it exists) which focuses only on your subject.
Resume Appeal: As part of the newspaper, or better yet, while leading it, you learn essential skills such as editing, critical analysis and how to work under pressure. This is why this is one of the best extra-curricular activities for your resume.
One of the saddest things about the educational system in India is how little emphasis is placed on athletics. Even the leading colleges, until quite recently, offered only pitiful facilities for a limited range of athletics. All of that is changing now with the growth of corporate culture and the advent of MNCs in India. Such international organizations place a great deal of emphasis on the physical fitness of their employees. Being a track star, football champion or even table tennis pro can really add a unique element to your resume. The choices are many: from the conventional cricket and football to basket ball, running, gymnastics, badminton, tennis and squash. Athletics can be incredibly fun and is a great way to make friends and keep fit.
Resume Appeal: Excelling at any sport shows commitment, endurance and determination, a winning combo for any future career you might have. Even the act of participating in sporting activities speaks of your active personality and sets you apart from the crowd.
5. Performing Arts
This popular campus activity is one of the easiest to get involved in. Most colleges have several clubs, societies, events and festivals. Whether you like to work behind the scenes or upfront and center, the opportunities are plenty. Though this can be a nerve racking choice, it is well worth it for the end result. The days leading up to the big event, and the celebrations that follow, often end up forming one of the best periods of your college life!
Resume Appeal: Even if performing arts have only a nebulous or tangential connection to your chosen career, do not hesitate to participate if you have the talent. Any kind of ‘win’ looks great on a resume and even being a part of a non-competitive production – such as a play – can teach you a lot about team work, dedication and perseverance.
Keep in mind that participating in extra-curricular activities should never be just a resume building exercise. It can and should be a whole lot of fun as well. And you never know – that stint as an event manager for a college festival, or as the head of the social service club, might just open up a whole new career path for you!