Extra-Curriculars: The Opportunity of a Lifetime!

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by Alia

Hello and welcome! My first two months in college have been a breeze and I want to take some time to talk about actions you can take while you’re in high school that will make the transition easier.

I want you all to take a moment and ask yourself what you’re truly passionate about. Is it sports, art, music, martial arts, dancing, lifting, cheering, anime, video games, acting, writing, singing, chess, world languages, LGBT, sculpting, helping others, math, science, history, reading…etc?

If you don’t know that’s fine too, I just want to encourage you to get yourself out there! Find a club or sport (in or outside of your school) that you love or think you could love if you tried it and get involved! I’d say 3+ clubs/sports while you’re in high school is ideal. Colleges love students who will add to their community; they love the bright and talented.

So what if you’re shy?

Find a club where you can sit in and watch, who knows, you might just fall in love.

So what if you think you don’t have any talents?

I think you’re looking at it wrong, if you don’t think you’re good at anything because everyone is good at something.

Either way, find your talent or make your talent. High school clubs/sports are a once in a lifetime opportunity. Sure there are clubs/sports in college, but there are things in high school that don’t happen in college like prom, yearbooks, etc. Join something while you’re in high school so you can expose yourself to awesome experiences and people you might not otherwise meet.

Throughout my high school experience I was involved in 2 martial arts, 1 sport, and around 8 or 9 clubs. You don’t have to do as much as I did, but I would encourage you to try because being involved in those activities were some of the greatest experiences of my young life. I met people who I’ll never forget and who I still see years later.

Sometimes in this world it’s not what you know, but who you know (remember that!). Joining clubs/sports can help you know what you want to do with your life, they can help open up horizons for you, and they can help you find yourself. Trial and error are good too, if you try out a club/sport and it’s not what you were looking for, well at least now you know that, right?

I tried out soccer because I love to play soccer, but my team was so much more competitive than me (I played for love of the game and not to win). I left my team with the knowledge that I’m not into overly competitive sports and I learned something about myself. Try out something and if it’s not for you that’s okay, but at least give it a try first.

You can do what you’re friends are doing or you can make your own path. Most of us go to high school and don’t know half of the people there when we start – clubs are a great way for freshmen to make new friends and become part of something.

When I started high school I only knew like 2-3 people at my school. I mentioned to someone that I liked anime and the next day some upperclassmen grabbed me during lunch, brought me to a table full of strangers and said “you are now one of us,” it was the anime club. I didn’t know how to react, but I joined them and made lots of friends in an instant.

Even if you’re not a freshman, clubs/sports are awesome opportunities to expand yourself and your social circle. You might even find yourself doing something you never thought you could/would do.

I have a friend named Bianca who was this shy girl with a lot of hidden talent, when she joined the soccer team she found something in herself she didn’t know was there and she later rose to the top. Now she’s also a brilliant artist who at first couldn’t see it in herself.

Never tell yourself that you can’t do something because you lack the “it” that makes it so other people can. You might be surprised what talents you haven’t found in yourself yet, being a teenager there’s plenty more for you to learn about yourself.

If there isn’t a club/sport at your school that you like, you can look elsewhere. I was part of Village Parks, a group that meets at park buildings and tries to connect with cultures all around the world. It had nothing to do with my high school, but it was an organized club that worked in the community. I also did martial arts that were not offered by my school, the point is to get out there.

Be yourself, be brave and be active.

Prove to me and colleges that you’re something to be reckoned with, that you’re just what we need in a certain area. The point is that everybody can get out there, but not everybody will. Be the somebody who does/did rather than the somebody who could have. Look inside and let what’s in there free.

“A dream is what you want to do, but still haven’t pursued” -Aesop Rock.

Find yourself and be yourself through clubs/sports. You are capable.

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