Experience Matters: how to choose extracurriculars that will help you in the future

Posted by Marlowe Carroll on 7/12/23 3:00 PM

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One question that students ask when touring PHC is “What about extracurriculars? Do you even have time for that here?” Fortunately, the answer is yes! Here are a few quick tips about how to pick extracurriculars that will help you further your career as well as balance your life so it’s not just academics all the time.

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Pick things inside your major

Several academic majors at PHC have a publication that discusses the facets of the liberal arts that your major specializes in, and many other activities can be related to what you’re studying. For example, if you want to sing the songs you learned in Music History and Appreciation, join an acapella group. More into science? Get into the astronomy club! Any experience in your field of study will look good on a resume, and it’s also a valuable way to determine if there’s something you want to focus more closely on in the future.

Pick things outside your major

Don’t get stuck in the same place! Diversify your interests and join the Patrick Henry Investment Group even if you are a political theory major. You never know when something in another field will fascinate you or relate to your interests after all. Often, the most valuable thing you can offer a company is the ability to see connections no one else has. Unless you are familiar with things outside of your field of study, you won’t have a good grasp on what the world really looks like or the people you’re trying to help.

Pick something active

We all spend too much time sitting on screens or staring at books, even if you don’t go to PHC. Doing a physical activity, even as simple as painting or crocheting will help you expend excess energy and provide a space for your mind to rest and vent. Or, if you prefer sports, even better! Get your blood pumping and tend to your physical health as well as improving your mind. The PHC running club plans runs and is great at helping newer runners get their feet under them and learn to pace themselves.

Pick something where you can take leadership

Is there a club you wish existed? Create it! No matter what activity it is, organization and leadership skills are valuable in any field, and you’ll appreciate having cultivated those skills early on. It shows employers that you have initiative and the ability to manage others effectively. Even if you don’t want to start a club, find one where you have some talent and invest. You don’t have to run it to make a valuable contribution and reflect that on a resume or as a story in an interview.

Leave time for church

If you aren’t centered on Christ, everything else will be hard to manage. More than anything, employers will be looking for someone with good character, whether they recognize it as God centered or not. Invest in the people who will be pouring into you spiritually for the next four years and don’t be afraid to make your needs known. The local church is supposed to be there for you and can help prevent the worst kinds of burnout.

While your major and what you learn are both important, what really matters is whether you can apply and live out what you’ll be taught in college. If you have the motivation and time to get involved in extracurricular activities, they can really make a difference in your life after college.

Of course, do all things with discernment and don’t spread yourself too thin—another skill you need in the workforce is knowing when to ask for help. There are so many amazing opportunities out there and the perfect combo will be different for everyone. Best of luck finding your next extracurricular!

Read about student organizations on campus

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