At the end of the day students, in particular A level students, want to make the grade in order to gain an unconditional offer from either their firm or insurance choice. As I’ve mentioned before, no one looks forward to clearing and, therefore, keep their heads in their books. The same applies to students at university – no one wants to fail their exams, and face difficulties in obtaining the desired grades, which will later on be essential in securing the desired gradual role. So keeping your head down and studying is always good advice. However, if you’ve planned and coordinated your work properly, there’s no harm in giving yourself a break and, moreover, a peace of mind by doing other activities.
Getting yourself involved in extra-curricular activities is a fantastic way of making links with organisations you’re interested in, building experiences, and developing your skills, provided you out the effort into it. I’ve seen certain individuals, at voluntary events, who don’t show much enthusiasm and shy away from full-on involvement. Don’t do that! You’re only wasting your time by not makign the most of the opportunity.
Before I point out the benefits of involving yourself in extra-curricular activities, I suppose it’s a good idea to briefly mention what’s out there to participate in. Firstly, there’s the voluntary sector. There’s a large variety of organisations offering various activities to engage yourself in and, additionally, acknowledge your efforts with a certificate, which could potentially boost your CV. One organisation which I would recommend is Worldwide Volunteering . This organisation targets people of all ages, and provides opportunities in different locations.
If you’re planning on taking a gap yea, consider travelling. There’s a plethora of organisations that are well known for providing you with an opportunity of a lifetime. Organisations such as Bunac UK, Camp America, Original Volunteers, VSO and Projects Abroad are fantastic to get yourself involved with. However, if you’re still at school, college, university, or not too keen on spending too much time away from home, then take a look at Original Volunteers. They offer great experiences which only require you to be away for a maximum of two weeks! If volunteering abroad isn’t your ‘cup of tea’, then consider travelling in order to gain experience of the world around you. Open your eyes a little and gain knowledge of various cultures around the world.
Duke of Edinburgh Award
Apart from travelling, there are other exciting ideas to get you ‘cooped’ up in. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Going for Gold is always the key! Taking up this award would be a fantastic experience in itself. This Award provides you with the opportunity to explore your strengths. In fact, what I should really be saying is that it will challenge your strengths, both physically and mentally. If you can get your friends involved, that would be even better. Similarly, for girls and young women, taking part in Girlguiding would also lead to fantastic opportunities, resulting in amazing achievements. The Queen’s Guide Award , the highest attainable award in Girlguiding, is also a highly recommended award to give you that extra push.
Both the Duke of Edinburgh Award and Queens Guide Award are great for building up your confidence, gaining skills and illustrating independence.
Extra-curricular Activities and Studies
However, referring back to whether you should just only focus on your studies…get involved in activities that are related to what you’re studying. This would be particularly useful for university students. The best way to start off with is to join societies. This is especially important, from what I know already, for Law students who want to become lawyers. Apart from meeting their academic requirements, employers love to see how you’ve made your mark at university.
The Street Law Project is very popular amongst universities and, therefore, it is encouraged to participate in. Try to get involved in all the activities that societies, related to your course, advertise. Remember, if you’re aiming towards working for a large company or firm, they usually look for applicants with a good ground of specific skills. Most common ones include team work, communicational and commercial awareness. Others that are not so obvious, or individuals don’t tend to value the importance of, include relationship-building and stamina and energy. These aspects are vital and absolutely achievable if you join and commit to societies.
Aspiring lawyers, again, Pro Bono! If you’re serious in pursuing a career in law, LawWorks provides numerous amounts of Pro Bono work for undergraduates, postgraduates, and even those that are lawyers already.
Finally, as it involves everyone, regardless of what you’re studying, take up a hobby! Pick up something you love, and develop it! Build up your character. Gain some experience in something you have a personal interest in. Most importantly, speak up, have a voice and take action!
I’m going to condense the benefits of extracurricular activities into three distinct words; Maturity, diversity and creativity.
Nike states ‘Just Do It!’ So do it!