Do you know that your resume can stand out from the rest simply because of your extracurricular activities? This can be a huge incentive to continue with the extracurriculars that you have pursued in school.
Recruiters typically receive thousands of applications for any job; so, how do they shortlist candidates for interviews when their qualifications are identical? It’s usually by looking at extracurriculars. Business schools, for instance, pay a lot of attention to what a candidate does outside his academics.
Easy tips to balance academics with extracurriculars as a college student:
How do you balance academics with extracurriculars in college? In college, you must divide your time between assignments, classes, chores, socializing, and extracurriculars. That’s a lot on your plate and you may find it quite challenging to juggle all of them together.
However, it’s not impossible to do it, if you follow these easy tips and tricks to manage your time well:
- Don’t overdo things: Look around and you will see everyone trying to outdo the other, whether it is in academics or other activities. Now, if you get sucked into this rat race because of the fear of missing out, you can end up hampering your studies. It’s very tempting to do a number of things but to do them well, you need to give a lot of attention and time. As a college student, that can be a problem because you are always hard-pressed for time. If you try to have a finger in every pie, you end up not excelling in anything. So, prioritize your activities and focus on things that you can excel in without much effort.
- Manage time well: If you cannot manage your time well, you end up performing poorly and feeling stressed because of it. So, make a schedule and stick to it. If you work with a plan, you can get your academic work done on time, leaving you with extra hours to engage in extracurriculars.
- Make studies a priority: The only way you can pursue extracurriculars freely is when your grades aren’t suffering. Extracurriculars are needed for growth and overall development but cannot be a reason to neglect studies.
- Stop saying “yes” to everything: The worst mistake you can make is to commit to multiple engagements. If you have to finish college assignments, organize workshops, party with campus friends, and participate in competitions all at the same time, you cannot do justice to any. So, learn to say “no” when you know you don’t have the time for something.
- Cut down on distractions: You don’t have to attend every party just because you have been invited to it! Neither do you have to binge-watch a Netflix series simply because everyone else in the class is. Choose your distractions wisely and don’t overindulge in things that will affect your college grades. Keep that smartphone away when you are working on an assignment; you don’t need Instagram feeds eating into your study time!
- Create small study sessions: Instead of trying to get everything done in one day, break up the work into smaller modules. This will help you stick to the schedule and provide you with enough time to engage in non-academic activities. Once you can complete your study modules on time, you won’t feel guilty about doing extracurriculars.
- Get help when you can: In college, there’s a lot to do and it’s not possible for you to do it all by yourself. Ask for help when you need it, and talk to elders if you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed about anything. There’s no harm in working with friends to finish assignments on time or reaching out to teachers for mentoring and advice. The trick to balancing academics with extracurriculars is to be proactive and not let stress get the better of you.
- Arrange for “me time”: College life is exciting but overwhelming at the same time. Everyone feels this at some point in time or the other. So, what do you do to avoid getting burned out? Set some “me time” exclusively for yourself. Taking a breather in between intense study schedules is perfect for rejuvenating your mind. Hit the “reset” button from time to time to boost your productivity both inside and outside the classroom.
When you step out of college and apply for your first job, you don’t have much work experience to show in your resume. It’s here that extracurriculars can make a difference; they show employers that you have transferable skills. So, plan, prioritize, and participate in extracurriculars while staying on top of your academic responsibilities.