A recent article on U.S. News & World Report sheds light on why extracurricular activities have such a strong impact on medical school applications. The article, written by a team of medical school admissions consultants, certainly pertains to more than just med school apps. The advice they give is relevant for students applying to college and grad school programs, not to mention any current student trying to figure out what to do when they’re not studying!
Step 1: Find it!
Ask yourself what your goals are. This might help you narrow down groups or clubs you want to join. If you want to work in international business, join a foreign language club to practice speaking another language! Or, take the opposite route. Use your extracurricular as a tool to escape your studies – join a yoga or art club that meets regularly instead of a business group.
Authentic passion and excitement go a long way. Finding something you care about – even if it isn’t directly linked to your major or field of study – is more interesting than forcing a task on yourself because it looks good on paper. Try out a couple different things if you’re not sure what’s right for you.
Less is more. Don’t spread yourself too thinly over a bunch of activities you kind of care about. Instead, really dig into one or two that generate real enthusiasm and pleasure!
Make it up. If what you want to do doesn’t exist yet on your campus or in your town, start it! It only takes a couple people – or one person! – to get something new going. You can also turn individual activities into group activities. If you’re passionate about blogging, start a blog group to talk about ways to improve or join up with some friends and work on one blog together. The sky’s the limit!
Step 2: Work it!
Your extracurricular activities give employers and interviewers insight into who you are outside of academia. That is why passion and excitement are important – hiring someone who spends their free time doing something they love usually means a more interesting and charming employee.
Invest your time. Continue to devote your attention to activities over time – don’t sign up for an afternoon of volunteering once and then never again. Your extracurriculars should have a meaningful impact on you; devotion and commitment to a cause are incredibly admirable qualities.
Find out more ways to invest in extracurricular activities on Cappex! Make your profile today!