High school can be overwhelming and intense, particularly if lots of extracurricular activities are included in one’s schedule. Quitting academics is obviously not an option, but choosing which extracurricular activities to prioritise and which ones to drop can free up valuable energy and time.
Never forget that a healthy balance between extracurricular and academic activities in school, and between work and a social life later on, is the key to a successful and happy life. On the other hand, an imbalance may lead to poor performance in all areas of life along with excessive stress.
In this blog post, I propose some tips to maintain a balance between your extracurricular activities and academics.
Prioritise your goals
While academics come first, extracurricular activities have a lot of value. You may start by getting involved in a range of different activities. After only a month, you will find out which ones are the right match with your personal goals. This is the time during which you will be exploring the possibilities of determining your goal as well.
Flipping over different extracurricular activities is perfectly okay! This just means that they simply didn’t work for you.
Be selective about extracurricular activities
While initially being involved in plenty of activities is fine, do not join every extracurricular club in your school. You will soon find out that you are not interested in most of them. Think, consult your parents and friends, and then choose wisely among those clubs that are geared towards your interests.
When I was your age, I picked no more than three activities and focused on them.
Plan to quit early to avoid burnout
Be explicit when you decide to quit. Don’t wait for your mom to tell you to stop. Don’t wait for yourself to get bored. It will lead you to miss valuable opportunities by getting involved in unproductive activities. Choosing an extra hour for anything unproductive means you lose one hour of being productive.
Link extracurricular activities with your wider goals
All extracurricular activities are important in one way or the other. You must find out the most important ones for both professional and personal success, consider if they match your interests, and focus on them.
Think of your intended academic subjects during university. Admissions committees welcome the students who they find are dedicated towards their passion and who highlight the concrete steps that relate to their future goals.
Afterwards, it will be up to you to determine the most important extracurricular activity for yourself.
Commit major time with your extracurricular activity
Long-term commitment to your prioritized extracurricular activity is important. The only way to get a leadership position or be given serious responsibility within an activity is by working on it for several hours every week. This will also help admissions committees of universities identify you as a persistent and dedicated person.
Finally, choose the most meaningful extracurricular activity for you. Choose something that makes you happy and inspires passion in you. If an activity popped up in your mind while reading this post, chances are this activity is the one you should list as the most important one.