Extracurricular activities are an important aspect of college life. How do undergraduates balance extracurricular activities along with the rigor of academics?
When one looks back on their college days, the memories that come rushing back often create nostalgia. In all probability the memories we cherish from college are not those of attending lectures and writing exams, but those of the college annual day organizing a festival participating in the football team or other such extracurricular activities. It is thus evident that one must live up their graduation years to the fullest.
Waking the tightrope between academics and extracurricular activities however does not come easy. How much time and importance should be assigned to each? Unable to find a suitable equilibrium most students tend to falter on this front.
Naval Chopra, a computer science and engineering student at IIT Bombay has an outstanding GPA of about 9.33 despite being involved in various extra curriculars like debating gym, and snooker. He says his secret is local time tabling. Professors always announce exams and tests well in advance. I just ensure that I’m never unprepared for them. Procrastination is probably not the best idea if you intend to balance both academics and extracurriculars.
The key is good time management and minimizing the time spent on unproductive activities. Agrees another student of bioinformatics engineering, who was class representative for four consecutive years and was involved with the organizing of several college festivals. He shares I tried to make use of all my time by studying till late at night, or while commuting. I also made the most of my weekends.
Mass media student Sapan Verma of Jai Hind college ensured that academics and extracurricular activities remained compartmentalized. Throughout the semester I took part in various college festivals and events, while allocating some time for academics. But as examinations approached I would study like a geek! It is nice to work hard on festivals and have fun equally important to be serious and give academics their due.
Of course, it’s not only managing your time well. Interest and passion go a long way too. It is not difficult to balance academics and extracurricular activities if you are interested in both. I liked my course, and enjoyed all my extracurriculars too. If you love what you do, it won’t seem like a chore or burden at all.
Why are students so eager to participate in extracurricular activities, despite the fact that hey are hectic and time intensive? The answer lies in the fact that extracurriculars open up a whole new world for students. Agrees Verma I’ve learnt so much from festivals and internships. These are things that no classroom lecture or examinations can teach. Students who excel in extracurriculars always have the added advantage of experience.
While academics lead to one sided development extracurriculars facilitate holistic growth of the student. Organizing events and being in positions of responsibility helps one with a practical exposure to being in or / and leading a team, problem solving crisis management and negotiation skills. This complements the academics learning. Extracurriculars also hone personal skills. Participating in extracurricular activities has made me versatile and confident. It has widened my horizons on multiple issues.
Prospective employers too are increasingly placing emphasis on holistic achievements and not just academics. Employers look for people who are good at what they do, be it at academics, extracurriculars or in positions of responsibility. If one demonstrates excellence in these spheres, it makes him /her stand out and gets noticed by employers.
Of course there’s no overlooking the fact that extracurriculars are a whole lot of fun too! Smiles Ramchandani I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I enjoy every minute. I spent with these non-academic pursuits. I’ve met so many interesting people faced challenging situations and gained diverse experiences.
Time spent on extracurriculars almost becomes the essence of college life. It’s worth the hassle, the running around and the sleepless nights. I may not remember what my textbook said but will always fondly remember my extracurricular pursuits. There are no more regrets about extracurriculars. I like to think of it as productive use of the time I anyway wouldn’t spend studying.