Issue 21 – Do Extracurricular Really Matter?

You’re either one of two people at uni. There is the academic and anal student who devotes time to extracurriculars. Then, there is the complete opposite  – a blob of a student who goes on throughout the years without any extracurriculars. Is one of the two students better than the other? And if so, how important are extracurriculars?

I’m sure hiring managers froth when you mention you’re a loyal Debsoc member (New Zealand’s most successful Debating Society). I’m sure that those debating skills come in handy whenever you’re in the mood for some banter. There’s a short answer as to whether extracurriculars matter- yes, but not always. Take your debating niche for example. Dedicating time outside the realm of study makes you appear outgoing, self-disciplined, and overall a good lad or lassy. Having a common or unique hobby adds a bit of relish to your personality, therefore making you look more appealing. I think we can all agree on the fact that we want to seem appealing to others. So in one aspect, yes extracurriculars matter, but for the more sentimental reason being that it enhances yourself. In short, you’re only doing yourself a favour by devoting to extracurriculars like Debsoc or other societies alike.

In a more professional context, most would argue that yes, they are essential. Extracurriculars enable you to boost your university or professional opportunities. Research even stresses the link between extracurriculars and academic performance, social skills and self-esteem. But if you’re that blob of a student with no extracurriculars to their name, then it may be a different case. Extracurriculars may not even matter to you. You may be a person bestowed with a great fortune, who goes out into the academic or labour division with opportunities sprung at you left and right. Then again, this is not the case for many individuals. A wee google search will give you the lowdown that most times, extracurriculars do matter a lot. Particularly for a job, scholarship, or study opportunities, which is (hopefully) what everyone at uni is wanting to a certain degree.

To cut it short, it’s been established that yes, extracurriculars do matter. But it depends entirely on the type of student you are and how much extracurriculars matter to you. If you’re the studious Debsoc student, your involvement will most likely make you look appealing to others and will enhance your characteristics. If you’re the type of student who likes to go by without any other type of involvement, then the word extracurricular probably won’t resonate any feelings or desires. The likelihood of opportunities with more extracurriculars is significantly higher. Although that does not mean opportunities are entirely dependent on extracurriculars. Having luck or social connections may guarantee you opportunities, even if you don’t have any extracurriculars. In the end, it’s the appeal of involvement. There is a charm that comes with having a common or quirky hobby. Perhaps no student, studious or not, is better than the other. Yet again, your loyalty to an extracurricular like Debsoc is bound to impress.

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