Extra-curricular activities aren’t just for the do-gooder. Participating in various organisations, events and activities has benefits immediately and in the long term. QCE can be monotonous, crazy and hectic, why not throw something in there that will actually make you feel like a better person, but also, potentially make you more employable?
Depending on which extra-curricular activity you partake in, you have the capacity to gain skills in communication, management, sustainability, physical skills, organisation and the list goes on. Volunteering at a nursing home, disability service centre, hospital or children’s care gives you invaluable experience in communicating with people from all walks of life. If you volunteer at your local eco-awareness body, you could gain practical skills and knowledge in sustainable building, living, or even physical skills pertaining to gardening, construction or waste removal. These skills aren’t the kinds of things that disappear when you stop volunteering – they stick around, and you will need them!
What looks good on a resume? Evidence of applying yourself in various sectors. Hello to the world of extra-curricular! Evidence of active participation, and better yet, success, in education and other communities gives an employer the impression that you would be ready to apply yourself in the position you wish to obtain. You may think that being a volunteer mentor for a Year 7 student is really insignificant in the employment world. An employer may read that on your resume as you showing your ability to lead and mentor in a partnership or team. Brownie points for you!
If your school writes reference lists for Year 12s upon leaving, or you ask an individual teacher to write one, you want it to be a glowing report. You want that piece of paper to talk about how enthusiastic you are, how you’ve applied yourself in various fields, but you also want a comment about your character on a more personal level, “Miranda takes on challenges with precision and dignity,” for example. How will a teacher know how you take on these challenges beyond the classroom? By participating in extra curricular activities.
In the High School world, connections are not a huge deal. When you hit University, TAFE or employment, you will realise how helpful connections are. Maintaining positive relationships with various people of various aspects of life is crucial in so many ways. Here’s an example:
[At original time of writing] I’ve just started a Communications degree at UTS with a major in Journalism. I needed to write an article for my first assessment task about news in my suburb. Being the quiet residential it is, it appears on the surface that nothing much is happening. However, my involvement with the Eco-Group in High School put me in good contact with the Environment Manager’s at the local Council, who happened to have some great information on the looming threats facing the suburb’s eco-awareness body. Bingo. Thank you, eco-group. If I hadn’t been involved in the eco-group, there’s a high chance that I’d be still looking to dig up a story!
“There is no unselfish good deed.” This has come up many times. Notably, it came up in a F.R.I.E.N.D.S episode where Phoebe tried to prove that there is such a thing as an unselfish good deed – she let a bee sting her so it would show off to its bee friends as being really tough. Joey tells her that once the bee stings, it dies.
The point here is, it is totally okay to be a do-gooder because it makes you feel good. And, you will. During my time volunteering at the local nursing home for Duke of Edinburgh, I spent a lot of time talking to a man named Allan. He was over 90, he kissed my hand when I entered and left like the old-school chivalrous man he is, and always wanted to talk about the sweet things of life (Smiths Crinkle Cut chips, birds, the enormous Marlin he caught one time and his family). Allan made me feel happy and he was a gentle reminder to appreciate the finer things. And I seriously do appreciate crinkle cut chips.
You’d be a wonderful freak of nature if you didn’t find QCE to be monotonous at stages. You go to school, you learn, you come home, you procrastinate, you study, you eat, you eat some more, you go to sleep. Do it again. What about the Saturday mornings when you get up and work in the canteen you used to love back in your junior footy days? The Monday afternoons spent at the dog shelter? The Thursday lunch time’s spent teaching at the school Maths workshop? Trust me, in a year filled with essays and formulas and exams and stress – the little break could be everything you need to refresh.