The college experience isn’t just about striving for 4.0 GPAs. Extracurricular activities are a vital part of your time spent receiving a higher education. It’s also a perfect time to find clubs and activities to join as the collective energy on a college campus hums with opportunities to meet new people, learn new skills, and take on leadership positions.
The best time to dive into a new activity is the start of your freshman term. Some universities encourage new students to sign up for freshman extracurriculars during orientation, while others promote joining activities throughout the year. A built-in community makes it easy to seek and find groups, activities, and projects to enrich your college experience.
Why you should seek out freshman extracurriculars
Participating in extracurricular activities is important, as a lot of your college learning happens beyond the lecture hall. These activities offer opportunities for both personal and professional growth and will help you become a well-rounded student (i.e. one that excels inside and outside the classroom).
Examples of college freshman activities to explore include:
Clubs and Organizations
Whether you’re into learning a new language, LARPing, or leadership, college campuses have a club or organization for you! In college clubs, students expand on their interests and gain knowledge in specific areas such as business and entrepreneurship, gaming, photography, and political and social activism.
Clubs and organizations are some of the most common freshman extracurriculars that students jump into at the start of their college careers.
Varsity and Intramural Sports
Both varsity and intramural sports offer students a chance to increase physical performance and engage in friendly competition.
And they aren’t just for the elite athletes among us. Casual sports enthusiasts can join rec and intramural teams as one of many freshmen extracurricular opportunities available to them. Participation in varsity and intramural sports builds long-lasting friendships, manages stress, and encourages individuals to strive for their personal best.
Volunteering is a crucial part of gaining a well-rounded college experience. Engaging in community service projects allows students to develop empathy and a deeper understanding of the world around them. Volunteering creates a sense of community and bonds students with others, both on and off campus.
One of the most notable benefits of service-based college freshman activities is the development of crucial life skills. Students hone their communication, leadership, and problem-solving abilities through community service in real-world scenarios.
In a competitive job market, students can set themselves apart by taking advantage of an internship with a company in their field of study. Increasingly, many internships are paid. However, students will need to weigh the pros and cons of taking an unpaid internship if that is also an option.
Internships are structured to teach students real-world work experience and expand on the class curriculums. Taking an internship helps students with their classwork, and some internships lead to permanent employment after graduation.
Study Abroad Programs
Consider taking advantage of the opportunity to expand your horizons by experiencing different cultures and educational systems by studying abroad. When you study abroad you not only take classes in another country but also experience new ways of life, culture, and traditions.
A study abroad program can make traveling more accessible and affordable and undoubtedly provide an educational experience unavailable anywhere else. The skills, perspectives, and memories gained during a study abroad program can have a lasting impact and contribute to a well-rounded and globally aware individual.
Become a well-rounded student through college freshman activities
Extracurricular activities are crucial in college because they contribute to holistic education, provide practical experiences, and equip students with skills and qualities that are essential for success in both their academic and professional lives.
They enhance the overall college experience by fostering a sense of community, personal growth, and a lifelong appreciation for learning. In some cases, freshman extracurriculars might even lead to a job after graduation. In all cases, they will make you a more well-rounded student.