Choosing Clubs and Extracurricular Activities in High School: How Not to Do Everything


A lot of students choose to participate in extracurriculars for a variety of reasons; whether it is to continue a childhood passion, make new friends, or uncover new interests, here are a few tips to keep in mind as you select which clubs and activities to be a part of during your high school career.

Do What You Love

When it comes time to filling out college applications, many students feel that their extracurriculars must relate to one another in order to be considered noteworthy. I identify personally with the student who has varying interests across many fields. I am involved in Future Teachers of America because I love to work with kids, Drama Club because I love to be onstage, and DECA because I love to exercise my public speaking skills through business terminology and posh professional wear. With that being said, it is okay to let your interests lead you to clubs that may have little to no correlation with each other. High school is supposed to be a time of self-discovery and exploration; do not limit yourself to a status quo. For example, if you want take a cooking class and be a part of the science club, you may later find that it opens doors for you in the field of food science.

Find a Balance & Prioritize

Take some time to carefully evaluate your daily class schedule and fix your extracurricular activities around it. Voluntary clubs and activities should not heavily interfere with your academic priorities. I, for example, am taking Honors and AP classes this year, complete with dance and Spanish electives. Because I know that I will be completing classwork and studying on a consistent basis, I have a more mindful approach in making outside commitments to time-consuming extracurricular activities. From there, I can narrow my number of extracurriculars to a few time-consuming activities that fulfill and excite me, rather than a plethora of activities that I will only wound up exerting little to no effort in. Ultimately, you should evaluate for yourself what you consider to be a want or a need, fit or unfit, in your daily schedule. Do not feel pressured to include certain extracurriculars into your regime if they add unnecessary stress. Not only will you wind up overwhelmed and unmotivated, in most cases, poor academic performance and civil participation can lead to termination from your activities.


Quality over Quantity

If you find that you only have room fit in your schedule for one school-oriented club, be rest assured. You do not need to stretch your time over a wide range of clubs in order to be involved. It is far better to be involved in a singular activity than five. Here is why: when you are wholly devoted to one or few clubs, you have extended opportunities to connect with the club advisors and advance to higher positions/rankings within the club. As a DECA participant for three, going on four, years, I can speak truthfully that the best part of being involved DECA for so long is being able to clearly see my personal evolvement as a strategist, business intellect, and person since being a freshman in high school.

Do Not Follow Your Friends

You are taking personal time out of your day to attend to clubs and extracurriculars. If you do not feel wholly passionate about the activities of the organization, you should not feel pressured to serve additional time to it. To those with friends who may be pushy or misunderstanding of the matter, be sure to communicate with them, in whichever way necessary, that you feel your time together should be spent elsewhere.


Create Your Own Club

Many students often forget about the opportunities to create their own clubs within the walls of their school. If you have an idea or passion that seems to generate interest among a number of students, do not hesitate to reach out to your school advisers.

Just Join!

At the end of the day, extracurricular activities are available for your benefit, not to fulfill a requirement. Always check with yourself to ensure that you are happy with whatever it is that you decide to do. You will find in high school that your mind will change constantly as you try new things and become curious about others. Allow that change to happen within you and go with it. Best of luck!



A Guide to Choosing Clubs Freshmen Year of High School


Understand that there are three categories of clubs.

•Subject area clubs are clubs that come from an interest in a subject area taught in school (such as Math, Literature, Film, etc.)

•Hobby Clubs are clubs that most likely wouldn’t be taught in high school (such as Chess, Anime, and Video Games).

•Charity Clubs are clubs that are linked to raising money, raising awareness, or helping your community (such as Key Club, National Honor Society and DECA).

Choose Club(s) That Interests You /Are Relevant to Your Field of Interest

Freshman year can be a very intimidating time in your life. You’re still roaming the hallways trying to find your way to your first period. Because it’s a new school, in some cases a bigger school, it can cause you to shy away from school activities. But, don’t do that. One of the key factors colleges and universities look for are how involved you were in school activities. The earlier you start, the better. That being said, don’t think of joining a club as something you have to do, think of it as something you want to do. Which means to choose a club(s) that you think would be fun? Whether that involve going on field trips or it involving a hobby.


Choose Club(s) that have benefits

Have you ever heard of Key Club or National Honor Society? These organizations are nationally recognized. Which means that schools know about these clubs and it will look really good when it’s your time to apply to colleges? It looks especially good if you’ve been in the club since your freshman year. This shows schools that you are a committed and resilient person. Which is something that they would like to add to their school. Especially, when they know that you still could’ve been sleeping in on a Saturday morning but decided to come to an event at 6 o’clock in the morning.

Choose Club(s) That Can Be Fun and Entertaining

With all of this in mind, whether it be a hobby or charity club, make sure it’s something that you’re passionate about. Now you’re probably thinking, how do I choose a club? Make sure it’s something that you enjoy? First, think about what you like to do. What’s your favorite class? What are your hobbies? Is there a skill that you’d like to further explore? Also, keep in mind that you’re going to meet so many different people. You might even make life long friends. Once you have asked yourself these kinds of questions you will have a better understanding of what exactly you should look for to satisfy those club cravings your freshmen year!



Aline Your Clubs with Your College Application


What to put on your college application to make you stand out.

I’ve been at this college application process for a couple of months and I’ve had an overwhelming amount of advice from my parents, friends, uncles, cousins, and even strangers and some of the advice was great. Some are just plain awful but they have the best intentions. But what they all have said to me was, “Make sure you make yourself stand out.”


They say during high school, be as involved as possible but I say don’t. Freshman Year, you join every single club and you may start overwhelm yourself that you don’t get as involved in the clubs. You can't move up in the ranks. When it comes down to it, it doesn't matter how many clubs you join if you don't move up in the ranks, all college admissions will see is that you joined the clubs just to join.

My Advice/ Experience

Join two or three clubs that you really enjoy so that you have the chance to get to know the members, the sponsor, the works of the club. When you do, get as involved as possible in those clubs. These will open up a plethora of opportunities for you so that when senior year rolls around, you could become VP or even President. When college administrators see this, they know you stay committed and you work hard.

I’ve been a member of the same two clubs since Sophomore year of high school, and as a senior, I managed to move up as VP for both clubs. Though my schedule was busy, I had time to participate because I wasn't running around trying to keep up with what club meetings I had to attend. The clubs I joined corresponded to the major I plan on studying in college. I joined a club named HyperStream which deals with learning how to code website, Graphic Interfaces (I/O’s). It corresponds with the Computer Science major which I will be pursuing in college. You don't want to confuse the admissions board by joining all these journalism clubs when you’re intended major will be Science or Mathematics. You want to stay consistent so they can see what you are interested in your major.

Now, I'm not saying to not join a club that involves one of your hobbies. You can still be an engineering major with a list of two clubs that involved learning about engineering but you can still have an art club because it's something you enjoy.

In the end, it's all about finding something you love and staying consistent. Don't be afraid to explore, but at the same time, don't be timid towards your aspirations. Clubs are meant to get you involved in your school community while building extracurricular contexts for your academic resume - make the most of them!