Extra-Curricular Activities Aren’t Just for Kids

Do More With Your Life

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When you’re at school, you have plenty of opportunities to be involved in things that aren’t just school work.

You can play music or sport, work at a part-time job, get involved in the school production, volunteer, and plenty of other things besides.

Once you leave school, though, it can be trickier to get involved in things outside of your study or work commitments. You might find that with less time and less external pressure (hey mum!) to get out there and do stuff, you just don’t do it.

However, doing things outside of work and study is really great, for a number of reasons: you can meet new people, get healthy, try out a new experience or skill, potentially discover a new passion, be involved in your community, and maybe add a couple of things to your resume while you’re at it.

Here are some ideas for extra-curriculars you can get involved in once you leave school:

Do work experience or an internship

This is a great way to discover whether that career path you’re on is really something you want to stick at, or potentially find the specific field that excites you within a particular industry.

Getting experience in an industry or company where you want to work in the future is the best way to make connections (networking!) and build your resume. When the things you’re doing in an internship link back to what you’re studying, it’ll also help you stay on track and focused at uni.

Do be careful if you’re working for free – make sure you put yourself and your paid work first. You can find out more about rules for work experience and internships here.

Join a sports team or dance class

Exercise and team-sport activities are a great way to meet new people and stay fit while you’re at it. Depending on what you do (and how good you are!) you might get the chance to go on camps or travel to something like Uni Games.

Volunteer

There are so many causes in your local community that want your time. This might be tutoring disadvantaged kids, working in the office of an international organisation, sorting and selling clothes in an op shop, or helping at a soup kitchen.

Find something you feel passionate about and give your time to make a difference. It could be a nifty idea to find a way to volunteer in an organisation that relates to your future career aspirations – this kills two ‘resume’ birds with one stone.

Write something

If you write, there are heaps of places online and in print that are looking for your work. You might even get paid. You could also attempt to create your own online presence with a blog or social media account. Having your work out there (as long as you’re proud of it) is a good way to show people what you can do.

Get involved in politics

Student politics on university campuses is a great way to meet people and make a difference to the university community (just beware – it can get kind of intense!) If you want to get involved in politics in the future, student politics is a good place to start. You could also volunteer for a political party if you feel passionate about a cause they stand for.

Join a student club

If you’re on a university or TAFE campus, there will be student clubs you can get involved with based on a variety of interests. This might be the student union, a language or culture club, a faculty club, a sporting club, or something that brings people together in other ways, like a movie or food club.

If you end up on the committee of one of these clubs, there is great leadership opportunity (and resume fodder).

Do something creative

You might make art, love gardening or have a crafty skill. This is a great thing to do for yourself, but you also might be able to share it with other people – as a gift or by building a social media presence. Depending on what your creative thing is, you could also sell it online or at a market.

Life is about more than just work and study…

The things you enjoy doing right now are setting you up for a great future, just keep everything in perspective as you grow and move through your life so you can keep doing the things you love.

By Chris Ebbs, one of the MHSCareers star Research Team Members

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