Extracurricular activities in college are just as important as academics


By Alyssa Pracz

It is important to receive good grades during your college career; however, being involved in extracurricular activities and getting work experience, like an internship, is valued more.

Extracurricular activities and work experience allow you to get hands-on experience in the field you will be working in, make connections with different people, improve your social skills, and it can really show someone your valuable work ethic.

Having hands-on experience is more important than focusing completely on academics because it means you have less to learn when you start a new job. Most employers want to avoid wasting as much time as they can by not having to train a new person.

After looking at jobsearch.about.com, most interview questions for college graduates have nothing to do with grades. The questions focus more on your personal qualities and about past job experience.

When you’re involved in extracurricular activities, not only do you get that experience, you get the chance to meet different people through the process. Nowadays, employers care about who you know instead of what you know. Being social and having good interpersonal skills are deemed very important for anybody in the career world because employers want to make sure they hire people who have the ability to communicate well and will not harm their reputation by lacking it.

Having prior work experience and being highly involved in extracurricular activities can really show to future employers your positive work ethic. Yes, receiving good grades in school can prove that you worked hard, but will it really matter 10 years down the line that you always turned in your homework?

What would be more impressive than proving you can hit the books is that you took the time to be involved in a club or to help tutor other students while maintaining good grades. This can show to future employers your valuable work ethic.

If you were the leader of an organizational group or club, it shows that you have leadership skills and know how to take control of things. If you devoted your time to help tutor someone or if you were even a teacher’s assistant, it shows your commitment and dedication to your work, and that you’re someone that can make a difference. Mostly, extracurricular activities show that you have time management skills because you were able to balance a number of different things. That may not sound like it’s as important, but it takes much more work to receive good grades while being involved on campus and perhaps having a job, rather than just using all your time to focus on one particular thing. It’s impressive if you can prove that you are able to handle more than one task at a time.

All in all, good grades can get you scholarships and give you a sash to put on your graduation gown that shows you graduated with honors. Although it is quite an achievement, having work experience, knowing people and having developed social skills, along with having a valuable work ethic, is much more important in the long run.