For many students, deciding how to spend time outside of school and work obligations is stressful. Pressure builds to make the “right” choices — to choose the hobbies that will most impress colleges.
We certainly recognize the importance of extracurriculars on your path to college. However, we also believe that your hobby should be something that you truly care about. The more passionate you are, the more skills and qualities you are likely to glean from it. It’s those attributes that will help you stand out in the admission process, because colleges hope you will bring them to their community! Learn more about how hobbies help you on your path to college here.
RaiseMe Ambassador, Brooke, recognizes that pressure behind choosing your extracurriculars. Thankfully, she also knows some ways to find the hobbies that best suit you, and that therefore can best help you get to college.
Let’s hear from Brooke.
Are you struggling to find a pastime to look forward to after school?
Are you unsure of what you actually enjoy doing? Are you lacking in your extracurricular resumé? If any of these apply, keep on reading to find out what you should do!
There’s an activity out there to suit everyone’s interests and needs- you just have to be open to trying new things and do a little digging within yourself to find it. I know that I’ve personally tried so many different activities; some of them I liked, some I loved, and some I didn’t like at all. Here are five ways to make this search easier and root through the numerous options.
1. Tag along to clubs/activities that your friends participate in. I would advise making it clear to the friend you go with that you’re just trying it out and that you might not end up committing to it, just so there’s not a misunderstanding. That being said, this is a great way to get involved in something new while still feeling comfortable! Trying new things is scary, but everything is better with a friend- especially if that friend can show you the ropes. If you have friends that are super passionate about certain activities, see what they’re all about. You may fall in love with it too.
2. Ask your school counselor or teachers that you’re close with what activities they’ve heard of and think you might enjoy. Any school staff member probably has a pretty good idea of a lot of the things going on around campus that you may have not heard of before. They can also direct you to resources such as school newsletters or email listings (which you can/should totally seek out on your own as well!) and point you in the right direction. This works best if the adult you’re asking knows you well, as they can give the most personalized recommendations that way.
3. Think about what you gravitate towards doing in your current free time. Yes, even watching TV or playing video games counts. There’s a way to turn anything into a valuable pastime- for the examples I provided, you could stage your own TV shows as plays or create a YouTube channel with video game reviews. Look at what you do when you can be doing anything you want, and pursue that further.
4. Look outside of school for community opportunities. School sports and clubs aren’t for everyone, and that’s okay! They’re not the only activities out there by any means. Check local bulletin boards, the newspaper, or your city’s website (specifically the youth section if they have one) to see what else is going on around you locally, or ask your parents if they know of anything. Some examples would be volunteer opportunities/groups since most of those take place outside of school, or clubs and organizations that accept a wide range of ages (both adults and kids).
5. If you can’t find a group that enjoys the same activity as you, start your own. If you’ve realized there’s something you enjoy doing but there’s no group or organization around you dedicated to that, making one is a great way to dive deeper into your passion. You never know who else might be interested and was feeling the same way, so be the person to get out there and make those connections with others. This can be even more rewarding, as you will most likely be the person in charge, meaning you can take it as far as you want.
Hopefully these five steps will aid you in your journey to finding a hobby you love. I also wanted to address that it’s okay if your interests fluctuate – just do what you enjoy and stay open to trying new things even when you think you’re set on a certain activity.