College is an exciting time in life. You enter into a world where you know very few people and discover a lot about yourself.

All college students start with a clean slate; you can be anything and anyone here. This is where you will decide your future career and other priorities.

Even though studying will take most of your energy and time, you have to encourage yourself to participate in any campus activity.

Or if you want to enjoy college life to the fullest, how about more than a single activity?

And there are just so many options to choose from, including sports, volunteer opportunities, clubs, performance groups, and more.

Keep reading as we elaborate on how you can stay active and competing at college:

Two guys arm wrestling
There are various benefits of joining clubs in college. Clubs give you the chance to enter into competitions and be able to hone your skills practically. Extracurriculars are necessary to escape from the monotony of college classes, where college involvement in clubs and competitions help (Unsplash: Pixabay)
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What Exactly Counts As Extracurricular Activity?

Before moving on further, we must first understand what counts as an extracurricular activity in college.

Extracurricular activities include athletics, arts, employment, clubs, personal commitments, and various other pursuits.

Therefore, anything you are productively and actively involved in can be thought of as an extracurricular activity.

You might already be familiar with most of the popular activities already; such as:

  • Community Service: Includes any volunteer work, either within your community, abroad or at a national scale
  • Arts: Includes performing arts, culinary arts, visual arts, comedy, and so many more. This list is virtually endless once you start
  • Sports: Includes playing on your school sports team, a club team outside school, or an intramural team
  • Hobbies: Includes the film club, cosplaying, blogging, Rubik’s Cube competitions, hiking, and many more
  • Employment: Includes any internships or jobs
  • Academic Clubs: Includes the science clubs, math competitions, writing, or research

Skills like these develop your leadership capabilities, enable you to show your community involvement, and allow you to make an impact.

Though going to watch a movie every weekend with your close friends does not count. But starting an activity club for fellow fans will count!

How To Conduct Extracurricular Activities With Other Commitments?

At this point, you’re probably wondering how you will make time for all these activities. Some people have personal commitments that they can’t get out of, including supporting their family or babysitting.

The good thing is that the college admission committee is also mindful of any responsibilities you may have and value them.

And even if you get a job to support your family, they may see it as a valuable experience, and it might just make your application stronger.

They understand that not every student has the luxury to pursue clubs, fraternities, and competitions. Therefore, they may decide that the way you were spending your time was just as valuable.

To help them better understand, you can reflect on how all these experiences taught you invaluable lessons for the future.

For instance, you now clearly have a good sense of responsibility and a lot of maturity for someone your age.

Furthermore, they will also think that you can balance your schoolwork with multiple commitments. And if you have a leadership role in your work position, that is even better!

An auditorium with a class in session
: College involvement is an excellent part of your experience as a student. It is not only about learning, but about experiences, ones that will help you acquire life skills to get ahead, and competitions are the best way to do that (Source: Pixabay)

Benefits Of Competitions For Your Student Life

Competitions play a critical role in motivating you to excel and perform, gaining more rewards than just points on a scoreboard.

They provide you with a chance to:

  • Gain extensive experience
  • Evaluate and analyze outcomes
  • Showcase your skills
  • Uncover your aptitude

Furthermore, competitions also encourage you to adopt various innovative techniques and develop skills and ideas. Here are some of the benefits of competitions and college involvement:

Obtain Significant Experience

There will be quite a few instances in college that will provide a realistic outlook and exposure towards the competitive nature of life.

During competitions, you continuously go through various rapid problem-solving sessions and brainstorming sequences.

Therefore, you get to experience a unique learning form, which you commonly do not practice in your college or schools.

Amps Up Your Resume

Winning competitions can have a profound effect on your resume. They prove your extraordinary skills and distinguish you from your batch.

They will also give you an advantage when you apply for a job or higher studies. Therefore, competitions provide enduring remunerations for you throughout life.

Superstars are immediately recognized since they are not afraid to embrace who they are and demonstrate their talents.

Therefore, if you can win a prominent competition, you can essentially claim your personal ‘superstar status’ in the college talent recruitment community.

Being able to win some student competitions is a sure-fire way to stand out above the crowd and enhance your resume, both through the conventional way or through your social media profiles.

Hence, by winning competitions, you can show off your achievements on Facebook and LinkedIn. The likes will start coming, and with them, the job offers will follow.

Not only that, if you are genuinely passionate regarding any subject outside your major, competitions will also help you show off your interests and knowledge.

If you are working as a mechanical engineer interested in environmental sustainability or a chemical engineer immensely committed to animal rights, find suitable competitions and compete in them.

Furthermore, remember never to be intimidated or put off by your lack of formal qualification. Your interests and passion can take you a long way, not only in competitions but generally in life.

Showing the width of your skills and letting the colors shine will help you differentiate yourself from the rest.

Making Friends

Competitions give you a chance to get in touch with new people and network while making friends from multiple other geographic locations and disciplines.

These intellects will help you learn more about the multiple fields they lead and the regions they live in.

A guy in glasses observing a chess set
The importance of student involvement in college cannot be understated. Taking part in extracurricular activities and competitions adds more stars to your resume and helps you learn from your success and failures (Source: Pixabay)

Financial Advantages

Competitions commonly result in generous financial rewards for winners, with some awards going over hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Even though it requires a tremendous amount of continuous hard work from you, the results are worth your time and effort.

A substantial amount of money will surely add to your college tuition fund or help with buying textbooks or sports equipment.

Alongside fame, fortune, and experience, winning competitions at an early age can help you learn how to handle and save money and use it responsibly.

Showcasing Skills

Competitions offer you a platform to showcase the skills and knowledge you have gained over the years.

Furthermore, a highly experienced and notable jury panel will be able to provide critical feedback and analysis of your performance.

Therefore, competitions provide an excellent resource for self-evaluation and help you further nurture your skills and experience.

Most students find it difficult to express their talents in school. You have to understand that group assignments and exams usually do not allow students to showcase their talents.  

However, student competitions are entirely based on solving ‘real’ problems, making you find a ‘physical’ solution to the problem. Remember, not everyone is good at textbook studies.

Consequentially, the student competitions will give you the confidence to achieve your professional and educational goals.

Connecting With Top Employers

Competitions are also a great way to connect with top employers, like Facebook, IBM, or Google. Unfortunately, these are difficult to apply to because their hiring criteria are so meticulous.

Irrespective of your formal education background, if you have the right skills to win a competition, you exhibit the will to go above and beyond.

We know that working your way up in an esteemed organization through internships is a long and arduous process, often fruitless.

Hence, beefing up your CV with real-world examples of your commitment can make you a shoo-in for competitive positions, especially if you have the rewards to show for it.

The traditional criteria for application are primarily based on your academic level, which may or may not show your actual skillset and talent.

So take a shot for yourself and participate in as many competitions as you are eligible for. Suppose your skillset is advanced enough to get you to the finals. In that case, you might get the chance to:

  • Impress the sponsors
  • Talk to the senior management members
  • Dazzle them with your passion and determination

If you are still not convinced by the role of student competitions in landing your dream job, know that L’Oreal hires almost one-third of its graduate interns from a challenge.

And it is common knowledge for most top employers to organize complex hiring competitions to vet, test, and train potential employees.

Challenging Yourself

Of course, not everybody who enters a competition will be able to win. Though, even if you cannot receive any of the big awards, you can still take advantage of the opportunity by challenging yourself.

Hence, you will be able to develop and learn new skills, and even if you are not able to win, you can still demonstrate what you learned from the experience.

Furthermore, you can talk about it in interviews, university applications, and job applications.

However, one of the most important things to keep in mind is taking part in the competition and making it far will teach you valuable lessons. Whether you win or not won’t take the shine off your performance.

Therefore, whatever the outcome, keep your focus on what you have learned and how to keep developing.

Testing Ideas

Lastly, student competitions help you test yourself in an essentially risk-free environment, one in which you can gather and incorporate feedback from professionals and peers.

If you are wholly committed to achieving your dreams, any time you will spend fine-tuning your ideas is an excellent investment.

But you might think, “what if I cannot win the competition I enter?” Remember this; it is not wasted time - it is time you have spent growing and learning.

Competitions should provide a stimulating and enriching experience. Moreover, it should help you apply the knowledge you have gained to a practical and specific problem.

And if you can’t win the first time, you can always enter again. The more you participate in competitions, the better you will get!

Getting Involved In College Competitions

Students competitions offer you countless opportunities, a platform to demonstrate your talents, and a stairway to achieve extraordinary things in life.

They can represent non-traditional but effective ways to secure scholarships, internships, jobs, and expose yourself to real-world issues.

Still cannot decide which college to choose or which competitions are suitable for you? Then, head to Superprof and get in touch with hundreds of student advisors near you.

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