The Role of Extracurricular Activities in University

Want to enjoy your university life? Here are 5 Reasons every student should participate in an extracurricular activity at university.

“Where do I have time to study and join CCAs? There are so many tests and readings to do, and how will I balance my social life and maintain my grades?” As a student, I have complained about the “study-life” balance at university. It is already enough that we must withstand the gruelling hours of mugging for our grades, and now to join an extracurricular activity? It is impossible!

Extracurricular activities play a crucial role in shaping students’ overall development. Various CCAs allow them to explore their interests, develop soft skills, and gain valuable life experiences. They also help students to build connections with their peers and discover new communities!

Will you benefit from participating in a CCA? Read on to find out more!

Discovering Newfound Interests and Passion

One of the key benefits that students gain from extracurricular activities is exploring their interests and passions. For example, a mechanical engineering student may love singing, but his course does not allow him to do so. Participating in an arts CCA will give him an outlet to pursue his passion. Singapore’s education environment is getting more intense each year, with students needing help to keep up with academics. Worries about securing a promising career, navigating adulthood and managing their financing leave no room for their passion.

Joining a CCA should be manageable for students’ lives. These activities aim to invite and encourage students to take a breather away from the overwhelming demands of their courses. When selecting from the various choices available in university, consider your interest and unfulfilled passions that you have always wanted to try. A rising “trend” of students choosing CCAs may give them the most leadership points or whichever looks good on their resume. Though these may sound beneficial in future job prospects, the probability of sticking with their attendance may be low. Be bold and choose something that is yet to be popular it aligns with your interests. Do what makes you happy!

Develop New Skills

In addition to allowing students to explore their interests, extracurricular activities also allow students to develop new skills. CCAs help students to pursue their interests in a structured educational setting while allowing them the freedom to build their skills and talents. For example, students can take on leadership positions through extracurricular activities to build communication and leadership skills. However, leadership positions may sound daunting to students, especially those more reserved. Taking part in club activities and being on their subcommittee demonstrates leadership qualities!

Teamwork is also an essential skill that all students need to possess. Students learn to work together to achieve a common goal when participating in club functions, activities and competitions. Engaging in these activities teaches them the importance of collaboration and how to work and lead a group of people effectively. For example, students who participate in a debate club can build their public speaking and critical thinking skills. In contrast, students who participate in a sports team can develop their physical fitness and teamwork skills. These are easily transferable to areas outside of academics, making students more successful in their careers and personal life. In addition, by taking on roles of leadership and responsibility, they learn how to manage time and delegate tasks.

Build Connections with Peers and Communities

Social life in university is crucial to ensure you have the right peers to support and build beautiful memories while at school. Joining CCAs help students to make connections with their peers and communities. For example, students participating in a drama and art club must attend regular sessions to rehearse and workshop their acts. Working closely with other actors, directors, and crew members gives students a sense of belonging. By joining clubs and organisations, students can find a network of peers with common interests.

Similarly, students who participate in community clubs work with others who share their commitment to service. These connections can be valuable for students as they transition into the workforce, as they often provide networking and professional development opportunities. Again, this can lead to forming meaningful relationships, fostering self-esteem and providing a sense of community.

Self-Improvement and Development

Extracurricular activities help students to become well-rounded individuals. By participating in activities such as sports, cultural activities, and student unions, students learn how to think critically and communicate effectively. This can be beneficial when applying for jobs or graduate school, as employers and admissions officers look for applicants with a track record of leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving. In addition, students can develop their intellect, physical abilities, creativity, and social skills by participating in various activities. This holistic development is beneficial as it can help students to become more successful in their future careers and personal lives.

In conclusion, extracurricular activities are crucial to ensure students get holistic development. They provide students with opportunities to explore their interests, develop new skills, and gain valuable life experiences. They also help students to build connections with their peers and communities and to become well-rounded individuals. Therefore, students need to take advantage of the extracurricular activities available, as they can significantly enhance their college experience and personal growth.

Personal Experience with University CCAs

CCAs were the last thing on my mind when I entered NTU. I was overwhelmed by the workload and the number of readings to do each week. During the NTU CCA fair in 2021, I was just walking around as a freshie exploring the diverse range of CCAs for students. There was something for everyone, and signing up for more than one was so tempting. Fortunately, my senior advised me to choose something I was passionate about and not to view CCA as a “chore”. It really shifted my mindset on the purpose of CCAs at the University. Some do it for the points, others for the experience. Eventually, I joined a CCA in Year Two, as I wanted to ease myself into my studies without burning out. I chose NTU Ephiphany, a theatre and production club I dearly enjoy. A tip to all students: school life is supposed to be a significant period of your life. Do what you love, and you’ll create beautiful memories!


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