Extracurricular Activities – How Much is Too Much?

extracurricular activitiesWhen it comes to extracurricular activities such as sports, band, student government or clubs, it can be hard to know how many activities you can juggle. This is especially true if you have other commitments such as a part–time job or responsibilities at home such as caring for a younger sibling or helping a grandparent. First, think about the activities that seem interesting and then find out what is expected of participants. For example: How often do members meet? Is the activity in the fall/spring or both? Is the meeting time flexible? Does it cost anything to join the group/sport/etc.? Making an informed decision will help you to plan ahead so you can manage your time.

Before you “sign–up” for a particular activity, talk with others who have participated in it. You will likely get honest opinions that will help you make a decision about joining or not. It’s fun to spend time doing an activity that you are familiar with but don’t be afraid to try something new such as volunteering for your school paper or running for a class office.

There are benefits to participating in extracurricular activities such as meeting new people with similar interests, and being able to show college admission officers that you are well–rounded. But, you can have too much of a good thing. If your schedule is packed full with activities leaving you with little or no time to do homework, study for tests, or spend time with your family and friends, you may need to cut back on the number of activities you’re involved in. If you’re feeling stressed, talk to a parent, guidance counselor or other trusted adult.