Friday, February 5, 2010

Why Everyone Needs to Get Involved in Extracurricular Activities

By Klara Kang

You have probably heard it many times since you came to college but I will remind you anyway: You need to get involved in extracurricular activities on and off campus! Those of you who are already engaged in community service, great job – keep it up! Those of you who are not, I hope you will be inspired as you read on.


There are many reasons to volunteer or give back to the community. First of all, it will boost your resume and show your potential employers what you have achieved. In today’s world, with issues ranging from global warming to poverty, many companies are taking on the challenge of being socially responsible. Not only do they donate money to worthwhile causes, they also encourage and in some cases even require their employees to actively participate, whether it’s building homes with Habitat for Humanity, helping in a soup kitchen or volunteering in a hospital. That’s why you should get a head start, so when your dream interview comes you are ready to tell them all about your experience and set yourself apart from the other applicants. However, it’s not just your employers who look at your volunteer work. If you plan to transfer to a four year college, you’d better have a list of activities you took part in! Some colleges even require that you have at least one community work experience.

And let’s not forget another mighty reason – selfishness. That’s right; you may decide to take on a volunteer role for a purely selfish reason of feeling good about yourself. Helping others is a highly addictive activity. Once you start, it’s hard - if not impossible to break the habit. Why do you think Oprah is always doing something for others? She is addicted, she once admitted that herself. You may know that feeling already; you know - that warm feeling you have when you give a friend a gift they adore or when you give your seat to an old lady who just got on the crowded train. Why not take it to the next level and do something else?

There are so many organizations looking for volunteers and so many charities to choose from that the task of choosing something that fits you may become overwhelming. That is why you should first figure out what causes are you most passionate about and then find a way to help. Do you like helping others? Do you care about saving the environment? Do you like children? Are you a budding politician or economist? Those are some of the questions you should ask yourself to help narrow down the area of interest. The possibilities are endless: You can volunteer in a hospital, your religious organization, your school, your kids’ school, you can write letters to senators, you can join Greenpeace, you can do anything you want. Can’t choose or decide? Just randomly pick something and make a goal to dedicate a certain amount of time to the cause every week. Don’t be shy about offering your time to different organizations; they will be thrilled to have an extra set of hands.

And last but not least, PTK is always looking for students eager to lend a helping hand. You don’t even have to be a member; everyone gets a chance to participate in the many projects we organize throughout the year. So, drop by the office, post on the blog or e-mail us.

Still not sure how to start? Read the article (published in this section) “How I Got Hooked on Helping Others” which describes my own personal journey that led to discovering ways to give back to my community. I also want to hear stories and ideas from you, so we may publish them and provide inspiration for all students looking for a way to get involved.

5 comments:

  1. Melissa HollanderMay 14, 2010 at 4:51 PM

    Hi! I'm a bit late in posting this reply, but I just stumbled upon the blog while visting the Alpha Theta Phi page. My name is Melissa Hollander and I'm a first-semester criminal justice major. I've been attending college on-and-off since 2001 and while my educational journey has had many bumps in the road, it's been steady for the most part. The induction speeches on Wednesday were thoughtful and inspiring and I'm happy to help with projects that need to be done!

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  2. hi Melissa,
    Can you email me your contact info.

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  3. Hello,
    It is indeed true that everyone thinks they want to help and they do intend to do it, but they are so busy that they forget or they get lazy when it is real time to do something. I am confessing in-front of everyone that I am one of them and after reading this post, it has made me realize how much time I have wasted playing games and watching movies when I could have done something very small yet making a huge impact on someone else. Life is tough and when we have everything we need , we tend to loose the value of the small things. Spending 30 minutes a week in doing some volunteer work can make big a difference.
    I would like to participate in PTK and get some real work done.
    Prabish Rayamajhi

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  4. Hi Prabish,
    I first would like to welcome you on our blog. I am happy to hear that you have chosen PTK as the place to start making difference in your school and community. You have made a smart decision by standing and saying that you to do something for others. You know, something, saying you want to do something for others is not always enough to show people you intention. However, by taking action, people really see what you feel inside and what you have in mind. I have been through there, and I can assure you that you have taking your first step toward impacting your world by helping others. Stop by our office MB-46 to learn more about how to can start getting involved.

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  5. That was really a great post. I just want to add something. Recently I had a chance to talk with a chief engineer of MTA. I asked him why extra-curricular activities are important and why they boost up someone's resume. He told me that a GPA is important but we don't hire people to do homework or to get an A. We hire those people who have decent GPA and who has done extra-curricular activities. Because that shows that, that person has some communication/leadership/people skill's which is must to work in a company

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