Heading into my last year of high school, I’ve seen so many friends leave behind some of their longest lasting extracurriculars, add on some fun activities, and also give themselves the break they’ve always wished they could have. If you’re trying to figure out the best ways to spend free time as you deal with balancing college applications and school with real life, hopefully this will help you to prioritize and take on what really is right for you.
Stick with what you love.
If you’ve been doing something since freshman year (or longer) and can’t imagine your last year of high school without it, there’s no doubt you should stick with it. Having things you’ve cared about for a long time looks good to colleges, but another huge benefit here is having something you truly enjoy doing.
If you’re wanting to start a club related to an interest you’ve had for quite some time or take on a leadership role in a club or sport you’ve been involved in, go for it! Now’s the time to do things you’ve wanted to do and lead the activities you’ve grown to love in high school. Make sure, though, to keep note of how time consuming your activities may be and balance them out.
Leave behind what you don’t.
If you’ve done something the past three years, but aren’t really into it anymore, don’t sweat leaving it behind. If you’ve got other activities to keep you busy, or if you need more time and the club or sport is too time consuming, it’s not a big deal. There’s always something else. I’ve seen my own friends leave behind swimming or band just because they lost interest or wanted a different type of senior year, and that’s totally fine. Even though doing four years of something does look good, freedom feels good and gives you the chance to delve even deeper into other things that look good as well as being more important to you.
Keep it reasonable.
While it is common to hear about how being well rounded is really important, joining ten new clubs your senior year is probably going to make you more stressed than anything else. Like this article says, colleges value quality of your extracurriculars over quality, so opt for a few you really care about being involved in over a ton that you’re just using to look better.
Make sure you’re not overcommitting.
Manage your time well, leaving some days open so you can work on homework and college applications as well as having fun. Before you fully commit to a handful of clubs, I’ve found that writing them all out can help you to understand just how much time they’re taking up. When you read over your schedule and realize that you wouldn’t be getting home until 10:00 for most of the week, you may opt to continue doing those things or you may want to let a few go.
Every person’s different in how much they can handle, how much homework they do at home versus at school, and how they balance their weeks. Just be wary of overcommitting, especially when you’ve got so much to do and your last year of high school to enjoy.
Leave time for you.
While you may love all of your extracurriculars, make sure you leave time for yourself. Have fun during your last year of high school, both in the activities you choose to be involved in and in your everyday life at school and with friends. For a few ideas on how to enjoy yourself despite the stress, here’s a senior year bucket list perfect for making sure you’re smiling your way through the year.
Extracurriculars are meant to be fun ways to explore your interests, so don’t let them take over your life completely. By choosing wisely and making sure you really enjoy what you’re committing to, they won’t feel stressful, instead helping to take the stress of college and senior year away.
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