Our students have just finished choosing their extracurricular activities (ECAs) and will be starting their clubs and activities next week. ECAs are exciting as they bring a different side to the academic school day, adding fun, exercise and hopefully a new set of skills.
For most students, ECAs are meaningful because they are a way to explore new avenues of interests, while also making new friends and like-minded acquaintances. However, from the perspective of university applications, the role of ECAs is to bring credibility to an application, either as supporting evidence of a claimed passion or showing the applicant’s engagement beyond the academic programme.
Common pitfalls, however, are to superficially engage in an overly wide range of ECAs or to participate in an event or organisation merely to collect titles and extend the activities list. While exploration and recognition of achievement are both valuable, students do need to reflect on their involvement and filter out those that lack depth of engagement and genuine interest.
As the University Guidance Counsellor, I urge students to approach their chosen ECAs with a view of learning and creating, whilst of course still focusing on the fun part. For our IB students, this is also a fantastic chance to start a (not yet existent) club or ECAs in order to add quality to their future plans and support their university applications.
But for now, I wish all our students a lot of fun engaging in their chosen ECAs!