Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Youth of El Dorado: Back to school tips — extracurricular activities

From page B2 | September 11, 2013 | Leave Comment


SARA WEIMER, Democrat photo by Shelly Thorene


Welcome to the Youth of El Dorado column, where teens and parents can gain information on local youth organizations, committees and clubs; sports; job and scholarship opportunities; youth spotlights and success stories; as well as information about local events for participants and/or volunteers.

The community now has a chance to hear and share what is going on in El Dorado County as well as allow youth to develop leadership skills, network, find new passions and join communal activities that they may not otherwise know about.

Every second Wednesday of the month, look for Youth of El Dorado and its month’s theme to learn more about what is happening in your community.

Have something interesting you want to see in Youth of El Dorado? Submit your stories or suggestions to


The school year is in full-swing and it’s time to start the year off right.

Have you considered joining an extracurricular activity either at your school or around the county?

Now is the perfect time to join a club, organization, sport, music, debate or even begin lessons on something you’ve always wanted to learn.

Being part of extracurricular activities offers opportunities to learn the values of teamwork, individual and group responsibility, physical strength and endurance, competition, diversity, and a sense of culture and community.

A study completed by the Occupational Quarterly Outlook found that by joining an extracurricular activity, a student develops good time-management habits that carry over into schoolwork. This research suggests that students who join afterschool activities improve their academic performance as well as their work ethic.

If that isn’t motivating enough, a College Board study reveals that participants in extracurricular activities often achieve higher SAT scores due to the students’ increased skills in reasoning and problem-solving.

The College Board also recommends joining extracurricular activities because colleges and potential employers view these activities as more revealing of an individual rather than grades or recommendations.

Some skills that extracurricular activities can demonstrate to college admission offices or potential employers include time-management skills, ability to prioritize, motivation, responsibility and leadership qualities. These qualities can help set you apart from the crowd and give you many advantages that others may not have.

When searching for extracurricular activities it is important to look for activities based on your interest and then consider the maximum benefits from each activity.

Remember that you should weigh the potential conflicts those activities would have without other demands of your time. Will it take time away from your family? Will it cause too many burdens? How will it influence you?

Consider all of these questions as well as others that you may have thought of yourself.

After considering all aspects of an extracurricular activity and it seems like it will work, join.

Do not spend too much time considering whether to join or not: the sooner you join, the sooner you can get acclimated to the goals and processes of the activity.

If you wish to join an extracurricular activity that requires an application and interview process, it is important to remember to stay organized and professional. Always remember to turn your application in on time and make sure it is neat and complete.

When you reach the interview process, it is recommended that you research the organization, club, or commission you want to join prior to the interview so that you can gain as much knowledge as possible.

When it comes to interview attire, try to wear business casual clothing such as slacks, blouses and button-ups. Remember, you want to look presentable and professional.

How you dress may play a big part in how interviewers perceive you so do not wear anything that is too revealing and stick towards a more modest and mature fashion.

Most importantly, don’t be nervous. Stay calm, collected and confident.

Now that you’ve learned some helpful tips on successfully joining an extracurricular activity, it’s time to go out and search. Check with your school’s counseling office, career center and teachers, as well as keep an eye out for fliers and announcements about extracurricular activities at or near your school.

For activities outside of school, check the El Dorado County Website, search the Web, and look for newspaper articles.

May your year be filled with many memories, good grades and extracurricular activities.

Brandon Anicich


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