6 Extra-Curricular Activities You can Do And Why You Should

Dive in to find out the top 6 extra-curricular activities that you can do and know why they are so important to develop your capabilities.

“Extra-Curricular Activities”- the name itself manifests its nature. ECA broadly refers to activities outside your curriculum aka your normal academic education.

The range of extra-curricular activities or ECAs is truly huge but sadly not everything that you do apart from studying is considered an extra-curricular activity (Really hope that society considers sleeping an ECA someday).

So, what exactly can you do that will count as a good ECA? Let’s dive right in.

List of Extra-Curricular Activities

1. Volunteering

Put your hands up if you have been told as a first-year student that

আমরা Experienced কাউকে খুঁজছি। Sorry তোমাকে নিতে পারছি না।

However, volunteering is one sector where nobody asks for your credentials and experience. Your desire to work and your passion for the cause is the only criterion in volunteering. Thus, a large number of credible and student-run NGOs have surfaced in recent years.

Education, female empowerment, human rights, animal rights, fundraisers, aid groups, blood donation – the opportunities for you to contribute in are virtually endless. Each organization has its own belief. Find the one whose belief resonates with yours.

So, are you a person who wants to contribute to your society and your community while developing yourself? Do you feel a sense of pride and accomplishment in doing good in the world? Are you ready to get out of your comfort zone and go the extra mile?

If you are, we have gathered a list of NGOs that you can apply to.

NameCauseApplication Link
JAAGO FoundationPovertyjaago
Volunteer for BangladeshMiscellaneousvbd.com.bd
UNSYABYouth developmentunsyab
UN VolunteersMiscellaneousunvolunteers
Plan InternationalChildren Educationplaninternational
Project KombolAidprojectkombol
JhilimiliChildren educationjhilimili.org/
ProjectDebiFemale rightsprojectdebi
Speaking AnimalsAnimal Rightsspeakinganimals
BD Red Crescent SocietyBlood Donationbdrcs.org/
hands illustration

Want a more comprehensive list and more details on how to kickstart a social organization? Read here about everything you need to know about volunteering.

2. Clubs and Forums

With the ECA culture on the rise, every university has major clubs now. You will most likely find a wide array of options for clubs in your educational institution to join. The most dominant ones fall under the following genres.

  • Business club
  • Science team
  • Cultural group
  • Book Club
  • Photography Club

If your institution doesn’t have the desired club, what’s stopping you from creating one? Besides, you can also join external clubs.

For instance, if you are fascinated about policies, you can join the Youth Policy Forum. Perhaps, you love to work on language. In that case, you can apply to be a part of the Bangladesh Language Forum. Love reading books? Join the Litmosphere™️ team. The bottom line is that you can find just about any club tailored to your preferences.

Although the extra-curricular activities in these clubs and forums will vary, some functions such as organizing events, discussions, and workshops are usually common everywhere.

3. Competitions

I still remember what Mr. Shehzad Munim, Managing Director of BAT Bangladesh, said in the ice-breaking session at Battle of Minds 2019.

If I had to judge students from all over the world on the basis of a competitive mindset, I would put Bangladeshi students at the top.

Mr. Shehzad Munim

We are truly competitive, aren’t we? That’s why we see new competitions, olympiads, and events springing up literally every day. These competitions are great learning platforms. Moreover, competing with your peers, and finally winning does feel great.

However, do all competitions carry the same weight? Which competitions are better optimized for learning? On top of that, how do you get started? If your head is buzzing with all these questions, read our other blog on student-life competitions.

4. Part-time Jobs

Obviously, you cannot land on a full-time job, unless it is your startup (congratulations!). However, most small and medium businesses are usually keen on employing students on a part-time basis.

Hence, plenty of part-time jobs and internships are waiting for you (only if you know where to look).

The best way of learning about anything is by doing.

richard branson

How to search for student-jobs and ultimately get employed is a whole new discussion we have reserved for another blog. Nonetheless, here is a pro-tip.

Join different internship-based groups on Facebook and remain active on Linkedin to find new jobs.

linkedin logo

Click here to read more on how you can use LinkedIn in your student life to kickstart your career.

 On another note, if you want to earn some quick bucks whilst not making big commitments, you can even bid for small gigs on platforms such as Fiverr and Freelancer.com. Confused on how to get started? Don’t worry! We have it covered for you.

5. Art & Creativity

Art is diverse. It is open. You appreciate art because it brings out the human in you. Art is your final resort during distress. Hence, we have seen people engaging in and sharing different forms of art on social media since the lockdown started.

So, what are some of the art sectors that you can explore, and how to channel them to leverage your career?

For example, you can focus on literature such as writing poetry, fiction, or dramas. Doing so will solidify your foundation in writing and ultimately, give you a headstart in the content writing industry.

Perhaps, you are more interested in dance, music, and theatre performance. Expertise in these art sectors naturally boosts your crowd confidence and enhances your presentation skills.

Or you might enjoy doing visual arts such as drawing, painting, and sketching. In fact, most graphic designers I know started their careers by simply doodling on paper.

For example, Ahmed Hasan, still a student at IBA in his 20s, already started his career as a professional designer. How? His early passion for drawing and photography led him to invest more in graphic design. Boom! An extremely talented full-stack designer was thus born.

ahmed hasan baky
Ahmed hasan baky on behance

Even if you don’t become a professional, it’s absolutely alright. We just showed you that it’s possible.

6. Sports

Usually, team-based sports are prioritized while assessing a student or a job candidate. Why? The answer is pretty straightforward. Because you subconsciously learn the fundamentals of teamwork.

The most popular games in Bangladesh that you can participate in are football, cricket, basketball, and volleyball. Most major institutions have the required facilities for these sports. If you are good enough, you will probably end up being the captain of one or more such teams.

The confidence that you will earn or the emotions that will run through your veins from leading a sports team is simply priceless. Sorry that we could not put the feelings into words.

Moreover, you can also go solo in games such as table tennis, swimming, running, weightlifting, karate, etc. We don’t wish to sound too opportunistic. Nonetheless, here is a fun fact if you are still not convinced.

DID YOU KNOW?
Jahangirnagar University has a sports quota for admission-seeking students?

This is a good enough reason for most people to get started in sports.

Finally, whatever extra-curricular activities you wish to take part in, just keep this in mind.

Explore different extra-curricular activities but stick to the ones that you are genuinely passionate about.

Before we move on to why ECAs are so important, here’s a fun question: Is video gaming considered an extra-curricular activity?

But I promise you that you’ll find the answer if you stick with us a little more buddy!

Why You Should Participate in Extra-Curricular Activities

To develop new skills

 There are some skills that you can never acquire through books. Skills such as time management, teamwork, stress management, leadership, and strategic planning become your second nature when you are heavily involved in extra-curricular activities. 

Trust me! These invaluable skills will guide you throughout your life and help you stand apart from your peers.

To get better grades

Wait what! Didn’t we always hear that extra-curricular activities hamper your studies? Well, the National Center for Education Statistics of USA disagrees.

The researchers found that students who participated in ECAs actually performed better in academics. How do we explain this?

Imagine you are the captain of your school basketball team. The ball is in your hands. Only a minute left to the buzzer. You are left behind with two points. At this point, you must strategize, exert leadership, and manage time, all the while maintaining your composure under an unbelievable crowd pressure. 

So, the next time when everyone will be stressing out in the exams, you will glide your way to better grades riding on the skills that you developed on the basketball court.

Don’t believe us? Just Do It.

To find your purpose

What is your purpose in your life?
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Why do you do what you do?

Pardon the rhetoric. However, it is likely that you have not yet found the answers to these questions (it’s completely understandable). In that case, you might consider resorting to extra-curricular activities. Many people I know personally found their purpose through ECAs.

The seemingly unimportant event that you volunteered for may end up offering you unfelt mental peace. You might even get tempted enough to turn your passion into a profession. To prove that these are not mere motivational words, we present to you the story of Sajid Khandaker.

Sajid finished his debating career as the Best Speaker of Asia in 2017. He was also a part of the highest-ranked South Asian team (11th) at the World Universities Debating Championship in the history of the competition.

Later on, he found his true purpose in debate, and co-founded Next Level Debating, a quality debate coaching centre, the first of its kind, in Bangladesh.

To meet new people

This is a no-brainer. Through ECAs, you join different clubs and forums. These clubs are the breeding grounds for friendship and community feelings.

Moreover, meeting up with people from diverse backgrounds give you newer perspectives. Soon you start to appreciate the differences and the uniqueness of people. You become more open-minded and empathetic.

In a nutshell, clubs and forums work as ideal platforms for you to meet new people and hopefully, make new friends.

To have proof of your competence

Your extra-curricular activities help you to highlight your capabilities. For instance, your being the president of a club indicates that you possess leadership qualities. Your winning a business competition shows that you have critical thinking ability.

Hence, ECA works as social proofs or indicators of your skills and experience. It shows that you have a passion for learning. Having them on your resume is likely to convince your recruiter that you are worthy of the dream job you’re applying for.

Here’s some more insights on ECA from Farhan Karim, Management Trainee – HR at Reckitt Benckiser:

So according to me, the mechanism behind ECAs is that recruiters want candidates to have few specific experiences/ developed traits that are considered as practical/ real-life skills and that ECAs are one of the ways to develop these skills.
These are: 1) Teamwork 2) Multi-tasking 3) Managing multiple deadlines through effective time management 4) Leadership 5) Critical thinking”

FArhan karim

Ending Notes

Now you know what extra-curricular activities you need to do, and why you should. But before we end, I must keep my promise. So, here’s the answer.

You can actually consider video gaming as an extra-curricular activity based on the context. For instance, if you play by yourself or with friends as a past time, then NO. It does not fall under the definition of ECA.

However, if you lead a gaming team to victory in a big-scale tournament, then YES! Gaming will most likely be considered a worthy extra-curricular activity. So, why the discrepancy?

In the first case, no proof exists of whether gaming really developed your skills. Contrarily, in the latter one, you have concrete proof of teamwork and strategic planning (desired soft skills), and hence you won.

Now we can finally end.
Best of luck with your extra-curricular endeavors, my friend!

*Wow, that rhymed*

P.S This is only the first article of the blog series on extra-curricular activities. Be sure to read other articles to gain insights on each activity in detail.