One of the greatest aspects of college is the diversity present on campus. I know it probably sounds cliché, but in reality, it is so true. With students from all around the country and world, with an expansive range of interests, you are guaranteed to find a group or organization that aligns with your passions. Not only are extracurricular a great way to express yourself, they can be great in forming friendships with your classmates and even learning practical skills that will help develop your career.

For myself, I tend to focus on my academics first, but still enjoy my experiences outside of the classroom. In my time at university, I have found that almost everyone has played, or still plays, a musical instrument. Joining an orchestra or chamber group would be a great way to continue making music. If no opportunities exist, this situation could allow you to pioneer a new student group, making you a leader on campus. Employers love to see creative candidates because they share a different style of thinking, so you could even throw musical participation on your resume. I have always had a passion for music, so I am taking lessons, playing in orchestra and a string quartet, along with taking music related classes.

Sports are another great way to make social connects – and exercise at the same time! If you are not 6’5”, 260 lbs. with 1.5{53c6eff5ce19621f7316832cfedf08caab022021f1679c62c3f44b8900ceaf72} body fat, they you are probably not a recruited athlete… but that does not mean you can’t enjoy kicking around a ball. I found that intramurals were the best way to enjoy myself – you can come and play when you like, without judgement. If you are looking for more of a challenge, but do not want to commit to regular practices, you could look into pick-up groups – there are always enthusiastic people willing to play.

Finally, academic groups are great in that they help you learn new skills related to your field of interest, and create connections that could potentially be very helpful in the future. Research is a great way to get inspired about the most inspiring aspects of a given field, and there are always professors or faculty, and even students, that will be needing help in this pursuit. One of my professors suggested I join a design team, where I am working with upperclassmen in creating a legitimate project. I still feel self-conscious because I am incompetent in comparison to them, but I have learned a great deal and have had fun doing so.

Overall, it is pretty difficult to maintain balance in all aspects of your life. It isn’t an exact science, and you will find out, as I have, how things work and how they don’t. What is most important is to always enjoy yourself and keep your goals in line.