As students progress to different levels in their academic careers, it is important to make them cognizant of their growing responsibilities and to instill the ideas of time-management, networking, and personal growth, among many others. A strong foundation in mathematics prepares students for the world by emphasizing punctuality for lessons, the importance of speed in mathematics, and loving what you partake in (having love for what you do). These competencies are going to be very important in your life, and a student’s involvement in extracurricular activities and local volunteering opportunities will help develop these skills, which have significant applications both inside and outside of the classroom.
Before getting started, there are a number of small things you can do to help your time management in the long-run. Having an agenda is an essential tool for time management success as it allows to keep track of school assignments, family events, and other obligations to meet priorities (We highly recommend purchasing an agenda to keep track of school assignments, family events, and your other obligations with relative ease). An agenda also provides an excellent visual representation, so you can make faster decisions on scheduling with a simple look at your agenda. If that isn’t your speed, and you’re perpetually busy, keep some sticky notes on things you check regularly; your refrigerator, your desktop, or the inside of your locker; they might not provide a visual representation, but they provide a sense of urgency and location.
For many students, involvement in extracurriculars and volunteering opportunities will determine whether they are accepted into the programs of their choice. Volunteering becomes an important part of your life once you enter high school, where a minimum of 40 hours is required to receive your high school (diploma). Opportunities can range from executive assistance to independent projects, from a by-the-book environment like a school to an open space like the Annual Mississauga Marathon. You should try to find volunteering opportunities and extracurriculars in areas (trades) relevant to your career pathway: for example, if you want to be a doctor or a nurse, apply for a position at Trillium General Hospital, or an Aspiring Young Doctors club at your school! If you aren’t quite sure which pathway to embark on after post-secondary(trade), diversify the types of volunteering jobs you get and find what you’re comfortable with. In these extracurriculars and volunteering jobs, you will likely be interacting with a large group of people, giving you ample time to create relationships which could lead to a lifelong friend or a potential job opportunity down the line!
Volunteering at odd locations and joining extracurriculars which don’t necessarily align with your interests can be a great thing; if you were an aspiring engineer, try volunteering with your old middle school teacher, and you’ll gain an appreciation of what they were doing behind the scenes to help your learning, as well as receive advice or other opportunities which could be relevant to your career pathway. Have you wanted to develop better public speaking skills? Join your school’s debate team; you’ll understand the world around you even better and before you compete against other schools, you can debate with your peers in a casual, welcoming environment. Working outside of your comfort zone is where you can grow as a human being, and distinguish yourself from peers anywhere from the social circles you have at school to university applications! Most importantly, you have an opportunity to give back to your community, and what could be better than that?
So there you have it: volunteering and extracurriculars help you improve your time management, your academic career, and your growth as a person. Don’t wait to join the extracurriculars your school offers, and if you’re moving into high school, you can start as early as this summer to start getting your hours. The sky is the limit!
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