By: Contributor On: September 26, 2011 In: On Campus, Starting College, Student Life Comments: 0

Extracurricular activities in college go beyond the usual high school student groups, such as yearbook, French Club and orchestra.

While activities such as these certainly have their merits, college student groups are much more diverse and open doors to all sorts of new pursuits, giving you the opportunity to broaden your outlook and find that perfect niche. Not only do extracurricular activities provide you with a way to pass your time, they provide you with the opportunity to learn new things, make new friends and find the basis for your social life on campus.

What we’ve listed below are just a few of the interesting extracurricular activities you can expect to find on your college campus. Hopefully you can find one (or more!) that sparks your interest and inspires you to pursue a passion you may not have even known you had.

A Cappella Groups

A cappella, which in Italian means “in the manner of the chapel,” refers to singing that is done without the aid of instrumental accompaniment. A cappella groups have become a hugely popular extracurricular activity on many college campuses. Go to any college and you are likely to find a wide array of a cappella groups, from coed to single sex, singing a variety of music from top 40 to traditional Jewish folksongs, Broadway showtunes, and country standards.

With their popularity, only further accentuated by the emergence of “Glee” and”Pitch Perfect,” competition to get into a cappella groups can be quite stiff. But don’t let that discourage you. A cappella groups accept members from all walks of life – and all majors. In most college a cappella groups, it is not unusual to find business, chemistry and political science majors mixed in with the more expected theatre and music majors.

Intramural Sports

Even if you were always picked last in childhood kickball games and wouldn’t stand a chance at making the school basketball team, thanks to intramurals you can still play organized sports in college. Intramural sports teams allow you to have all the fun of playing a game of basketball, soccer or hockey without any of the pressure that comes with being on a school varsity team.

While there is still a competitive aspect to intramurals, as they often compete in leagues, it is essentially just for fun and there is nothing really riding on whether you win or lose. It’s just a chance to get some exercise (which you’ll need if you’re to avoid the dreaded Freshman 15!) and have a good time with your friends.

Fraternities and Sororities

Even if the prospect of joining a fraternity or sorority may not initially seem like your cup of tea, don’t write it off just yet. Greek life on college campuses these days can be markedly different from what you may have seen portrayed in movies such as Animal House.

Many fraternities and sororities are dedicated to charitable pursuits, encouraging their members to get involved in all sorts of interesting community service activities. There are also a number of Greek organizations dedicated to specific ethnic, religious, social and academic groups, so joining one of these houses is a great way to meet other students with interests and/or backgrounds that are similar to yours.

Pre-professional Groups

Another interesting extracurricular activity to consider getting involved in on campus is a group for students interested in pursuing a career in a specific field, such as law, medicine or business. These groups are great ways not only to meet students with similar interests, but also to learn more about whatever field you are considering pursuing in a more relaxed atmosphere outside of the classroom.

Furthermore, pre-professional groups are a great way to get a head start on networking. The fact that the people you meet here are forward thinking and driven enough to join such a group in the first place means they are likely to go on to become influential, successful figures in their respective fields. So if you can count them as friends now, that might mean a better chance at landing a great job in the future.

Improv/Sketch Comedy

Though most high schools’ extracurricular activities for the dramatically-inclined are limited to drama club and glee club, many college campuses offer more diverse opportunities to shine onstage. For those looking to hone their funny bone, improv and sketch comedy groups are great options.

Whether you thrive on the thrill of improvisational comedy (think “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”) or prefer more scripted, situational comedy (think “SNL”), college comedy troupes are wonderful opportunities to find your funny, gain more confidence performing in front of an audience and refine your ability to think on the spot. Who knows, you may even meet the next big star of comedy!

Try Something New!

This is just a small sampling of the extracurricular activities available on college campuses across the country. The key is to try something new and unique. Colleges boast a smorgasbord of extracurricular activities and groups to please even the most seemingly bizarre and obscure tastes of students, so why settle for the ordinary?

Each school has its own unique variety of extracurricular activities, so rather than settle for the same clubs you joined in high school, be that the debate team, drama club or cheerleading squad, find a group devoted to something that intrigues you, like radio broadcasting, sign language or underwater basket weaving, and expand your horizons. After all, isn’t that what college is all about?

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