The Extracurricular Loophole: Getting Involved Without Being Involved

Employers want to see a well-rounded graduate, but you’re not really the outgoing type. Here’s how to game the extracurricular requirement.

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Employers want to see a well-rounded graduate, but you’re not really the outgoing type. Here’s how to game the extracurricular requirement.

The Extracurricular Loophole: How to Get Involved Without Being Involved

How to Stay Away and Still Get the Resume

Employers want to see a well-rounded graduate, but you’re not really the outgoing type. Here’s how to game the extracurricular requirement.

By Olivia W. McCoy, University of Georgia


Why is it that good grades never seem to be enough?

I mean, we go to school to learn, so shouldn’t our scholastic performance be what represents our academic careers?

It should be, but APPARENTLY emerging from four ass-kicking, dream mutilating years of all-nighters and procrastinated projects with a (relatively) decent GPA doesn’t mean anything if you can’t say that you changed the world in some way.

Let me ask this: WHO THE HELL DO THESE PEOPLE—grad school admissions, employers, internship professionals, intentionally avoided family members—THINK WE ARE? We’re just one person, and that one person, believe it or not, is not the Superman reincarnate.

So before I get carried away on this rant—and believe me I could, for much longer than you’d be willing to read this article—let me tell you that there are a few easy ways to avoid killing yourself with extracurriculars that will fool any potential employer or intrusive aunt.

The Traps

Groups that destroy your dignity.

In general, avoid any student group that risks annihilating that last bit of civility and goodwill you had left over after finals.

Tell me, what was your experience like the last time you walked past the student center? Were you too mauled by pamphlets, group paraphernalia and the pandemonium that comes with student groups canvassing? Ironically, these advertisements probably failed to raise your awareness of issues, just as emphatically as they failed to enlist you to their cause—or maybe that’s just me and my heartless existence.

But here at the University of Georgia, I know that it’s considered a major triumph to pass through Tate without receiving brochures of any kind or being pressured into adding your name to a maniacal mailing list. Honestly, it’s a goddamned mine field in there, and to get through unscathed requires a great deal of determination and apathy. We have lost many a freshman to that building.

Don’t become one of those people. Please have mercy. No matter how good it looks on your resume, dignity can never be regained.

Anything that requires fundraising.

It’s one thing to sell donuts for a dollar outside of freshman dorms teeming with starving youths—tip: the freshman are ALWAYS the easiest targets—but it’s another to pressure your parents, pets, pals and any other person with whom you have a relationship into donating their cash to a cause that they couldn’t care less about.

I mean honestly, they don’t like giving any more than you like demanding, and fundraising is like selling your soul to the Devil—you may get some sort of instant gratification, but it will undoubtedly backfire and wreck your life in ways you never thought possible.

In other words, the only thing fundraising guarantees is that you will lose everyone you love.

The only positive that comes from extorting your loved ones is that at least the student center gets another human aid organization to support: your sad, soulless, friendless life.

Tragic, I know.

Valueless extracurriculars.

Between the classes and the hellraising and the losing your will to live, you have very little time left to donate to anything. You have to stay strong and be careful with how you spend your time and money.

The easiest way to get involved is just to find a social club you don’t hate and hook up with them, but future bosses will have little interest in your geeky side and odd interests.

Yes, you’ll be involved, yes you’ll have friends and yes these clubs say wonderful things about you as a person, but they just won’t impress graduate school admissions. Trust me, I’ve asked.

The Loophole

Are you ready for the one thing that will save your somewhat sad but still vibrant college existence? Here it goes:

Associations.

Yes, my friend, associations! Associations are the protectors of aspirations. They are the friend of all introverts alike, the ecstasy of academia and the shortcut to looking well-rounded.

Here’s why.

By joining an association, say the Undergraduate English Association as an example (see how impressive that sounds? *wink wink nudge nudge*), then the most you have to invest is the time it takes to fill out the application, an hour a month—if even that—and a few bucks.

Go in, sit in the back, fall asleep if there’s a big enough population and voila, you’re good to go.

Associations always have professional and impressive sounding names, but never require much of anything from anyone. It’s perfect. Every wallflower’s dream.

Even better, find a nascent association, something that’s only been around a little while. The younger the better. In fact, keep your eye open for the words “Presenting” or “Welcome” next to their flawless phonetic conglomeration. Once again, slither in from the back, find a nice shady corner and curl up with a book or your phone. Because you’ve attended the first meeting and turned in the application, you can now say that you’re a founding member. Yes, it’s actually that easy.

There are even associations that apply to your interests, which means you might not even mind attending some of their events. I have a friend that legitimately enjoys the calculus competitions his group sets up. Don’t worry, I don’t understand it either. But to each their own.

By utilizing associations, we loners and homebodies don’t have to be afraid of that word we loathe so seriously—involvement. We can be free to sign on somewhere and graciously stay home and recharge. With associations in our lives, we can now stand a chance against our outgoing, extroverted counterparts. For the first time, the world is our oyster.

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