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When high school students are getting ready to apply for colleges they are consistently reminded about the importance of extracurriculars. In order to distinguish themselves from the countless other applicants, it takes more than perfect grades and impressive SAT scores. For many college hopefuls, it’s a numbers game, trying to cram as much additional flair onto a college resume as possible. This might be in the form of a team sport, school club or band, or helping the community. In today’s more woke society, it’s even more appealing than ever to seek gratification from improving others’ lives and helping the planet.

Contrary to popular opinion, this doesn’t end once you’ve been admitted to college. You will be judged just as harshly, if not harder, upon graduating. Potential employers will want to see how you spent your formative academic years as compared to your peers. The more you can demonstrate a true consideration of others, despite the industry you hope to enter, the more attractive you will seem as a job prospect. Authenticity is the key, however. As cliché as it might sound, finding a cause you truly believe in will give you a sense of purpose, while also making the world a better place. 

From a more practical standpoint, participating in community service will improve life skills like problem-solving, time management, and team leadership. The world classroom is a great way to use what you’ve learned in a lecture and apply it to actual interactions with other people. The added benefit of doing this while still in college means it works the other way as well – you can bring your lessons learned back into the classroom in order to fine-tune issues or ask more questions. In a sense, it’s like a dress rehearsal for the real world, but with a safety net. 

Volunteering enables you to meet many people from all walks of life. As we get older, we learn how small the world really is. This is especially true within certain industry bubbles. You can never network with too many people, especially if you leave positive impressions. Connections made during college can very easily lead to job prospects down the road based on flattering word-of-mouth.