A Few Key Areas to Focus on During Your Undergrad – Other Than Grades!

Being an undergraduate student can definitely be stressful. It is not uncommon for a student to be completely unsure of what program they wish to study, not to mention which career path they hope to tackle. Simply having your major figured out isn’t the solution to all your problems, however. As the years fly by and graduation approaches, there are many potential directions one can take. For some, grad school is a good option. Others may apply for various professional schools such as medical school or law school, while some others may find luck securing a full-time job after graduation. While the routes are endless, it is always a good idea to keep your options open through bolstering your academic and extracurricular skills simultaneously. Below are a few strategies to strengthen your personal assets in addition to your academic achievement.

1.     Complete meaningful volunteer work

It doesn’t matter which avenue you are planning on taking after your degree; volunteering looks good on any application. A commitment to volunteering while in university shows that you are interested in benefiting your community, have critical time-management skills, and possess enough motivation to partake in multiple endeavours at once. Also, while volunteer work looks great on your resume, it is also personally rewarding to dedicate time to benefit those around you.

2.     Try to secure a TA or RA position

Though many schools only offer teaching assistantships to graduate students, some first-year courses allow for high-achieving undergrads to TA as well. This is a great opportunity to make money in an academic setting and work closely with a professor. Getting to know a professor in a smaller-scale environment also increases your chances of earning a glowing reference letter if one is required – another incentive. Research assistantship is another great avenue to boost your extracurricular experience. Being an RA typically involves working with graduate students or faculty to advance studies taking place in a certain field. This is a great chance to put your academic knowledge to work, and prove you have applicable skills when it comes time to applying for future opportunities.

3.     Don’t drop your hobbies

Somewhere along the way, most of us fall under the impression that grades and school are supposed to matter more than any other aspect of life. While keeping up your GPA is pivotal to achieving the level of success you dream of, there is more to life than school. Though it can be difficult, carving out time for a social life and maintaining hobbies such as painting, hockey, or jogging will do wonders at keeping your mental health in check. Hobbies are great to keep your life balanced, and they also show potential employers that there is more to you than what first appears on your resume or transcript.

The transition between youth and adulthood is a time filled with major change, and it often requires meticulous planning to afford for the fewest speed bumps possible. Unfortunately, once you have accomplished the major feat of earning a bachelor’s degree, your life’s work is just beginning. By trying your hardest to maintain a balanced and involved life both in and outside of the classroom, you may have an easier time down the road when it comes to job applications or graduate/professional school considerations.