This article was written by Sara Salman, Year 12
As certain courses become more competitive, volunteer work or extracurricular activities hold immense importance, especially for university-bound individuals. In this day and age, not only does volunteering and extracurricular activities serve as a bridge between classroom learning and real-world application, it also makes you stand out amongst a mass of other applicants who are competing for one position. One that should be yours.
Before we explore different volunteer and extracurricular opportunities (specifically in KCD), let's first understand why engaging in volunteer work and extracurricular activities is so essential for our future:
1. Personal Growth: Volunteering and participating in extracurricular activities offer a chance to develop valuable life skills which are beneficial when you go to university or even apply to a job! These experiences help build confidence, improve one’s communication skills and foster critical thinking and problem-solving skills in dire times.
3. Career Development: Extracurricular / volunteer work will help you stand out. Imagine a mass, a herd of people with the same hair, features and outfit. They all simply look, well, the same. However, you take the step to change your appearance, perhaps start with changing the colour of your shirt. You would immediately stand out. Perhaps that is not the best example because volunteer work wouldn’t consist of changing a shirt but many employers and universities value volunteer and extracurricular experiences. These activities demonstrate commitment, dedication, and a willingness to go above and beyond which makes you much more appealing!
4. Explore your world of Interests: Extracurricular activities allow individuals to explore their passions and interests beyond the classroom. You could learn more about your favourite hobbies or explore through new ones! It can help clarify career goals and provide a sense of purpose.
Now… do you want to gain some volunteer or extracurricular experience? If so... here are some general opportunities that you can dive straight into at KCD!
Sports Teams: If you enjoy a certain sport like basketball, volleyball, netball and more, then join the sports team! Being a part of a sports team helps to enhance one of the most important values and skills, some of which are:
Teamwork: it teaches teamwork, cooperation and communication skills which is valued in a working environment.
Time Management: By joining a sports team you can learn to balance academics with sports commitments. Time management is important everywhere - in schools, universities, and workplaces!
Leadership: opportunities to take on leadership roles within a sports team can come up anytime! If you would like, join a leadership position for your sports team!
Helping Teachers: Helping teachers is really important to develop certain relationships with teachers and students which helps with communication skills but it could also reflect upon your volunteer time! Currently, teachers are looking for students who could help them create and design boards in hallways!
By helping teachers you can learn from their expertise!
You would develop a strong work ethic, responsibility and attention to detail.
You would build strong relationships with teachers which is great for future recommendations!
You would also feel a sense of contribution to the KCD community.
MUN (Model United Nations): There are many ECA’s available in KCD, one of them is MUN. Model United Nations is quite a fun activity to spend your time and you can gain valuable experience and communication skills that would for sure improve your CV! In fact, at KCD, there are many opportunities available for KCD, not only as a delegate but also as a chair, moderator, secretary or even a position in the executive leadership team! And guess what, you can gain hours, represent your own country and just enjoy your time debating! The benefits of joining MUN are as follows:
Critical thinking: MUN often involves debates and discussions which promotes critical thinking!
Research: In MUN, students are encouraged to research and gain information-gathering abilities.
Public speaking: MUN is based around debating for your own country. This will really improve one’s public speaking and presentation skills whilst also increasing one’s awareness of global issues and international relations!
Competitions (school-based, English Lit Festival, etc): There are many competitions available, not only in terms of English but there are many art competitions being held as well! Why not increase your competitive spirit by joining a competition? As for the benefits, here they are:
Academic Excellence: Enhance academic skills, particularly in writing and literature.
Creativity: Explore different styles of writing or drawing and more!
Confidence: Fain confidence through your artistic abilities!
Recognition: Opportunities for recognition and awards will always present themselves! Who knows, you might win an award!
School Shows: Currently, there are many school show opportunities that you can participate in, whether you are part of the cast or working behind the scenes - with lights or makeup - it is all quite fun and an exciting opportunity to learn more about the world beyond the stage!
Fun: joining a drama show is just as fun as it sounds!
Creativity: Enhance your creative skills by presenting in a show!
Confidence: Many find it difficult to present in front of others but this is a chance to get ahead of your stage fright! You can do it!
Student Council or Leadership Roles: Every year there is an opportunity to become student council for your year group! You can gain experience as a leader, help your fellow students and better the school as well by suggesting improvements and being a representative for your year. There are also many leadership roles including being a Sports leader! As a leader, you would develop skills such as:
Leadership skills: By making decisions and problem-solving, be the best leader you can be!
Advocacy: An advocate for student concerns and driving a positive change within the school!
Organisational skills: learn how to plan events, organise and manage your time within school!
Community building: As a leader, you can build valuable skills by contributing to a positive school community and environment!
Of course, you could still participate in ECA’s and other volunteer teams - such as cleaning up Dubai beaches - outside of school as well!
Advantages of participating in these activities - whether you join within the school or not - include personal growth, skill development, enhanced academic performance, an improved CV with many college and career opportunities, increased self-confidence and more! Not to forget that extracurricular involvement can be enjoyable and fulfilling!
Will you join any ECA’s or volunteer teams this school year?