Your personal interests and values associated with your activities will impact your college and career choices.
The next step of your self-assessment, after you have evaluated your academic skills, is to review your extracurricular activities. Discovering what you like to do outside the classroom can help you explore areas of study for college that coordinate with your academic skills. We've also included a section for you to consider how your personal beliefs and opinions can affect your education and career goals.
Extracurricular Activities and Your Education
While a lot of your decisions about college and your career are based around grades, money and future goals, it’s important to remember that personal interests and values associated with these activities will also impact both your college and career choices.
Your extracurricular activities are an excellent indicator of your interests and talents outside of the classroom. Plus, these activities, clubs and sports often guide your development in ways that classes can’t; they teach you leadership skills, teamwork and build confidence.
Extracurricular Activities Self-Assessment Questions:
- Do you participate in extracurricular activities?
- What are your extracurricular activities? (List all)
- Do you hold a leadership position in any of your extracurricular activities (Examples: captain, president, chairperson, etc.)?
- Which activities do you enjoy the most?
- Are there activities you’d like to try and haven’t yet? What are they?
- If not, what type of leadership position would you want?
- What are some jobs that could relate to some of your activities? (List all)
- Now consider what you'd have to study in order to succeed in those careers? (List all)
- What type of degrees will you need for each option?
- Now consider which programs interest you most based on your academic skills. What are they?
- Are there colleges that have well-known programs for those majors? (List all)
- Which schools with these programs are appealing to you based on their location and cost?
- Are there classes at your high school that you can take to help you see if you like these areas of study? If so, which ones?
How Your Personal Beliefs Affect Your College and Career Choices
In addition to extracurricular activities there are things in your life that you feel very strongly about such as religion, politics, or civil rights, and you’ll want to factor these things into your college decision, too. Some colleges have a higher ratio of students with specific political interests -- some schools are largely conservative, while others can be much more liberal. These traits can largely affect your college social life, so ensuring you choose a school that fits in with your beliefs is important.
For example, if you are eco-conscious in all aspects of your life, you might want to work in a green career, major in sustainability or green technology, or attend an environmentally-friendly college.
Location is another important factor to consider when thinking about your future. If you want to stay near your family, you need to consider the industries that thrive in that area. You wouldn’t want to major in a subject that would lead to a career that is not available in your ideal location.
While being near your family may or may not be essential, your social life will be. Consider the full-scope of your personal preferences, opinions, social life, etc.
Personal Beliefs & Opinions Self-Assessment:
- Are you religious? If so, will religion be part of your education?
- Do you have strong political views? What are they?
- Is it important for you to attend school with similar beliefs? Which ones?
- Do you identify with a specific racial or ethnic community?
- What are some of your lifestyle-choices that are unique to you?
- Do you identify with the LGBT community? If so, do you want a strong LGBT community on campus?
- What are some phrases that you would use to describe your social life?
- Would you rather go to college with people you know or get a fresh start?
- Do you enjoy being a part of groups, clubs or other organizations?
- Do you want to participate in Greek life?
- Are you involved in your home community?
- Do you want to stay close to home or experience a new city?
- Do you have any special needs such as wheel chair use?
If there are any other items not covered here, be sure to write some notes for yourself and save it with these responses for your other college planning needs.