Discover is no longer accepting new student loan applications.
Applications received on or before January 31, 2024, 11:59 pm CT will be processed as usual.

Discover Student Loans
Discover Student Loans

check mark   Article highlights

  • Encourage your child to talk to friends, family, or professors to offer guidance for finding extracurriculars.
  • Connect with your child’s school resources to learn about various opportunities.
  • Help your child get involved by suggesting they attend club fairs and events during orientation.

From campus visits and applications to gathering supplies and helping on move-in day, parents of college-bound students are often involved in every step of college prep. And that involvement doesn't end after drop-off day. While schoolwork should obviously be the number one priority for students, participating in extracurricular activities can provide valuable, often hands-on, experiences. It's also an opportunity to make important social and professional connections that can last well past the college years.

Participate in Extracurricular Activities for College Students

There are some easy ways to help encourage your student into a life at school that comfortably includes both studying and extracurricular activities. Here are a few ideas.

1. Set them up with examples

If your child is headed to college soon or in their freshman year, you can introduce them to people who might better explain the advantages of extracurricular activities at college and how to go about finding good ones. Even watching older siblings go off to college and find activities they love can help encourage your child to get involved too.

Your child doesn't have to have older siblings to help guide them, though. Children of your own friends or colleagues who already participate in extracurriculars at their colleges can be equally as helpful. They can explain how to juggle school and extra activities and can make suggestions about how to get involved.

2. Encourage them to tap into their actual interests

It would be easy for your child to focus solely on the extracurriculars that they think potential future employees might look for—like working on the school paper if they're a journalism major. While there's nothing wrong with those types of activities, it’s important for your child to get creative and think outside the box.

Encourage your college student to talk to professors, coaches, or advisors about their hobbies to learn about related opportunities on campus. If certain organizations don’t already exist, try suggesting to your child to start their own club.

While many parents think they know their kid, using impartial personality assessment tests, like the Myers Briggs test, can help give your child a greater understanding of their interests and find the right activity for them.

3. Use school resources

Most colleges have family engagement departments that help parents navigate the tricky waters of watching their children go off to college. Some schools even send families information about student organization fairs and featured events.

If you don't hear directly from such a department at your child's college, a quick online search or call to the admissions department should help you find out whether something similar exists so that you can reach out yourself to see what resources are available.

4. Keep the conversation going

Even if your child seems reluctant to chat with you about their social life at school, don't give up. Discuss the benefits of participating in extracurricular activities with your child, including the connections they’ll make with other students who share the same interests. Without pushing too hard, make sure your student is aware of the types of opportunities available on campus and keep encouraging them to find things that appeal to them.

How helpful was this content?




More to Explore