12 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 20, 1996
Students struggle to
balance class, activities
By Heather Miller
Daily Staff Reporter
With more than 600 campus organizations to choose
from, students have the opportunity to participate in activ-
ities ranging from the Alpine Ski Team to the Zoroastrian
While time spent in meetings and running around to
activities and events may keep students frazzled and
exhausted, it's worth the effort, most say.
"Learning happens outside the classroom just as much
as it happens inside," said Fiona Rose, Michigan Student
The benefits of getting involved extend beyond meet-
ings, friendships and even the University.
Students expressed diverse opinions about why they
chose to become involved in extracurricular activities and
the benefits they have gained.
"It's such a large university, and being involved in a
team or organization helps to make it smaller and more
personal, and you can have an impact on your environ-
ment," said Mira Sahney, president of the Society of
LSA sophomore Colleen Hoy also noted the effect
extracurricular activities have on making the University
"(Participating in extracurricular activities) makes the
University seem tons smaller," said Hoy, who is treasurer
of her sorority and a member of the University Activities
Council's Homecoming Committee. "I felt sort of lost just
Many students said they became involved in extracur-
ricular activities because they believe education is not
confined to the classroom.
Becca Coggins, LSA senior and president of the
Panhellenic Association, said her extracurricular activi-
ties have been a valuable experience.
"There's so much more you can learn outside the class-
room," she said.
Susan Wilson, Student Activities and Leadership direc-
tor, noted the importance of activities outside the classroom
in the academic experience. She said extracurricular activi-
ties are more correctly defined as co-curricular activities.
"(Co-curricular activities) are part in parcel with the
educational experience at U-M," Wilson said.
Larry Powell, president of the Interfraternity Council
and an Engineering senior, also said he believes extracur-
ricular activities and academics are intertwined.
"Being involved with extracurricular activities gives
me a greater focus on University life, which I feel tran-
scends directly to academic achievement," he said.
Students also expressed the desire to make an impact
on the University through their extracurricular experience.
"I wanted to make a difference," said Nicholas Kirk,
an LSA junior and president of the College Republicans.
He said that with the University's liberal reputation, he
wanted to give "life" to Republican views on campus.
"My decision to become involved with extracurricular
activities has really paid off," Kirk said.
With the wide range and large number of student groups
on campus, students may have difficulty picking one - or
even several. Judy Lawson, assistant director of experiential
learning services in the Office of Career Planning and
Placement, said students should look-
for a group that fits their own inter-
ests - not one that fits into a gradu- l woul
ate school application.
"Look for things that genuinely bored ff
interest you rather than do some-
thing because you think it's what to do wa
you're supposed to do," Lawson
said. - C
But extracurricular activities can Equestriar
also give students benefits that
extend beyond their undergraduate
While graduate schools stress the importance of strong
numerical credentials such as grade point averages and test
scores for prospective applicants, they also note the impor-
tance of involvement in extracurricular activities.
Katie Horne, director of admissions for the University's
Medical School, said that while a student's academic record
is typically the most important factor in deciding admis-
sions, "extracurricular activities are very important."
"It's so competitive that you have to have the academics
and the extracurricular activities," Home said.
JOE W\ESTRATE Day
SA sophomore Jake Derenthal studies on the Diag earlier this week. Taking advantage of uno
upied time is one of the keys of time management.
i F:h. a
yS 'Si.i '
c t _...
zr gar s ?
-'- x --s-
n s } h
What am I looking for
in an organization?
Do I primarily want to make
® Do I want to work on some-
thing I believe in?
Do I want to explore something
9 Should I be in a group that
relates to my major or career
S Do I want a real break from my
* Do I want to be of real service
to the campus or community?
* Do I want to make things hap-
* How much time do I have for an
U Are there financial considera-
l-'rwn Student Activities and
Leuders hip Ojice
I IV "
Ready to get out there and get
Then get to the Diag today
between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Many of the more than 600 cam-
pus student groups will have
information tables to recruit new
David Ardis, assistant director of admissions and student
services for the University's School of Business, said that
extracurricular activities can be bene-
ficial to students applying to the
1 be Master's of Business Administration
program, demonstrating that a student
I 1 had is well-rounded.
"Extracurricular activities help to
study. round out an applicant's application,"
Ardis said. "We want the smartest
rmela Kudyba people. The best people. But we also
:eam member want well-rounded people."
Lawson also said involvement in
campus activities is important for stu-
dents who are planning on applying to graduate schools.
"(Graduate schools) look for students who are energetic
and motivated," she said. "A reasonable amount of involve-
ment is very important."
She said students gain skills from their extracurricular
experiences that graduate schools value. Leadership, time
management, communication and teamwork skills are the
top benefits of being involved, she said.
However, admissions officials repeatedly stressed the
importance of academics.
"No amount of extracurricular activities overcomes a poor
academic record," said Dennis Shields, assistant dean and
director of admissions for the University's Law School. "A
student's primary concern should be to do well academically.
"If (students) are spending 35 hours overall on extracur-
ricular activities and 10 hours on studying, that is the wrong
balance. This should be reversed," he said.
Horne echoed Shields' opinion. "(Extracurricular activi-
ties) are one of six or seven important factors. The academ-
ic record is probably the most important," she said.
Extracurricular activities also help students who are look-
ing for employment after graduation.
"Employers very much value students who are active and
involved on campus," Lawson said.
She said employers are "skill-based" in their outlook.
"Skills are viably gained outside the classroom."
Wayne Millette, assistant director for leadership education
in the Student Activities and Leadership Office, also noted
the importance of extracurricular activities in the job market.
"Co-curricular activities give the student the ability to
build people skills," which he said is important in the job
market, especially for students hoping to hold management
Todd Garland, a first-year MBA student, said he partici-
pates in activities that directly relate to his career goals.
He participates in organizations such as the Marketing Club
and the Entrepreneurial Club "to hopefully better my career."
But most of the student leaders and student participants
on campus can neatly sum up their involvement exactly like
Carmela Kudyba, an LSA sophomore and member of the
"I would be bored if all I had to do was study."
FIVE STEPS To TIME-
1. SET REALISTIC GOALS
2. ASSESS HOW YOU CURRENTLY
USE YOUR TIME: CHECK FOR PAT-
TERNS OF TIME WASTING AND TIME
OF PEAK PRODUCTION LEVEL
3. ORGANIZE YOUR DAY WITH A
4. PRIORITIZE THAT LIST
5. INTEGRATE THE LIST INTO A
DAILY SCHEDULE. REMEMBER TO
SCHEDULE TIME FOR FUTURE TASKS,
SUCH AS EXAMS AND PAPERS.
CARRY SCHEDULE WITH YOU.
- From Student Activities and
Students' involvement enriches campus life.
By Heather Miller
Daily Staff Reporter
When there's a paper due for history class,
an exam in calculus and a lab report due for
chemistry class, 24 hours seems like not
enough time in the day.
However, many students not only carry a
full class load, but participate in one or more
extracurricular activities as well. Time man-
agement becomes crucial.
"It's a huge, gargantuan time commit-
ment," LSA junior Nicholas Kirk said of his
role as the president of the College
"I carry around a day-planner everywhere
I go," said Todd Garland, a first-year MBA
student. "I track what I have to do for the
week. ... I make priorities and decisions
based on what I have to do."
Planning ahead is a common tactic for stu-
dents attempting to create balance.
"I make sure that when something like
midterms and finals are coming up -that I
have everything done with (Interfraternity
Council) a week before those important
dates,"said IFC President Larry Powell.
Knowing their limits is another tactic stu-
dents have for keeping a balance in their
things done because I'm not just sitting
around doing nothing," said Becca Coggins,
president of the Panhellenic Association.
Colleen Hoy, treasurer of her sorority and
a member of the University Activities
Council's Homecoming Committee, agreed.
"When you have so much to do, you use
your time wisely," she said.
Susan Wilson, director of the Student
Activities and Leadership Office, also said
busy people have good time-management
"There's an old adage that when you want
Board, another campus honorary society,
echoed Garland's opinion.
"You just have to keep everything in per-
spective. School comes first, of course," he
Business junior Brad Frankel, a member of
the Finance Club and the Investment
Association of Michigan, said he would sacri-
fice his extracurricular activities for aca
"I wouldn't do them if I had a problem
(with balancing academics)," he said.
Judy Lawson, assistant director of experi-
ential learning services in the Career
Planning and Placement Office, also empha-
sizePd the importance of acaidemics.
give it to a busy person.
That fits," she said.