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Extracurricular Activity Ideas?

Discussion in 'Personal Statements and UCAS forms' started by intothewind, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. intothewind

    intothewind New Member

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    Hi,

    I'm currently in Year 10, and have been wanting to do medicine for a number of years now. I have heard repeatedly that extracurricular activities outside and inside of school are important when applying to medicine, and so was wondering if you could help me.

    When writing my personal statement for one of my reports, I noticed that my extracurricular activities had significantly fallen. I currently do horse riding and help out at my stables, which I am very enthusiastic about and have been doing for a number of years. The activity isn't all horse-orientated, as I help teach young children the basics of horse care and riding. Inside of school, I have been an avid supporter of badminton club.

    So, I was wondering, what extracurricular activities are beneficial for applying for medicine, or are there no specific ones that I need at my age? Unfortunately, my age holds me back from volunteering in a care home or anything similar.

    Thanks :)
     
  2. Chwirkytheappleboy

    Chwirkytheappleboy New Member

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    Have you tried St. John Ambulance Cadets? You can learn and apply First Aid at public events, which is great experience of health care. As a cadet, you're generally limited to First Aid only (you can't do ambulance courses) but you can go out on duty to pretty much any event, and do just as much as the less-experienced adults. As soon as you hit 18 you can join an Adults unit.

    As for care homes... how old are you? My ex-girlfriend (who is now a nurse) worked in a care home from the age of 16, so if you're in year 10 I suspect you don't have too long to wait.
     
  3. intothewind

    intothewind New Member

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    Oh, I hadn't heard that St. John's had Cadets. Will definitely check that one out, thanks!

    I've considered care homes, but I'm 15 in March, so still got a bit to go.

    Thanks for your advice!
     
  4. minnako

    minnako New Member

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    I think the important thing is balance: do some medically related things, and do some things that are nothing to do with medicine thay you enjoy.

    Work experience is useful, when you can get it, and that may well be a couple of years down the line. But don't worry, you don't need to do a million things yet.

    Personally, I think they're often biased a bit towards sports in that it's almost expected for applicants to be doing sports so they can crow about teamwork and keeping fit. That's not all you can do, though, so whatever takes your fancy can be fine. Some play instruments, some do amateur acting, art or photography, running clubs, getting involved in the community, it's all good. Make sure you really enjoy whatever you do, because that's what really matters. When it comes to UCAS, whatever you do you should be able to find something you can say you got out of it.
     
  5. Rippy

    Rippy New Member

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    The above is good advice.
     
  6. intothewind

    intothewind New Member

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    Minnako - thanks for the advice. It does seem that universities are rather biased towards sports, and if I can get at least one or two sports in there, I'll be happy. And yes, work experience, especially in medicine, will be hard to get when the time comes because of the technicalities of the job, so I'm not that worried. Once again, thanks :)
     
  7. Fried_Rice

    Fried_Rice New Member

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    I really, strongly disagree. I did not have one bit of sports and had four offers back in my day. I've said this so many times and I'll say it again:

    It does not matter one bit what extracurricular activities you have so long as you can show that you have teamwork skills, leadership skills, communication skills, time management skills and an awareness of work-life balance.

    None of these have to be through sports (or before someone else asks, music), so long that somehow you can show that you have them.

    Honest.

    (That being said, do do some exercise for your general health and wellbeing, but please, please do not feel pressured into taking up three news sports just for the sake of your personal statement!!!)

    ps. joining St John's cadets is a really good idea, the only problem that you need to be aware of is that it will take a fair bit of time until you have taken all the courses and are allowed out on duty, so start this with plenty of time. And keep it up once you get to uni too, LINKS is a wicked uni organisation. (A bit of a shameless plug there!)
     
    #7 Fried_Rice, Dec 7, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2009
  8. fortysixandtwo

    fortysixandtwo New Member

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    I've heard that these activities are important for a healthy and well balanced life. I've also heard they're important for developing character, broadening views and evolving thinking.

    They're not about getting into medical school.
     
  9. biggles123

    biggles123 New Member

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    Just make sure you have some hobbies, all they're looking for is that their prospective students won't sit around all day working, working, working as these types of people aren't likely to make good doctors! Sure they'll be clever, but they won't know much about communication, teamwork, leadership etc etc...

    Also, I don't play sports or any musical instrument, and I still got in!
     
  10. Rippy

    Rippy New Member

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    Yes, this.
     
  11. Khush23

    Khush23 New Member

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    Couldn't agree with you more!
     
  12. halfadoc

    halfadoc New Member

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    Really there are no preferred hobbies, as long as you can show you do more than just study then thats great! Don't take up a sport or whatever just because you think they will like it, do things you will enjoy and that will come across at interview better than if its something you don't really like doing but just did for medical applications sake..

    The horse riding you already do for example is great, now just try for some kind of volunteer work you would enjoy and medical work experience.
     
  13. minnako

    minnako New Member

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    If your hobbies are crocheting and knitting, writing Shakespeare-influenced poetry, black and white photography and making models of squirrels out of felt, then you can't normally expect people to believe that these have taught you teamwork and leadership skills! They may well have taught you other valuable skills such as manual dexterity, and just been plain fun and relaxing, which is important!

    Of course, you could easily write your PS around learning teamwork and leadership skills via other things you have done, like group work in school, volunteering, work experience etc. Sport can be fun, healthy and help with these skills, but if sport's really not your thing you don't have to do it to prove you have these skills. My point wasn't that people need to do so, but to point out that not all hobbies (though it is sometimes assumed) give you these skills. Different extracurriculars give you different skills, and it's up to each individual to gauge if they feel their hobbies offer them a nice spread of experiences, or if they feel they are missing something.

    There will be some extracurriculars that you never even mention in your PS because you don't have enough space or you don't think they will understand: spending your free time answering the questions of other budding med students or debating with trolls, helping your mates with maths questions or writing a webcomic about a superhero lump of cheese may be rewarding but it just goes to show that UCAS and unis can't take into account everything that makes you up. It's much more important to do things because you enjoy them than to tick boxes, but at the same time be aware that your overall PS WILL need to tick them all. How you tick them is up to you. :)

    To be honest I think UCAS helped at least some people who wouldn't originally have done hobbies (too busy stressing over work!) to start having motivation to have hobbies and learn to be organised and do other things. Realistically not everyone would be doing hobbies Obviously one needs to have motivation to continue hobbies on once you leave school, or there's not much point if you know you will give up as soon as you can, because hobbies enrich 'grown up' life too!

    In that respect it can be useful having an incentive to keep going or to try something new for some people. Of course, this is only true if you actually like the hobby: nobody should feel obliged to to stuff they don't want to. Just that this time in your life is a good chance for you to try some new things that you may not otherwise have considered. :)
     

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