Putting the Extra in Extracurriculars

Dearest Readers,

People go to university for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s to make more money later. Other times it’s to learn something new or receive necessary training for a certain job. Others go even because they feel they need to. Society puts a lot of pressure on people, after all.

But regardless of the underlying reasons for going, there tends to be one goal: to learn.

That can be learning from their classes. Or from their sports teams. Or their sororities or fraternities or clubs or even their friends at parties. Those things are equally important, and I’ve always heard the main reason for that is communication and networking skills mixed with a bit of discipline and time management.

They’re missing some things, though, and intensely transferrable skills are one of them. In fact, extracurriculars teach as many if not more transferrable skills than the actual classes.

I’m learning that pretty quickly with the help of my Scottish Country dance teachers.

Yup, my dance teachers.

I’m getting run through a bit of a training to be a future dance teacher. I would need to go through the certification, of course, but the skills needed for that as well as the actual teaching are being gone through with me and some others. I’ll even get to actually try to teach (brilliant, right?).

The transferrable skills I’m using in my masters are things I learned in undergrad that are being honed – research, writing, condensing, discussion, creating evidence-based arguments, and picking the important bits out of lots of information, for example.

This teaching aspect of dance, however, is adding to my transferrable skills – how to communicate information effectively to a group in multiple ways (visual, auditory, kinesthetic), observation skills, assessment skills, and if I’m around long enough, planning and prepping things to teach, adapting to class environments, and effective behavioral management.

That’s a lot of things to learn stemming from a decision to go to a dance class.

Will it be a lot of work? Sure, but that just means I need to watch less Netflix, knit less, and get enough sleep to be ready to face every day.

Easy enough, right?

It’s amazing the kinds of opportunities that appear by doing something because it seems fun and personally fulfilling.

Plus, having extra stuff to do is just a part of uni, right?

Right!

Your Bonnie Celtophile,

Dani

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