I’m one of those people. You know the sort. If you don’t know the sort, you probably are the sort. The kind of person who sees an opportunity and decides “hey there’s 24hrs in a day, I can do this easy” and the next thing you know you’re doing 4 extra projects you didn’t really need to take part in that adds to your workload in ridiculous ways. The kind of person that has a 4-page resumè of stuff you’ve done because doing your homework just wasn’t enough. The kind of person who, when faced with time off, decides that this is unfortunate and Something Must Be Done. You probably have your own background music too. Mine sounds pretty similar to the Star Wars theme song. You probably identified with Hermione. I do too.
People’s reactions to my… eagerness? Perplexes me somewhat. I get told about how good it’s gonna sound in job interviews and on CVs and I personally never thought of it that way. I do stuff because I like doing stuff. Keeps me occupied, makes for a good story, etc. I actually kind of think that if you’re going into something with the mindset that it’ll help Future-You with achieving something (or worse if you’re going into it because you feel as if you “should”) then you’re not gonna enjoy it as much. Sign up for the thing because you want to do the thing. That way when someone asks you what you do for fun, you can talk about the thing like it was the best decision you ever made. So that your eyes light up and your voice goes squeaky with excitement and the people listening can have that split second where they consider your thing as The Best Thing To Have Ever Thinged and that they should give it a shot.
And if you get a job out of it? Bonus!
Now, this isn’t to discourage those who do not do things. I think it helps to have had extracurricular activities but you could just as easily get a job by actually knowing what you’re talking about. Wow em with your knowledge on distal radial fractures on that orthopaedic ward. Stun them with your info on Entonox during your day surgery interview. It’s ok if you weren’t the president of your local Amnesty International society if you know your stuff and you like it.
I think it also helps to be doing something that doesn’t have anything to do with your future career. So you’re into LARPing instead of Red Cross. Better to be the treasurer of one than to join something you’re not interested in and end up never showing up to the meetings. (Not slagging off Live Action Roleplay in the slightest – you do you, booboo. Gwan getcho medieval on)
But what if you want to do a thing but you don’t know what thing you want to do? Some people have a vague idea of wanting to Help or Exercise or Learn. Well, you could do what I did and sign up to all the things and weed them out until you’ve found one that sticks but don’t do that, that’s mental. A good way to start would be to join the Nursing Society and get involved, because that takes out the pesky “how do I organise things” part. You could do a charity event like a race or swimming – I just did a 5k over the weekend and I run slower than a turtle going backwards through molasses. If exercise isn’t your thing but charity is, you can do a food drive, or a sock drive or a bra drive (yes really. Those things are expensive and homeless ladies gotta cover their sweater puppies too). I’m doing this blog for fun, but if you’ve always liked writing you can have a blog or write pieces for the Nursing Times or The Guardian. Or draw comics if you’re more artsy. If you’re crafty you can knit/crochet for premature babies, dogs or Age UK. Or hey, charity begins at home! Do número uno a favour and go learn a language, how to dance or how to sing.
Remember, the goal is not to be award winning but to be a little less crappy than you were the day before. It’s ok if you do these things and you’re not the best at it, because what matters is that you’re a little better than you were today. Either way, don’t stress yourself out too much. You do you, booboo!