Do you still participate in the EC's you did in high school or college?

As a relatively recent college graduate, one thing that has surprised me is how many of my friends who were very active in extracurriculars in high school in college, now have mostly stopped. Exceptions are mostly extracurriculars that have now turned into careers - so people who did research are now scientists, or people who worked for the school newspaper are now journalists. Sometimes people who were very good at performing arts, like at their instrument or dance, have continued that by playing in orchestras or performing in dance groups. But this doesn’t seem possible to people who are just average (actually I had to quit playing my instrument when I went to college because I wasn’t good enough, even though I was at a school mostly known for engineering). But for the most part, it seems like people just spend a lot of time at their careers.

My parents and the adults I knew growing up didn’t really participate in anything outside of school growing up, so I didn’t think much of it when it was the same as adults. But I’ve been wondering about why it’s normal for high school and college aged kids to participate in things outside of school, but not so much for adults to do things outside of work.

I played viola for many years, but I stopped in college (no place to practice at my engineering school). I also ran track - I did run for fun for years, but my body doesn’t appreciate that any more. I still work out daily, but I don’t run.

Why don’t adults do things outside of work? For me … my first job required a ton of overtime, leaving little room for much else. My next job required a ton of travel, leaving little time for doing things outside of work. Then I had kids. They were my ECs for many, many years. I now have a job that requires me to work ridiculous hours. Currently, the things I do outside of work are: taking care of elderly parents; volunteering a bit at church & in my community; cleaning my house; taking care of my in laws’ cottage; doing laundry; cooking dinner; dreaming of retirement. In other words, life happens & that is what adults end up spending their time doing.

P.S. It might sound awful, but it’s not. Honest.

I volunteered at our local town library in my teens, and I still do this, all these many years later.

I played field hockey and lacrosse in HS and 1 year of lax in college. I have not formally played since then, but my D took up both sports and in addition to being an avid fan of her teams, I would practice with her in the back yard. I hated running in HS, but learned to love it the year I played lax in college, when the runs became longer and I realized I was better at that than sprints and short distance. While I wouldn’t call myself a runner per se, I do run for exercise a few times per week.

I was active in my church as a teen (youth group, choir) and I am still active today. I didn’t sing for many years, but joined the church choir a few years ago and I love it! It’s my #1 extracurricular right now.

My H played sports in HS, and then spent many years coaching youth baseball when our son played.

So, there has been some carry over. But not during the years immediately following college!

My S played the tuba in HS, and we were just talking the other day about how it’s probably not something he will ever have the chance to go back to.

Mostly I worked. So yes, I do. :slight_smile:

I also wrote then and still do. Overall, EC’s weren’t really a thing in my life as a student.

I was in choirs in HS, and I still am.

I played soccer in high school and continued that until I was about 30. I coached my girls when they were little in rec soccer leagues.

I ran cross country and track for a couple of years in HS. I was not fast, and I remember how bad it felt to be cut from the team. Yet, I’m still running regularly for exercise and the love of it 30 years later.

The key for me is to pick something sustainable and flexible, and be reasonable about it to avoid burnout. Then, you can enjoy it for decades :slight_smile: .

You can also always go back to something you enjoyed before and incorporate it into your life in a new way. I played intramural soccer in college and now I coach rec. soccer. I loved camping and now I’m a Girl Scout leader.

OP, I don’t know where you live, but in our area there are plenty of amateur orchestra’s looking for members, even beginners.

Nope. In college, I was dirt poor and working full time to pay for college. No time for ECs. It was all I could do to keep my head above water, do my job and get top grades.

Now that my business is established and my kids are more self-sufficient, I have time (and money) to do all sorts of things. I’m active, do all sorts of fitness things and love to sail. I also have time to dabble in high effort/low output things that interest me like veggie gardening and interesting cooking. Life is good.

As a sailor, I’m curious what boats are in @3SailAway 's picture. They’re so small on my computer I can’t see details, but they look like symmetrical sails and mid size boats, maybe J24s?

I’m so old that Title 9 was passed during my HS years. Sports for female students came to my HS in 1973-74, my Senior year. I wanted to run track but I had a job ( I liked it and needed the money) so I wasn’t able to participate.
Two years ago I joined a women’s running group and now that’s my main EC. So yes, I’m doing my HS sport now.

Sports have always been a pretty big part of my life. I played varsity soccer, baseball and golf in HS. I played those at the intramural level, plus touch football, basketball and ice hockey in college. In law school, I still played intramural soccer and softball, and golfed with friends when I had the time. Sports were always the best break for me from studying. I played league volleyball, basketball and softball when I worked at my law firm in NYC and client golf. Work at a Wall Street firm is pretty intense, but I always tried to find time to exercise and play a sport. I think you have to have mental and physical breaks from “work” to stay physically and mentally sharp. Organized sports stopped after I was transferred overseas. It was pretty much down to client golf and hikes. After we moved back to the States and as my kids grew up, I coached baseball and softball, and I continue to play golf.

I learned to sew in middle school and have never stopped. I go to sewing class once a week because I enjoy sewing with other people. I sing in a women’s chorus and we do three concerts a year. I go to water aerobics three times a week. When I was a young adult I worked on election campaigns and went to major league baseball games with a big group of friends a couple of times a week. (Of course in those days a seat in the bleachers cost $1.25.)

My main EC’s in HS were writing for the school paper and figuring out creative ways to get out of gym class. In college, my only EC was working to pay my way. Now, I am trying to figure out ways to entice myself to go to the gym. I still hate sports and physical activity but I now know I need to do it.

I turned my main activity into a career. My kids are involved in some of the same activities I was and so I actually volunteer for the program I grew up in as a parent.

I occasionally play the flute and guitar… usually during the holidays with my musical family. That was something I did pretty seriously in school. Outside doing science experiments with my toddler, I’m totally out of that world… science Olympiad and such ended the second I graduated.

I was on a lot of committees in high school and I was a synchronized swimmer. I go to a lot of meetings now AND can still do a ballet leg in the water, so does that count as a yes?!!! :slight_smile:

As far as sports, what I think is the best post grad thing for an athlete is to just stay active. Do SOMETHING for fitness. It is amazing to me how many high school athletes are out of shape and overweight just a few years out of school.

I did a lot with Girl Scouts, but didn’t have girls. Still hike and still do environmental stuff. I still read. I still paint. I was a terrible recorder player so I don’t do that - I just did it to be with friends. My sport then was modern dance - I did aerobic dancing for years, but now I do weights and elliptical. At other times in my life I ran or swam for exercise. I do crosswords now which I didn’t do then - and I play more board games thanks to my kids.


I was an athlete during high school and college, although mostly pre Title IX so my participation was mostly not school-based until college. I turned my sport into my career as a professional instructor, coach and now an administrator in that sport. I also continue to compete so it’s been very central to my life, although it wasn’t remotely what I thought I’d do while I was a student!

It would be interesting to see how many of the folks that have graduated in the past 10-15 years or so are still involved with their ECs from high school versus those of us a fair bit older.

I have read that many kids are doing ECs and volunteering purely for college admissions purposes and do not continue after they graduate HS.

My daughter had a few ECs in HS and before- she did these in both Middle School and HS (so 7 years) - sang in the chorus, was on the school paper (editor in chef senior HS year), volunteered at a local historic site, played piano (for 13 years), and read veraciously (her entire life).

In college she basically dropped all of these (even though one college criteria was having a chorus, newspaper, etc.) She reinvented herself and joined several clubs but none in these categories. The one thing that continued was being in the college book group - which has continued as an alum book group since her college graduation 2 years ago.

She still loves historic sites and visits many where she lives. She didn’t do any of the activities in HS for her resume, but for enjoyment. However, the college newspaper and chorus had people with more talent and career aspirations in those areas than she had and so those groups were not her “tribe.”

My D did drama club as an EC in middle and HS. In college, she switched her focus to performing musically, singing and playing guitar, etc., which she still does 10 years later. She did track and still runs, but since she ruined her ACL skiing a few years ago, she doesn’t do races any more. S17’s EC was drama club as well. He is now in college studying theater tech, so he is turning his EC into a career, hopefully.