How to Get Involved in High School

Student involvement is not only instrumental to character building during a teen’s high school career, but also important when it comes time to apply for college. Although this is a common go-to activity for most teens and their parents, your teenager doesn’t have to be an athlete to get involved during their high school years. We’ve come up with some easy ways for your student to explore their school, get involved and meet new people.

  1. Find out what other clubs (outside of sports) are offered at school
    Either ask the school’s guidance department or look on the school’s website. Encourage your teen to read about some activities the club or group may do, talk to the club’s current members or attend a meeting to see if they like the group.
  2. If there is not one that interests your teen, encourage them to think about starting their own club!
    Typically, students need to write a proposal about what type of club it is and what the purpose would be. They also need to find someone (usually a teacher) who is willing to be the advisor. Not only do both of these things foster great leadership skills in a student, but also starting a club looks great on a college application.
  3. Become an office or teacher’s aide
    Not only does helping out a teacher or the school’s office help your teen learn organization and responsibility, it also helps your teenager develop a relationship with faculty and staff. This can come in handy when your teenager needs letters of recommendation, but it’s also an opportunity for your teen to have a mentor.
  4. Volunteering or tutoring
    Volunteering will bring your teen a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment by working with an organization that helps others or makes a difference in the community. It will also help your teenager develop perspective.
  5. Join the drama program
    Drama is a great way for your teenager to harness their energy for a greater purpose! Students develop collaborative skills and are pushed outside their comfort zone with being on stage, or making sure the stage looks and functions like it should.
  6. Explore the tech programs or college class options
    Many schools offer the ability for your student to work towards a degree or certification such as becoming a nurse, esthetician or mechanic. Additionally, if there’s a local college nearby, there are options to take college courses during high school. Helping your student challenge themselves will make them reach for a goal and focus on their future.

If your school doesn’t have an option that fits, look for other ways to be involved that aren’t affiliated with the school: church, 4H, city organizations or other volunteer opportunities.

Finding the right fit is important. You want your teen to feel comfortable and grow through their experience. At the same time, make sure they’re aware that being part of something can benefit them. Being involved in high school gives your teen a group to feel connected to and can also make a large school feel smaller if it seems like they are struggling to find their place.

Whether your teenager is just entering high school or already on their journey, encourage them to step outside their comfort zone this year. Try out for a sport, sign up for a club, volunteer for that animal shelter you always drive by. And, most importantly encourage them to “try, try again” before they make up their mind about something.