My Extracurriculars in High School ― A Rice Student’s Story
This article is a first-person account by Shravya Kakulamarri, a student at Rice University. You can watch the full livestream for more info.
I participated in a number of extracurricular activities during high school that I included in my college applications. For more information about extracurricular activities, you can check out CollegeVine’s article on frequently asked questions (FAQs) about extracurriculars.
Medical Reserve Corps
If you’re interested in the public health or medical fields, I highly recommend getting involved in health-based extracurriculars. One organization I was very involved with was the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), which is a national network of volunteers who work to improve the health and safety of their communities. They organize local events and respond to community emergencies like national disasters.
I learned about the MRC when a mudslide happened in Oso, Washington, about 50 miles from where I live in Seattle. I was reading articles on what had happened, and I discovered that the MRC volunteers were the first ones to respond to the event. They were able to get nurses, doctors, and volunteers dispatched to the area and save people’s lives.
I found this to be inspiring and wanted to get involved. The MRC has chapters in many major cities but, at the time, they didn’t have a chapter in Seattle. It made me wonder what would happen if a natural disaster occurred in my hometown. I knew I’d want a group of people to be able to come and help immediately. I reached out to my local police department and asked if it would be possible to establish a chapter, and they helped me start the process in 11th grade. I worked on it until graduating high school, when I was able to pass the project on to another student.
Through this work, we organized many events, including a free health clinic for veterans in the Pacific Northwest. I loved working in the public health area, even in an organizational role, and if I hadn’t heard about the MRC, I probably wouldn’t have had any public health exposure during my high school career.
Relay for Life
I was also part of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life annual fundraising event. They hold these events in all major cities and, sometimes, host them in partnership with local high schools. I knew early on that I wanted to work with the American Cancer Society because cancer has affected someone very close to me. I wanted to be involved in the fundraising and awareness efforts, so I helped organize the event in Seattle. I reached out to the director of the program and asked if there was any way I could help, and they took me on. I became the president of the Relay for Life Club at my school.
Health Occupations Students of America
I was also involved in Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), which I enjoyed because it was a chance to be exposed to different aspects of medicine. Beyond being a physician, there are so many other subfields and different careers within the health profession that I was able to explore through this club. I served as the treasurer for our school’s club, then ran for national officer during my first year. I didn’t win, but because I was one of the first students to be part of our school’s HOSA chapter, I was able to be very involved.
Something you might notice about these extracurricular activities is that neither one was already in place in my area when I got involved. There’s a common misconception that you have to get involved in whatever extracurricular activity already exists and try for a leadership position, but that’s not necessarily true. Forming something on your own can be such a rewarding and positive experience, so if that’s a possibility for you, I say go for it.