Schools and colleges alike emphasize the importance of extracurricular activities, but sometimes it can be difficult for students to see just how the extra time and dedication will benefit them. From strengthening the mind to promoting better time management skills, extracurricular activities can help students succeed in much more than just their academic endeavors.
A stronger mind
Academic rigors such as in-depth reading and complex problem-solving go far to strengthen the mind, but extracurricular activities will take this mind strengthening even further. High-endurance sports, for example, will train students to maintain patience and resilience in the face of intense difficulty.
Training in professional skills
These activities can also work to build professional skills that a classroom alone cannot always foster. A leadership-oriented club, for example, will help students to learn essential skills in management and delegation, while a debate or speech club will provide additional public speaking practice for students. Sports most often have the effect of fostering strong team-building skills and training students in holding long-term goals. In short, extracurricular activities can arm students with many of the skills future employers will be looking for.
A wider social circle
Extracurriculars are not solely about imparting stronger professional skills and supplementing education. These programs are also fun and offer students the opportunity to spend time with others of similar interests. Students can meet friends from different social groups by joining a sports team, student government or debate.
Better time management
Ironically enough, many students find that adding more commitments to their already coursework-filled schedules has the effect of improving time management. The student who is busy with coursework but also needs to balance two other extracurricular activities is more likely to plan out time dedicated to each activity and less likely to procrastinate during downtimes. An extracurricular activity might even have the effect of “recharging” the brain after a day of rigorous schoolwork, allowing students to return to homework assignments with a refreshed mind.
Exploration of interests
Extracurriculars allow students to pursue interests outside of a standardized academic context. A student with a flair for mathematics, for example, might become a member of the school’s math honor society program. This decision could help them decide if math will be something to pursue in higher education. Students can also use these activities to explore interests they’ve never encountered, exposing students to a more diverse range of interests in students.