Extra-Curricular Activities: Going Beyond
Attending classes in the morning and afternoon is tiring enough. That does not even include the homework that comes with it. So the notion of tacking on extra-curricular activities to your already busy day can sound unreasonable.
Regardless of the activity, participation in extra-curricular events comes with multiple benefits. Balancing a busier schedule helps to build effective time management skills. As you get older, life only increases in its current hectic nature. Those skills will ensure you are able to take on the challenge. It is important to remember that your classes are structured, and structured by someone else. The school designated 8:30 as the start of the first period. Lunch is at 12:30. The day ends at 3. While it is a challenge to attend and succeed day after day, the schedule is quite simple to remember.
Extra-curricular activities may not fall under such a simplistic pattern. They can happen on different days, perhaps early in the afternoon or later. The times might be irregular and not set in stone. You could be looking at a different schedule week after week, and this somewhat more chaotic setup better prepares you for the structured chaos of adulthood.
You also want to think ahead to the post-secondary world. As you fret over your final grades, universities and colleges are looking at far more than just those numbers. Many applicants will submit glowing transcripts. It can take more than that to set you apart. Along with volunteer and work experience, extra-curricular activities customize your application. By diversifying your free time, only you will have that specific combination of activities, work, and grades in order to stand out from the pack.
A study conducted of over 60 university admissions teams concluded, that more and more of them are placing significant importance on extra-curricular activities. Grades are just one piece of the puzzle! By displaying a variety of interests and talents, you highlight your skills and hard work. You are showing your desire to learn and grow as a human being, and this is the ideal candidate that learning institutions and workplaces are looking for.
Ultimately, think of how extra-curricular activities can help you in the now. What do you currently do after school? Lazy evenings are fun, but grow increasingly empty in repetition. Join a sports team. Take on a new skill. Meet new people. Sure, you are building skills for your future. But you are also improving your physical and mental well-being.
If the vast array of options for extra-curricular activities leaves you discombobulated, pick ones on a whim. Drop the ones you hate, and cling to the ones you enjoy. Make friends, improve your health, feel better about yourself, and perhaps even do better in school. Revel in the delightful irony that making yourself busier can actually make your day less challenging.
Grove, Jack. Extra-curricular activities now ‘more important’ to university applications. https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/extra-curricular-activities-now-more-important-to-university-applications/2017980.article
I Have a Plan Iowa. The Importance of Extra-Curricular Activities for Teens. https://www.ihaveaplaniowa.gov/Home/Article.aspx?articleId=IGeYH2kUApurN7JfmoFVeQXAP3DPAXXAP3DPAX&level=3XAP2FPAX6J7I3kztATGuYyXAP2BPAXDahIQXAP3DPAXXAP3DPAX