The Upsides and Downsides of Extracurricular Activities
Even though achieving academic excellence in school is important, students also yearn for ways to acquire abilities and nurture their talents beyond what books can offer them. They also are interested in developing skills and establishing strengths outside the classroom. The best way to do this is by getting involved in extracurricular activities that are focused on sports, arts, music, theatre, and others.
However, while there are advantages to participating in extracurricular activities, there are drawbacks as well.
It looks impressive on college applications.
Sure, it might be too early to think about college or university now, but you would like to get off to a good start as early as possible. Having a stellar academic record is naturally always an advantage, but admissions to higher learning institutions have become more competitive than ever. Also, keep in mind that if you are aiming to win a scholarship, it’s not always about the grades anymore. It pays to stand out from the crowd, and the best way to do that is through extracurricular activities.
It fosters responsibility and a sense of commitment.
Students having a wide open schedule often leads to leniency or procrastination. On the other hand, students who have a full plate of academic- and non-academic-related activities inspire them to be more responsible with their time. They will be motivated to make every activity count because they don’t have a lot of time to spare. In addition, they learn to develop a sense of commitment to meet their obligations with their respective groups, whether it’s a study group or a field hockey team.
It teaches a great deal about organization and time management.
Ask anyone older and they attest that organizational and time management skills are a must in any work environment, something for you to think about for the future. Balancing academics with extra activities train you to be organized and manage your time efficiently. At the same time, you become more punctual because you know you keep to a schedule and once you miss out on something, the other items on the schedule will fall like dominos.
It can lead to exhaustion.
Juggling too many balls is not always ideal—there’s a tendency to drop them all and you’re left with nothing. This means that if students become too engrossed with band practice or soccer runs, they end up not having enough time or being too exhausted to study for their academic subjects and eventually face the threat of low grades.
It can lead to mental stress.
Physical stress at a young age is one thing, but mental stress is a whole different ballgame. The pressure to keep up to a schedule can mean anxiety to some students that they tend to lose their drive to do better in both academics and their after-school activities. Some may even turn into a worrywart because they keep thinking they will be a disappointment if they don’t meet their commitments, something that will greatly upset them.
It can lead to decreased social life.
When students have far too many activities, it’s likely they will sacrifice spending time with their family and friends, eventually defeating the purpose of the school and life balance. Losing movie nights, dinner night-outs, and video game time to cheerleading practice may not seem like a big deal, but these activities with family and friends are helpful to relieve stress. As such, when they lose these privileges, there’s a likelihood the students will feel more anxious and strain.
Being active in after-school activities is valuable in growing up, but overdoing it can lead to more detriments if not handled properly- balance is the key!