Benefits of Extracurricular Activities
Extracurricular activities are a wonderful addition to a student’s life. Sports, theater, year book, journalism, and numerous other activities provide students with an outlet in school for creativity, energy, and self-exploration. These activities can provide physical, social and academic benefits, some of which are outlined below.
Meeting new friends
Joining a sports team, participating in the school play, or playing in the school band all foster a sense of camaraderie. These activities can be especially helpful for new students or students who are transitioning to a new school. And students who step outside of their comfort zone and participate in a new activity may meet friends they did not even know existed before.
One of the easiest afterschool activities is coming home to watch TV or play video games. Participating in afterschool activities, however, provide a mostly active environment. Sports are an obvious example, but even students in theater engage in physical activities. And many students in band will find that it is much more active than simply sitting in a chair playing an instrument.
Providing a routine
Many students who struggle in school lack a routine. Creating a consistent daily activity can help students prioritize and categorize their duties for both the school day and afterschool hours. When free time becomes more limited, students learn to appreciate it and use it efficiently. It is very important, however, that students who struggle with time management receive support to ensure they balance all of their demands.
While some parents might assume that extracurricular activities may actually hurt students’ academic performance, numerous studies indicate that those students who participate in afterschool activities actually perform better in school. There are several variables that may explain this relationship, but most experts agree that extracurricular activities teach and reinforce the same skills necessary for academic success.
Whether a student is worthy of a scholarship to college or not, extracurricular activities can give him a leg up when applying for college. Colleges are looking for well-rounded students, so having experience in something outside of the classroom can help a student stand out from other applicants. And once at college, students can still benefit from participating in the myriad options of outside activities.
Different activities will provide different benefits. The important thing is that students choose something they are interested in, have fun with it, and treat all participants with respect.