Extracurricular Activities – A boon or bane?
What do extracurricular activities mean?
Activities that fall outside the realm of the normal curriculum of a school, college, or university education and are usually indispensable in developing your personality and in improvising your practical skills are known as Extracurricular activities. In today’s competitive world, extracurricular activities are as invaluable as academics. These activities may be voluntary, social, philanthropic. Often involving people of the same age or maybe fundraising and volunteering, not only benefit you but also be helpful to others. These activities in a way help you develop your interests, polish your skills and nurture your talents, and become important when you apply for universities or jobs. It is not obligatory and is not required by the course of study.
Why are Extracurricular activities important?
The primary reason why students take part in these activities or parents boosting up their children to participate in these activities is that everyone needs to be a high horse in this rat race. People think participation in these extracurricular activities will be golden points onto your resume and help you fetch scholarships and you might be accepted in the top schools.
You might be accepted in top schools and colleges based on your curricular but earning scholarships and getting accepted in top schools should not be the primary reason for participation in such activities. Extracurricular activities may be an asset to scholarships and college applications but they help shape us in innumerable ways, and impact our mental and physical health. Let us read what are some of the ways or skill sets that we get to achieve while engaging in these activities.
They also provide a scope for us to detach ourselves from the monotonous routines, giving a boost to our mental and physical health. They are a boon to lead a disease-free life.
- Time management – The first and foremost attribute that all of us imbibe is time management. Learning to prioritize things, to set and maintain a schedule, and to ensure that you have enough time for each venture along with accomplishing each task, these are pointers that you learn along with time management. Attending school for 7 hours followed by clubs, sports and volunteering usually make students vastly busy. Being involved in extracurriculars help us learn what we can and cannot put up with limited time and reduced energy level. Hence, time management and accordingly plan a schedule and manage time.
- Leadership skills – With the involvement in extracurricular activities, students learn leadership skills, regardless of whether or not they are in charge of some club or squad. Working in a team helps you polish your decision-making skills that are the most beneficial for all parties involved. Being in charge makes you responsible and you gain confidence by pushing yourselves out of your comfort zone and establishing a mark for yourself. Even though you are not in charge of the tech crew, or captain of the cheerleading squad, under the guidance and supervision of trusted individuals, you often learn skills and take on roles that challenging and are out of your comfort zone.
- Life expertise – Being a discipline, cooperative, having an indomitable spirit, and perseverance along with building self-control are some of the additional traits that you happen to absorb when involved in extracurricular activities. Although these are the qualities that can be easily explained and discussed in academics but you get to know what they mean with practical experience and knowledge. With practice, you get to train yourself in self-discipline and become confident about what you do.
- Communal skills – Joining a team and working with them gives you a whole new perspective. You might be from some other branch but being engaged in after school clubs, sports and activities are the perfect opportunities for socializing with people whom you do not know on a personal level. Interaction and socializing help build up your communication skills and you might make friends who may have different backgrounds, values, and beliefs but tend to show similar interests.
- Physical activity – Participation in extracurricular sports or athletic activities help you improve your physical fitness. Activities such as dance, fitness breaks, or physically active games often turn out to be as healthy yet lively after school initiatives. These physical activities reduce the risk of overweight and obesity and with enhances your academic achievements. Having a healthy body and a proper diet will nurture your mental health and help you establish a healthy lifestyle.
- Health – Along with fortifying your academic performance, extracurricular activities contributes to the wellness in mental health and strengthens the long-term educational outcomes for students. Studies show that initiation and participation in extracurricular activities increase wellness in mental health and create a positive impact in the minds of adolescence. It instills a sense of belonging when you are a part of a team whether it is a sports team or any other school/college club which seems to drive the benefits of mental health.
Impact of Extracurricular Activities
If we are to list what extracurricular activities, one can do and benefit, the list will go and on. To name a few, Sports and recreation, Academic clubs, Art, Music and performing arts, Politics, and social studies along with Academic competitions, the list never ends. These activities are pursuits that help us demonstrate our passion and drive our focus. We likely get ourselves committed to developing talents and skills that interest us.
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!” Indeed, this phrase can be implemented in our lives as well. Just focusing on your academics and how to up your grades will fetch you nothing but a boring lifestyle. You might not be able to communicate well in the future in your workplace because you lack interactive and communication skills. There might be situations where you would need the help of your colleagues, but unfortunately, you lack the quality of gelling up with people as all your academic life you were told to up your grades and making friends is not that useful. That is where some parents go wrong. Just pressurizing children to pursue good grades and debarring them from participating in extracurriculars will do nothing but lead them to a dull pessimistic way.
Hence, extracurriculars are just as important as academics. This is the 21st century and just getting a college degree might fetch you a lucrative job but you may never develop the life skills that will help you in your life ahead. Extracurriculars will help you learn from your failures and will introduce you with your strength without compromising the life lessons that you will imbibe. Adapting to these activities will not only make you independent and confident but will design your personality that will enhance your character, background, passions, and vision for your future which grades and scores cannot show.
So, spark that interest, ignite your passion, and learn the immeasurable skills – all by boosting your resume!