What you do outside of the classroom is just as important (if not more so!) than what you do in class. It’s that time spent on things other than academics that is crucial for a student’s well-being and development. After all, what good is a straight A student when you never developed the emotional maturity to handle all the challenges life is about to throw you?
College Admissions Offices emphasize the importance of being well-rounded. There will be 100s of students just like you with good grades and high test scores. Have something that makes you stand out besides academics. But beyond that, what good is it to get involved in a few extracurriculars?
Discover Who You Are
As a high school student, you are at such a pinnacle point in your life to really develop and discover who you are. This sense of self-discovery is achieved when we get ourselves out there in the world and start trying new things and exploring more of what interests us. For me, that was dance and theatre. For someone who didn’t get as much motivation or guidance growing up, this was my outlet to really find myself and start establishing some crucial life skills.
Back in high school, my self-esteem was lacking and I was an extrovert stuck in a introverted lifestyle. I needed to break out of it. I needed something to look forward to. I needed something that got me into more social situations, out of my comfort zone and sparking the creativity I craved.
Whether its a sport, chess competitions or 4-H club, try out a new club or extracurricular. Don’t like it? That’s okay. Just pick something else! It’s important to not just find something to get involved with, but truly find where you fit.
Build New Skills
During those teenage years of mine, I had no idea how much good those extracurriculars were doing for my cognitive and emotional development. Through moments like auditioning for the school play or practicing routines as my dance teachers watched and critiqued every little mistake I made, I started to learn how to receive constructive feedback and not take rejection so personally.
I can easily remember many auditions, recitals and plays where I felt nothing but a racing heart, clammy hands and knots in my stomach. But it was my community of teachers and friends who always gave me the guidance I needed to be confident and persevere. And now looking back, to see how many times I was able to channel that nervousness into determination, really helped condition my mindset to trust in myself that I could handle being commissioned big challenges as they came my way.
5 Benefits For Students Involved In Extracurriculars
Students take away from extracurricular activities a lot of different things. I discovered a passion, but also learned how to better myself. Here are some other benefits to finding something outside of academics:
- Learn time management and prioritization
- Increase ability for commitment to a project or group
- Give back and make a difference
- Build relationships skills
- Leadership opportunities
It Doesn’t Have To Be A Chore – Pick Something You Enjoy!
So get out there and go do something that doesn’t increase your GPA but makes you smile and challenges you in ways you haven’t yet experienced. For me, it was dance and theatre. For you, it may be something completely different!
But try not to feel pressured here. You mustn’t view this as some sort of race or competition, to pile up more extracurriculars than your fellow peers. You know what you can handle. And let’s be real, high school is stressful enough! Just commit to 1 or 2 things that you are truly interested in. Seriously! Balance is key. Plus, your dedication and passion towards such extracurriculars will really shine, and that’s what really matters!