Extracurricular Activities: Everything You Need to Know

These are clubs and activities that are school-sponsored but take place outside of the classroom and curriculum. Such activities can include sports, music, community service, student government, arts, educational clubs, hobbies, part-time employment, internships, etc.

For students, it could often be tricky to decide if an activity can be counted as extracurricular or not. Any activity that primarily contributes value to other people or helps students display a talent will make the cut. This means hair braiding for fun won’t be counted as an extracurricular activity as it’s pretty self-centered and doesn’t add value to the lives of others. However, running a YouTube channel to create awareness about student health will be considered an extracurricular activity.

It’s important to note that all hobbies aren’t extracurricular activities. For example, playing video games or watching movies won’t qualify. In other words, recreational activities that an individual indulges in for his own enjoyment won’t make the cut because extracurricular activities need to have some concerted effort and contribute to the individual’s personal development. This means starting an after-school movie club where students watch educational movies and then analyze them could be listed as an extracurricular activity.

Students can benefit a lot from extracurricular activities. For one, such activities can instill useful personality traits and key skills that help them in other walks of life. For instance, sports help develop leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving skills. Playing a musical instrument requires hand-eye coordination, perseverance, and creativity, all of which can lead to positive long-term effects in the student’s life.

Several extracurricular activities require solid memory, problem-solving skills, effective time management, critical thinking, and creativity. As students develop these skills, their academic performance will also benefit, which has been backed by research.

Since such activities help students expand their interests, widen their social circle (by meeting new people and making friends), and become more confident while communicating in groups, they develop good self-esteem and broader social skills. These are crucial for their positive mental health and overall well-being.

High school students participating in diverse extracurricular activities will have the edge over their peers when sending their college applications. That’s because college admissions officers prefer having students who participate in extracurricular activities that display their specialized interests. Instead of choosing a class of homogeneously well-rounded students, colleges these days seek to select a diverse set of students with varied interests and inquisitiveness to learn beyond the traditional classroom.

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