Extracurricular activities are activities that are undertaken by students outside of the standard educational curriculum. They include sporting, music, debating, theatre and volunteering commitments (just to name a few!). If you’re already getting involved in activities, good on you! This article should help reaffirm the positive experiences that you're undoubtedly already gaining from them. If you’re not currently involved in extracurricular activities, hopefully we’ll inspire you to get involved in some. There’s no better time to start than now!
Here are a few reasons according to research why you should get involved in extracurricular activities! If you don't believe us, check out the cheeky references that we've got down the bottom.
According to research, students who participate in extracurricular activities perform better academically and have more positive educational experiences overall. This is because through undertaking extracurricular activities, students are inevitably gaining and practicing important skills which facilitate success both within and outside of learning institutions. Through extracurriculars such as organised sport, for example, students develop listening skills and are able to apply instructions to achieve a desired outcome.
Believe it or not, engaging in extracurricular activities actually does wonders in helping with character development! Students who participate in extracurricular activities have reported higher senses of self-worth and self-concept (Blomfield & Barber, 2009). They also have greater opportunities to identify their personal strengths and weaknesses, and are able to harbour personal interests, all of which culminate in building a much more resilient, formidable character. Essentially, it’ll help you in what will be a very long and thought-provoking journey in trying to figure out who you are.
It should be no surprise that involvement in extracurricular activities can be absolutely instrumental in helping to develop student leadership skills. These skills, however, are not just limited to high school. Leadership is a vital skill, and its importance extends to tertiary education and beyond. Individuals who practice and display strong leadership skills are more likely to become managers and have higher salaries compared to students who don’t (Lipscomb, 2007).
One of the strongest positive aspects of extracurricular activities is the highly social and collaborative environment that it establishes. Students are often surrounded by a group of like-minded individuals which promotes a sense of community and belonging. Furthermore, many of these activities encourages skills such as teamwork and communication.
To sum up, there are a lot of benefits to getting involved in extracurricular activities. There is more to life outside of the classroom, and not only can joining sporting clubs, orchestras or debating teams be really enjoyable, they’ll honestly instil so many valuable skills within you. Rather than detracting from time that you could be spent studying, they’re actually supplementing your learning by providing you with positive life experiences and skills. We hope this has either inspired you to start participating in activities that you’re interested in, or has reaffirmed that you’re doing the right thing by being involved!
- Christison C (2013). The Benefits of Participating in Extracurricular Activities. BU Journal of Graduate Studies in Education, 5(2), 17-20. Available from: https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1230758.pdf
- Blomfield, C. J., & Barber, B. L. (2009). Brief report: Performing on the stage, the field or both? Australian adolescent extracurricular activity participation and self-concept. Journal of Adolescents, 32(3), 733-739. doi:10.1016/j.adolescence.2009.01.003
- Lipscomb, S. (2007). Secondary school extracurricular involvement and academic achievement: A fixed effects approach. Economics of Education Review, 26(4), 463-472. doi:10.1016/j.econedurev.2006.02.006