Involvement in clubs and athletic activities are considered extra-curricular or co-curricular activities. Participation in these groups indicate you are going above and beyond your school requirements.
Extracurricular activities require a regular time commitment and initiative such as being on a sports team, forming a student newspaper, playing the trumpet in the pep band or being an active member of the campus ministry group.
The Benefits of Extracurricular Activities
1. Improved Academic Performance
Some students worry that participating in extravehicular activities may take away too much time from their schoolwork, thus hurting their grades; however, extracurricular activities can actually improve your grades and your outlook on school in general!
Participating in activities you are passionate about can increase your brain function, help you concentrate and manage your time better, all of which contribute to higher grades. High endurance sports, for example, will train you to focus and build stamina in the face of intense difficulty. This gives you an advantage when it comes to studying and taking exams.
Lots of studies have been conducted on the relationship between extracurricular activities and academic performance, and they all show that students who participate in them have higher grades, more positive attitudes toward school and higher academic aspirations.
2. Explore Interests and Create Broader Perspectives
When you participate in multiple different activities, you’ll get the opportunity to explore a range of interests and unlock passions you never knew you had!
Plus, diversifying your interests subsequently broadens your world view.
3. Higher Self-esteem
The more you achieve success through activities you’re passionate about, the more your self-confidence will improve.
Working hard and mastering new skills in a fun, relaxed — and sometimes competitive — setting allows you to be successful without the pressure of getting a good grade.
Plus, once your confidence improves, you’ll be more open to taking risks in all aspects of your life.
4. Social Opportunities
Let’s be honest, making friends can be hard but one of the easiest ways to make friends is through extracurricular activities!
Each extracurricular you engage in provides you with another opportunity to expand your social network, which will also come in handy when you’re looking for a job.
Plus, if you make friends in your extracurricular activities, you’ll be more likely to get more deeply involved.
5. Productive Breaks
Extracurricular activities give you something fun to do aside from school. It also gives you the chance to explore your passions to discover things you may be interested beyond academics while taking some time off hitting the book
6. Essential Life Skills
On top of all the benefits of extracurricular activities we already talked about, one of the greatest advantages extracurricular activities give you are “real world” skills.
These skills include (but are not limited to):
The more you push yourself in your extracurricular endeavors, the more you’ll develop these skills.
Without much previous work experience, one of the few ways hiring managers can assess your ability and work ethic is through your extracurricular activities.
For example, if you were on a chess team, the manager would know that you are analytical and can see things from multiple perspectives — awesome skills to have in the workplace!
8. University Applications
Colleges and universities are looking for students with a well-rounded background. They want to know you have gone above and beyond in your intended area of study and have made a difference and/or excelled your field.
One study indicated extracurricular activities and leadership account for about 30% of your application!