According to a survey published on the National Center for Education Statistics website, the average American student spends a little less than 1,200 hours in school a year. Since school and homework take up such a large part of the average student's day, it can be easy to forget the importance of extracurricular activities, activities outside the classroom. It is often in these extracurricular activities, such as speech team, robotics club or football, that allow a student to further flourish in ways that could not happen inside the four walls of a classroom.
Just in case you need some further convincing as to why you should join in co-curricular (a term that can be used interchangeable with extracurricular) activities here are 12 reasons to get involved:
- Explore your abilities - Co-curriculars are the perfect opportunity to explore different types of activities and to find out what you are good at and find your passions.
- An opportunity to turn a talent into a skill - Find an opportunity that will let you master an ability you already have a natural aptitude for.
- Make new friends - Make new friends who have the same passions and interests as you. A team or school activity is often the best place to make a valuable lifelong friendship.
- Teamwork - Learning how to work on a team is a very valuable skill that some adults even struggle with today. Why not get a head start, join a team sport or participate in a group project such as Destination Imagination and First Lego League!
- Time Management - The sooner you learn how to balance school, extra curricular activities, and a proper sleep schedule, the easier your life will become! You'll be especially thankful for this skill in college and beyond.
- Apply your knowledge - If you ever find yourself in class asking, "Why do I need to know this?" then an extracurricular activity is a perfect way to find out! Extracurriculars are a fun way to apply the verb conjugations from Spanish class or the Laws of Thermodynamics to real life situations.
- Be a strong applicant for jobs or college - Separate yourself from the average applicant by showing your future school or employer that you can apply knowledge outside of the classroom, have a diverse set of skills, and/or are interested in getting involved in your community.
- Pave way for scholarships or internships - Whether it's for football, soccer, your volunteer work, or success in a computer hacking competition, joining in co-curriculars open a path for you to receive a variety of scholarships or internships.
- Score higher on standardized tests - According to the College Board, "participation in extracurricular activities provides all students [...] a measurable and meaningful gain in their college admissions test scores."
- Increase your self-esteem - Finding something you are good at and building and improving your abilities will help you be more confident. Good self esteem outside the classroom could also be a predictor of strong academic performance inside the classroom.
- Actively participate in causes you care about - Do you think the park by your house has too much litter? Join the environmental club and make your first project cleaning up that park. A lot of schools also have organization such as Key Club that will help you get involved in helping others in your community.
- Have fun! More than anything getting involved in activities is a great way to stay busy, stay active, and have fun!
Extracurricular activities are a great way to create memories and achievements that will last a lifetime. Keep track of these accomplishments and the lessons learned from them, create a portfolio on KudosWall today.