College offers more than just learning. Many students who participated in specific extracurriculars in high school continue to do it in college. Since the start of the twenty-first century, colleges have broadened their educational mission to include extracurriculars. It is an approach that aims to develop “the well–rounded student.”
As a result, many high school students are advised to participate in one or multiple non-academic undertakings to improve their college applications. Extracurricular involvement plays an integral part of personal development and their overall collegiate experience. Here are some of the benefits to students.
Boosting Academic Performance
There’s a common misconception that participating in extracurricular activities harms your academic life. In truth, it’s supposed to complement a person’s education as long as they can find the right balance. Many of the skills you need for non-academic involvements can be applied to your core subjects.
Education requires students to have creativity, memory, problem-solving skills, and critical thinking. Many non-collegiate activities can help develop these areas. For example, being part of the chess club can boost critical thinking and problem solving, which students can apply to learning and in their daily lives. Also, participating in sports increases brain function and improves one’s ability to focus, which can be helpful for learning. Some extracurriculars also boost creativity which is a tool that can help with essay writing.
Improves Self Esteem
Self-confidence is an essential trait for students because they need it to face the various challenges experienced in college. The more you achieve by participating in an activity you are passionate about, the more your self-confidence improves.
Self-confidence will hand you a boost when facing other parts of your college life. For example, if you participate in a sport, you’re passionate about and start winning with your team, your confidence increases. You can use it to improve other areas of your college life.
Offers More Social Opportunities
Making friends in college can be a challenge for some people. Keep in mind that college is way more memorable when you have friends. Non-collegiate undertakings offer opportunities to engage with people who share similar interests. It’s easier to make friends with your teammates, and some of these friendships can last for life.
Each extracurricular activity you join offers an opportunity to expand your social circle. The friends you make will help overcome the hurdles you might face in college. Some will eventually be valuable connections when you start job hunting.
Offers Productive Breaks
Non-academic activities offer an opportunity to do something productive during leisure. Students get the chance to follow some of their passions beyond academics. Remember that you need some rest from learning to recharge.
Extracurricular involvement during your rest time refreshes your mind while still allowing you to explore your passion. Learning can sometimes be stressful, and a good non-academic activity can help eliminate some of this stress.
Strengthens the Resume
When students are fresh out of college, they don’t have much experience to present to their potential employers. As a result, hiring officials have to assess a person’s ability based on their education and extracurriculars.
For example, if a recruiting manager discovers that you were part of the debate team, they will know that you’re good at public speaking and addressing others. They will also determine that you can work with other people and handle arguments professionally and with the support of facts. Also, students selected as team captains are associated with the ability to lead others in the workplace, which boosts their employment chances.
Extracurricular Activities Teach Essential Life Skills
Aside from all of the above benefits, one of the most important reasons non-academics are essential is that they offer real-world skills. You learn vital skills whether you’re in a sports team or learning a new instrument for the Music club. These include skills such as:
- Time management
- Leadership, especially if you become team captain
- Public speaking
- Analytical thinking
In sports, you learn to do your part so that your team can win, which is a skill you will need in the future when you get employed. Traits such as leadership and problem solving are valued in the workplace and can speed up your journey of climbing the corporate ladder.
There are many different activities to try in college, but it’s always best to choose those that align with your passions. Extracurricular undertakings complement your academic life and help you become well-rounded by incorporating the various skills mentioned above. However, students should choose them wisely and properly balance them with academics.