Sports. Marching Band. Performing Arts. Yearbook. Chess Club. Key Club. Robotics.
You’ve heard it from your parents, your school, and even your friends — get involved. Try an extra-curricular activity. No doubt you’ve seen the banners trying to recruit you to tryout for the swim team or audition for the improv comedy troupe.
You may think that participating in an extra-curricular activity is silly. Or a waste of time. But did you know those activities could help you? There has been a scientifically proven correlation between participating in activities and student success. You can read the study yourself or check out this infographic for more information.
If you still need convincing to participate in an activity, here are 4 Benefits of Participating in Extra-Curricular Activities:
1. Develop Strong Teamwork Skills
As a member of a team, club, or organization, you immediately will start to learn more about the value of teamwork. You may have differences with other members, but you’ll quickly learn that if you can’t cooperate, it will be harder to get things accomplished. Knowing the value of teamwork is a vital skill for the work force. Many different jobs will require you to work together toward a common goal. Learn the skills early and you can develop them over time.
2. Embelish Your Resume
When schools and companies are looking at applicants, they often search for well-rounded individuals. Having a perfect ACT score and straight A’s may be impressive, but so is holding down a part-time job and volunteering at church while participating in class. Participating in extra-curricular activities is a great way to express yourself and also shows your passion for community.
Tip — When searching for an extra-curricular activity, consider your own interests and hobbies. Also, think about your future career aspirations. For example, participating in the Robotics Club could be useful to a future engineer.
3. Learn Organization & Time Management
Participating in activities while going to school certainly isn’t easy. By joining an after-school activity, you are giving up free time you could be spending studying or doing homework. And you cannot neglect your studies. (Several activities — especially sports — require that you maintain a minimum GPA in order to stay on the team.) Extra-curricular activities force you to develop organization and time management skills. If you know you have choir rehearsal right after school, you need to schedule another time to study for your English test. My mother used to tell me she would always assign projects to the busiest person because they would make time to get it done. The same is true with activities. Don’t burn yourself out, but don’t limit yourself either. Experiment and figure out what works best for your schedule.
4. Expand Your Horizons
Can’t find a club that fits you? Why not start your own? It’s easier than ever to start your own club or organization. Most schools simply require a faculty member to be your adviser. My cousin was once in the St. Ignatius Sci-Fi club. A friend of mine from college works at an Ohio college and was just asked to be the adviser for their Lightsaber Guild. There’s even a high school in Cleveland that offers a Hammock Club.
When you first look at the list of extra-curricular activities, consider all of the options. Don’t be afraid to try something new. You may just discover a hidden talent or passion. Expand your horizons and explore a new activity. Nervous? Bring a friend along. Remember, there’s safety in numbers.
So, what are you waiting for? Ask your school how you can get involved outside of the classroom. Talk to a club president or adviser, or check out the next involvement fair. You’ll be glad you did. There are endless opportunities out there right now, just waiting for you.