The Importance and Utility of Extracurriculars


As students progress through middle and high school, many hear the term ‘extracurricular’ told more frequently. Emphasis may unexpectedly move from their activities in the classroom to those outside the classroom, known as extracurricular activities (or informally, “extracurriculars”). Uninfluenced by their school’s offerings, extracurricular activities are important for students of all ages to participate in; unlike school (or formally, “curricular”) activities, excluding summer school, they can be completed during summer break and other school breaks as well. Heading into the 2020-2021 school year, these are some of the many extracurriculars that students can enjoy and benefit from.


Interest-based extracurriculars

Though the typical examples of extracurriculars include football, basketball, marching band, and orchestra, extracurriculars are by nature diversified. Students can choose to participate in extracurriculars attuned to their interests, whether their cup of tea is a physical, creative, or academic endeavor. Students can join the Lubbock Swim Club if they enjoy swimming, play in the Youth Orchestra of Lubbock if their primary interests are musical, or apply for hospital volunteer positions if they envision a future studying medicine. Regardless of a student’s particular interests, relevant extracurriculars are available to foster his or her intellectual or creative passions, even in medium-sized cities like Lubbock. Extracurriculars of this specialized variety can have an enormous impact on students’ college and career paths, simply by exposing them to interests and natural talents they might otherwise be unaware of. Because the school day length of about eight hours is hardly enough to cover a year’s worth of material, much less individualized interests, students hardly have the time during school to explore their passions if they lie beyond the set curriculum; to find the time to engage in perhaps unfamiliar but intriguing activities and foster their passions, students turn to extracurriculars outside of the classroom.


Service-based extracurriculars

Interest-based only describes one of several kinds of extracurricular; another type of extracurricular is participation in one or more service organizations, including the National Honor Society, United Way Youth Division, and the Volunteer Center of Lubbock, to name a few local options. These extracurriculars are straightforwardly accessible, common among high school students, and beneficial to participating students as well as local and global communities. In fact, Robin’s Nest tutoring service itself falls under this category; its goals lie in tandem with other service organizations as it aims to provide free aid to local families. Service organizations such as Robin’s Nest are communally helpful and positively impact everyone involved – tutors, students, parents, and teachers.


Extracurriculars for enjoyment

That being said about interest-based and service-based extracurriculars, students should not limit themselves to only these sorts of extracurriculars; students should also invest time in additional extracurriculars they participate in simply for their own enjoyment. These hobbies can range from playing an instrument to woodworking to starting a club to simply exercising regularly; these can all help improve students’ mental and/or physical health and counter the stresses of day-to-day student life. In fact, most extracurriculars have this benefit and more. For example, group extracurriculars also help to bolster students’ collaborative abilities and communication skills, and moreover, leadership positions within these extracurriculars encourage responsibility and organization.


Conclusion

Ultimately, extracurriculars are as important (and in many cases, arguably more important) than in-school courses. They allow students to explore their interests, serve local and distant communities alike, and enjoy themselves, all while having positive impacts on their interpersonal and organizational skills. Though the shift of emphasis from school activities to extracurricular activities is usually unexpected, students should embrace it and recognize the benefits and importance of engaging in extracurriculars of all sorts. Thanks for reading! This article was written by Aetizaz Sameer, a head writer at Robin's Nest.

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