Studies show that students who participate in extracurricular activities have higher levels of academic achievement, greater character development and social development and a greater sense of the importance of community involvement. Keep reading to find tips on choosing the right extracurricular activities for your student.
Explore the options
Just like with elective classes, extracurricular activities are an opportunity for students to learn more about themselves. This can be an activity that they’re already good at or one that they want to learn more about. Encourage children to use extracurricular activities to try new things, particularly ones they won’t have an opportunity to do elsewhere or at any other time. Make sure the activities are challenging, but complement the activities they already participate in. Push boundaries and discover even more about yourself.
Look for leadership
Try to choose activities that will offer you a chance to be a leader. Admissions officers and future employers alike love to see strong leadership skills, and here’s where those skills start to develop. Find a group of students and activities that feel comfortable for you and position yourself to take a leadership role as you get more involved. You can also look for organizations that complement your academic or career interests, such as a future engineers club or a student branch of a professional organization.
Consider starting a club
If you can’t find a club that interests you, consider starting one. Most of your school’s extracurricular activities started with a small group of like-minded students, and there’s no reason you can’t do the same. Starting a club now can be a great experience and looks good on your college admissions paperwork. Some schools may have funds to help you get started.
Just be careful of overloading yourself. Get a faculty member involved early so that they can help you balance your academic load with your activities.
Remember that, first and foremost, the point of extracurricular activities is to have fun. If at any point the activity becomes more work for you or adversely affects your mental and physical health in any way, ask for help from a trusted adult or teacher. Don’t let it consume you and make sure to keep your life balanced.