Studies done at the high school and college-level suggest that involvement in extracurricular activities can lead to improved academic performance, self-confidence, social skills, better health and awareness of career goals. These benefits are present when students maintain a healthy school-life balance and do not over-structure their time with extracurricular activities.
Extracurricular activities are activities outside of scheduled class times that children elect to take based on their personal interests. Many schools require children to maintain a certain grade-point average to be able to participate in extracurricular activities, which further motivates them to succeed in academics. They also learn valuable time-management and stress-management skills and have social support from those participating in the same activities.
Children in team sports and group activities learn how to work together toward common goals and how to mediate conflicts. They also benefit from positive interactions with their coaches or mentors, giving them more self-confidence and chances to receive helpful guidance from people they look up to.
Those involved in sports keep fit and stave off obesity, while those pursuing science or the arts develop their skill sets in those areas. Colleges and universities always consider a student’s extracurricular participation when making admission decisions to find individuals who can contribute something valuable to their campus communities. Additionally, those who pursue outside interests may have clearer ideas of their career goals.