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The Importance of Extracurricular Activities for Students

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    We all know high school is stressful. Trying to maintain good grades while still having a social life is already challenging, but when you add in being involved in multiple clubs and sports it becomes almost impossible. So, if your already busy and stressed out from everything else, are these really necessary? To sum up in easy words: yes. After examining the improvement in work ethics, the advantages of a strong resume ,the the growth of socialization , and it is clear that students should be involved in some form of extracurricular activities.

    According to Newsroom, fifty-seven percent of children between 6 and 17 years old participate in at least one after-school extracurricular activity (2014) and being a 16 year old who is involved in both sports and clubs can conclude that, because of my involvement, there has been an immense improvement in my work ethic. Joining a club or sport comes with many responsibilities and most of the time a major change in priorities, however, it also brings many advantages like “better time management” and a “sense of commitment” stated by Nicole Jackson from The Educator (2017).

    With work ethic comes important traits like leadership and adaptability. According to Charanjit S. Rihal, MD, leadership is the ability and willingness to take ownership of the organization combined with an intrinsic drive to do what is best for the organization. Leadership is essential to having a good work ethic because it allows you to be dependable, people will expect you to be the one to first take the initiative to complete a task. As a leader, it is therefore essential to make a joint effort to understand people of different cultures, and cultural adaptability has become an imperative for leadership. Being able to adapt to various situations while being a leader will prove to be very helpful later in life.

    Of course, there is also the argument that that students will already have too many priorities and if they take on more then all the added stress could backfire. While this statement

    is true, every student should learn their boundaries and want to push their self to the best they could be. If one thing doesn’t work out, then there is no pressure to find something else that works. Chitra Reddy from Wisestep acknowledges the fact that time management is one of the most important factors and not all students share the same ability to get work done in a given period, but later states that you can tackle this problem by opting for an activity that allows you to manage time.

    When it’s finally time to apply for college, filling out your resume can be very scary. While GPA and previous course enrollment is important, colleges want to know what takes up your time. Being involved in extracurricular activities shows admissions officers that you are a well-rounded student and that you will actively be involved with activities on their campus and when it comes to being accepted, your extracurriculars are what set you out from others. According to Anamaria Lopez, last year, nearly 200,000 students applied to UC Berkeley, only 17.5% of which were admitted (2016).

    Dean of Undergraduate Admissions at Columbia University, Jessica Marinaccio, said “We don’t need to know what kind of person you are when you are applying to our college we will figure that out ourselves when we examine what you do outside of school”.While some may say that their grades are enough, with so many qualified applicants gunning for a limited number of spots, these competitive public universities are forced to evaluate qualitative criteria like extracurricular activities more carefully.

    When being involved in extracurricular activities, whether it be sports or clubs, your socialization will grow. While being in a group of interest will put you with like minded people, you will also be forced to interact with other diverse groups and allow you to get a sense of appreciation for the occupations of other individuals. Being involved in extracurriculars also teaches you that you don’t have to be someone’s friend to work successfully with them. This life skill will allow you to work through a lot of situations and teach you the value of maturity.

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