In a person’s life, it is essential to have a holistic perspective, especially during their growth years. Along with academics, there are a lot of other parameters that help in honing the personality of a child. Extracurricular activities add another dimension to their learning curve. The word extracurricular is suggestive of the fact it is ‘outside the curriculum.’ Extracurricular activity is not just another hobby; it is a dedicated approach to a particular interest by training, participating, and performing in it. Students often misconceive the inclusion of extracurricular activities as a deflection from academics. More so because of their parent’s negligence about the same.
Advantages of Extracurricular Activities:-
There is no particular set of activities that comprise ‘extracurricular activities.’ Chess, skating, playing an instrument, singing, writing, debating, quizzing, taking online courses, workshops, painting, crafting, and so much more can be a part of a student’s life. On face value, these things may appear to be completely irrelevant from the traditional classroom courses and subjects. But there are a lot of advantages of indulging in them, which would also complement their academics and overall growth. Some of them are:-
- It helps in developing essential skills – If a child is interested in playing chess, she/he acquires a lot of traits such as analytical skills, strategy building, concentration, anticipation and many more such abilities which would render useful in every aspect of their life. Outdoor sports, debates, quizzes, and other competitions held at the school level prepare students and equip them with problem-solving skills to deal with real-life issues head-on. If we scrap off the externality of an activity, what we are left with is the reason behind liking that particular thing, which is more in compliance with the abilities gained and required after doing them.
- It provides a tremendous boost to their future profile/resume – While pursuing a bachelor’s or a master’s degree, candidates are often tested not only on their academic record but also their overall versatility and exploring potential. In an MBA, for instance, there is a specific weightage for extracurricular activities and accolades which can drive the interview and exponentially increase their chances of getting into the right business school, if they were to pursue it. It is also something that is recognized across all parts of the world and amps up the resume even in the case of studying abroad. In countries like the US and many other European nations, these activities account for about 30% of the marks allotted in the screening process.
- It provides students with a much needed productive break – After long, tiresome school and tuition hours, students are likely to get exhausted from studies. It is not possible for anyone to concentrate more than a fixed number of hours, and it becomes pointless to drag them, especially children, into doing something against their will. During that period, parents and guardians desperately wish their children to be involved in some activity, which gives them the relief they need, and they can also learn something new while doing so. It also prevents children from doing something unproductive or even destructive, like continually sitting in front of the computer screens may sabotage their physical and mental fitness.
- It opens new career prospects for them – Despite the stigma around professionally pursuing a sport or an alternative career option, millions of successful people have set examples of following their dreams. If a child has a knack for football, it is not an entirely absurd idea for her/him to pursue that as a profession or even do something relevant to that like opening a sports academy. The whole point of it is the fact that they should be able to widen their horizon and be willing to take up challenges and be aware of its consequences. With the right information, experience, and dedication, their decision to go ahead and make a career in it may prove to be one of the most crucial and satisfying choices they ever make.
- It introduces them to a new social circle – When a student participates in any extracurricular activity, he/she is exposed to a large variety of people and, as a result, a plethora of different ideas and perspectives. These constructive encounters and attitudes pave the way for them to be aware of the various possibilities. If a child is interested in reading and is part of the school’s book club, then it is likely that if the club were to organize a competition, there would be plenty of ideas on the table. This prepares the child for altercations, deadlock situations, and they learn on their own to deal with and accept these differences. It helps them strengthen their convincing power at that stage and also in the future. Another reason why it is of paramount importance is that their thoughts and beliefs are challenged from time to time so that they make more informed choices in their life before concluding something.