To complement the holistic growth and development of the students and to equip them with the characteristics required to become a positive part of society, high schools encourage their students to participate in a number of integrated activities and programs. Stephen Varanko III underlines that the majority of high schools today provide the students with an adequate platform where they can discover their hidden talents and abilities, and hone their diverse skills. Stephen himself took part in a variety of extracurricular activities during his school years, and also undertook a variety of leadership roles in student organizations, sports teams, and humanitarian organizations like Habitat for Humanity.
The middle and high school are the crucial time for the development of any child. However, even the top-performing students in these years might not be able to meet their full potential without the chance to contribute or diversify their interests and skills in a club or an extracurricular activity. Stephen Varanko III says that by encouraging the children to take part in activities outside of the classroom, educators and parents can provide them with a route to make new friends, strengthen their social and intellectual growth, and develop new interests. Stephen himself maintains great academic performance in his high school, while being an active participant in diverse extracurricular activities. He is an alumnus of Randolph Macon Academy where he made both the dean’s and president’s list and finished 12th in class rankings with a cumulative grade point average of 3.4.
Here are some of the major advantages of taking part in extracurricular activities in school as underlined by Stephen Varanko III:
- Students get the chance to discover their talents and interests beyond the textbook by taking part in activities outside of the classroom. They might even stumble on their passion or their life’s calling by doing so.
- Extracurricular activities offer the students a much-needed break from their studies and homework. This is especially true for senior students who tend to be burdened under huge course work. Depending on the interests of individual students, these activities can provide them with the chance to get outside and exercise, socialize with others, and simply de-stress. This shall also limit the time they spend in front of a TV or computer screen.
- As students take part in activities that are outside of the normal school day, they also get the chance to learn about time management and prioritizing work. Balancing school, homework, and extracurricular activities shall go a long way in enabling students to prepare for various adulthood tasks.
- If a student is particularly academically inclined, extracurricular activities can be quite effective in enabling them to find their footing. Students struggling with self-esteem often get a much-needed confidence boost to discover that there is something they are good at outside of the classroom.
Extracurricular activities play a major role in the overall personality development of students as well.