WHAT IS 20 to 40 MINUTES OUT OF 24 HOURS? Between 2 to 3%
What are you doing for 20 minutes or more in your 24 hours which is benefiting U, your well-being and lifestyle?
Either Extracurricular Activity or Physical Activity or ideally both daily, weekly and monthly.
The word “extracurricular” “extra” means “outside” and “curricular” refers to all the work you do in the classroom. So extracurricular activities are just activities that you do outside of class. Extracurricular activities “include arts, athletics, clubs, employment, personal commitments, and other pursuits.”
Almost anything that you are actively and productively involved in can be considered an extracurricular activity.
Sports, which includes playing on a school sport team, an intramural team, or a club team outside of your school.
Community Service, which includes any sort of volunteer work, either in your community, on a national scale, or abroad.
Employment, including any jobs or internships.
Arts, which includes visual arts, performing arts, comedy, culinary arts – this list is almost endless.
Hobbies, such as blogging, a film club, hiking, Rubik’s Cube competitions, Cosplay, and more.
Academic activities, such as math or science clubs or competitions, research, or writing.
We need to find one’s passion for one or more of these activities and have the perseverance to stay at it if possible for life. What satisfaction and reward it will compliment and bring to your overall soul and spirit.
Building skills within a specific discipline, extracurricular activities are great for developing general academic and soft skills.
Think debating for public speaking, academic competitions for exam strategies and sport for teamwork.
The Benefits of Extracurricular Activities
- Improved Academic Performance. …
- Explore Interests and Create Broader Perspectives. …
- Higher Self-esteem. …
- Social Opportunities. …
- Productive Breaks. …
- Essential Life Skills. …
- Resumes. …
- University Applications.
The Benefits of Extracurricular Activities for Teenagers
1. Improved Academic Performance
Some students worry that participating in extracurriculars may take away too much time from their schoolwork, thus hurting their grades; however, extracurricular activities can actually improve your grades and your outlook on school in general!
Participating in activities you are passionate about can increase your brain function, help you concentrate and manage your time better, all of which contribute to higher grades. High endurance sports, for example, will train you to focus and build stamina in the face of intense difficulty. This gives you an advantage when it comes to studying and taking exams.
2. Explore Interests and Create Broader Perspectives
When you participate in multiple different activities, you’ll get the opportunity to explore a range of interests and unlock passions you never knew you had!
Plus, diversifying your interests subsequently broadens your world view.
3. Higher Self-esteem
The more you achieve success through activities you’re passionate about, the more your self-confidence will improve.
Working hard and mastering new skills in a fun, relaxed – and sometimes competitive – setting allows you to be successful without the pressure of getting a good grade.
Plus, once your confidence improves, you’ll be more open to taking risks in all aspects of your life.
4. Social Opportunities
Let’s be honest, making friends can be hard but one of the easiest ways to make friends is through extracurricular activities!
Each extracurricular you engage in provides you with another opportunity to expand your social network, which will also come in handy when you’re looking for a job.
If you make a few friends doing community service at school you might decide start a volunteer club together and really make an impact in your community!
5. Productive Breaks
Extracurricular activities give you something fun to do aside from school. It also gives you the chance to explore your passions to discover things you may be interested beyond academics while taking some time off hitting the book
6. Essential Life Skills
On top of all of the benefits of extracurricular activities we already talked about, one of the greatest advantages extracurricular activities give you are “real world” skills.
These skills include (but are not limited to):
- Goal setting
- Time management
- Problem solving
- Analytical thinking
- Public speaking
Without much previous work experience, one of the only ways hiring managers can assess your ability and work ethic is through your extracurricular activities.
8. University Applications
Extracurricular activities and leadership account for about 30% of your application!
Make sure your activities are ticking the following boxes to increase your chances of getting in:
1. Longevity: You stick with one type of activity rather than joining a new activity every week and quitting one every other week.
2. Passion: You truly care about your extracurricular activities and aren’t doing them just to get into uni.
3. Leadership: You have taken the initiative to become a leader within your activities and community.
Extracurricular activities expand well beyond sports.
Extracurricular could be the likes of chess club, art guild, community theatre, 4-H, and tons of other types of opportunities for kids to socialize.
Extra-Curricular Activities Can Enhance “Grit”
Angela Duckworth, author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, had a strong intuition that Grit is enhanced by participating in extra-curricular activities.
Kids who are involved in extra-curricular activities have better grades, higher self-esteem, and are positioned to do better in their life in general.
Activities led by a demanding and supportive adult, such as a coach or teacher, “are designed to cultivate interests, practice, purpose and hope.”
So, dance studios, dojos, and swimming clubs are breeding grounds for Grit.
Providing children with the combination of challenge (mastering something new) and intrinsic motivation (something that they are motivated to do on their own) seems to be the optimal reality to foster Grit.
Remaining involved in an activity for a minimum of two years allows a person to see improvement in their performance. Therefore, dedicating enough time to experience mastery is a crucial component in the process of developing Grit.
Duckworth also points out that activities are a way for youth to practice and to develop passion and perseverance – all crucial to achieve long-term goals.
This demonstrates a commitment to pursue an activity they love with discipline and hard work. It is believed that the skills and attitude developed in the pursuit of an activity can be transferred to other life experiences.
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