It is important be involved in activities that enrich and expand your life outside of the classroom. These are called extracurricular activities. Involvement in and dedication to extracurricular activities can enrich your life and help you develop varies skills and talents. Being a well rounded student can also be beneficial when it comes time to apply to colleges and scholarships.
Make sure to familiarize yourself with the extracurricular opportunities at school and in your community. Attend club fairs, ask your school for a list of clubs/sports, and look at flyers for clubs/groups/sports in and out school. Don't be afraid to try out several opportunities to find what best suits you.
Extracurricular involvement will:
Increase your self-confidence and self-awareness.
Enable you to meet other students with interests similar to yours.
Help you determine your future career goals by identifying and developing your talents, values and strengths.
Improve your communication, leadership, and teamwork skills.
Enhance your college applications by preparing you academically for college, and enable you to contribute to college campus life as an involved student.
Increase your chances of receiving college scholarships. Scholarship selection teams look for leaders and students, who are involved in, and contributing to their communities.
Be lots of fun!
Quality vs quantity
When applying for admission to colleges or for scholarships, it is the quality of your involvement, not the quantity that is likely to be noted, and perhaps even rewarded. Admissions officers and scholarship selection committees look for a demonstrated commitment to selected activities over time, not just limited participation in a large number of activities. Involvement which demonstrates a progression of responsibility, the development of specific skills and/or leadership ability is especially impressive.
How to start a club
It is also possible to create a club or organization on your school campus that reflects your interests and passions. If you are interested in this option, here are tips on how to start a club. This also demonstrates initiative, drive, resourcefulness, and leadership, which are characteristics valued by colleges.
Involvement in extracurricular activities can reinforce academics and help kids to learn social skills. Also, research has shown that involvement in extracurricular activities can improve a child's sense of belonging to the school and reduce his chance of failing or even dropping out. But, remember that kids need to focus on their academic achievements as well. The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia gives suggestions to help your children maintain a good balance between academics and extracurricular activities:
Get together regularly with your children to make sure their involvement in extracurricular activities isn't negatively impacting their academics. Discuss scheduling and time management to be sure they are not overwhelmed.
Divide your attention equally:
Be sure that you spend as much time with your child going over schoolwork as you do in helping them to prepare for a school play or practice for a ball game.
Promote real-world activities:
Getting involved in a language club or the school newspaper makes learning a child's favorite subject, such as English or Spanish, even more enjoyable.