The Importance Of Extracurricular Activities

In this increasingly polarized world of education, standing out from the pack is becoming extremely important. And while we all scrutinize over grade point averages, SAT scores, and other metrics, it is easy to forget that there are a number of defining characteristics that cannot be measured on a scale.

Extracurricular activities are increasingly becoming important measures on which students are judged upon, especially by university administration offices. Sure, there are certain benchmarks that most schools expect from prospective students. Some measure by GPA, others by SAT and ACT scores. Actually, most have an equation that involves all of these measures.

But beyond pure metrics, extracurricular activities weigh heavily on not just college admissions officers, but the overall education of children.

Here are some of the ways:

  1. Leadership Skills. This, beyond all else in the extracurricular area, is the most important attribute that children learn outside of the classroom. The ability to handle tasks, inspire others, meet deadlines, and communicate are the cornerstone of potential. These attributes expand into every potential job in the world, as well as personal and family life. Colleges and employers alike seek out those who can maximize the staff around them.
  2. Organizational Skills. Whether they are preparing for a team business competition or learning the volleyball coach’s playbook, children who have extracurricular activities learn how to budget their time in order to maximize their output. Balancing a schedule, working in time for rest, and other activities is important for everybody — and employers and colleges know it.
  3. Communication Skills. Even if your child is participating in an individual activity like chess or tennis, there is still an emphasis on communication. It could be between themselves and their coaches or reacting to the crowd. Or it may be between themselves and their doctors. No matter what, extracurricular activities foster the importance of collaboration and proper communication.
  4. Varied Interests. The best baseball players are known as 5-tool players, meaning they excel in five separate skills on the field. In soccer, the best players are midfielders because they can play exceptional offence and defense. The winners of the Academic Decathlon know a lot about a lot, so to speak. Heck, just watch the contestants on Jeopardy! The point is that extracurricular activities round out a personality and provide additional life skills that can’t always be gained in the classroom. Look at it this way — a sword is great for a couple situations, but a Swiss Army knife is more useful in all the rest.

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