Taking part in extracurricular activities can be really fun and good schools such as this Shanghai international school, WISS, offer a host of activities for their students. It’s exciting when you’re learning a new skill or practicing something you’ve done for a while and seeing yourself get better and better at it. In fact, there are a whole bunch of benefits that come from participating in extracurricular activities. Here are just five of them.
#1 You learn a new skill
This is the most obvious benefit. Extracurricular activities widen your set of skills and could be something that you hold on to for the rest of your life. Evidence shows that if you start learning something at a young age, you’re more likely to excel in it. This is because young people’s prefrontal cortex (the part of the brain where working memory is stored) is still developing – this means it’s easier to train your brain to learn new skills when you’re young than when you get older.
Plus, extracurricular activities don’t only help you with that specific skill – for example, practicing your drawing skills will make you better at painting. Studying one language will make it easier to learn a different language. You get the idea. Extracurricular activities can help development in a broader sense too. Learning to play a sport, for instance, helps with skills like teamwork, leadership, and problem-solving. Playing an instrument teaches creativity, perseverance, and hand-eye coordination.
#2 You could do better at school
The skills that you learn during extracurricular activities can be applied to your schoolwork. Education involves skills like critical thinking, memory, and creativity. You’ll find you get better at these skills the more you practice them, and extracurricular activities help with this. Studies have found that even taking part in activities that are not directly linked to academia boosts students’ performance in math, reading, and other areas. Plus, if you’re taking part in sports, evidence shows that physical activity will positively impact your studies.
#3 You get time to socialize
Participating in extracurricular activities means you get to spend time with a wide range of people who you would have never spoken to otherwise. This means learning how to work together in a team and making new friends. Particularly for younger students, extracurricular activities can help them develop social skills and become more confident. Plus, getting better at a skill gives everyone a big confidence boost, which can transfer over into all other aspects of life. Ultimately, it can translate to a positive self-view and improved mental wellbeing.
#4 You get better at time management
Extracurricular activities can help students to learn great time management skills. Time management might not sound like something you need to practice at, but it’s a skill that many people (even adults!) struggle with. Ever been in a rush to get to school on time? If that happens a lot, you might have poor time management skills. Extracurricular activities help students work on this skill because they will need to learn to balance school life, home life, and getting to their activity on time. Just like with anything, the more you practice good time management, the better you’ll get at it.
#5 You can impress your future school or university
Extracurricular activities look great on your student resume. For top universities, being involved in extracurriculars is pretty much a requirement, and you’ll find it difficult to gain admission without showing evidence that you take part in at least one. Universities love students who take part in extracurriculars because it shows they’re well-rounded individuals who are likely to succeed in further learning; it proves that you’re passionate, willing to persevere at something, and are interested in learning a wide range of skills.
Ready to add an extracurricular or two to your repertoire? Check out the huge range of after-school activities offered at the Western International School of Shanghai.