School offers much more than a top-notch education. Being an engaged student involves learning lessons in the classroom but also participating in the myriad activities that begin once the dismissal bell has rung.

Participation in extracurricular activities should be a consideration for every student because of the vast array of benefits such pursuits provide.

Information published in the Brandon University Journal of Graduate Studies in Education indicates that participation in extracurricular activities positively correlates with students’ development both academically and personally. Research shows being involved in afterschool clubs and sports promotes greater character development, improved academic success, good time-management techniques and leadership skills, and greater interest in community involvement.

Every school offers some type of extracurricular activity — from school bands to academic clubs to volunteer groups to sports. The National Center for Education Statistics says these activities offer students opportunities to learn many valuable lessons, including group responsibility and the value of competition. Some activities also help students develop their mental and physical strength.

The NCES notes that participation in extracurricular activities can foster a strong sense of connection between students and their schools, which can reduce the likelihood of school failures and dropout rates.

Furthermore, diversifying one’s interests through extracurricular activities broadens a person’s world view and improves self-esteem. These are benefits that can ultimately help students become well-rounded persons and successful professionals.

While people are quick to view extracurriculars for the academic advantages they provide, one often overlooked benefit is the social benefits of these pursuits. One of the best and easiest ways to make friends is through extracurricular activities. Fellow participants share the same interests and that can lay a solid foundation for lasting friendships.

Students who view extracurriculars as vital components of their school experiences can reap the rewards of being active members of their campus communities.

—Metro Services

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