We get it – high school can be tough. Maybe you’re busy getting ahead, or maybe you’re busy just trying to keep up. It’s understandable if you feel you need to focus on academics. But the truth is, if you’re always working, you could be missing out on something equally as important. Co-curricular activities fuel your learning by stimulating creative thought, improving your social and organizational skills, developing your interests and talents, and offering you the chance to switch off and do something you really enjoy. So, if we’ve captured your imagination, here are our picks for the top benefits of co-curricular activities in high school.
It’s easy to forget when you’ve got your nose buried deep in a book, but interacting with your peers is essential to ensuring your high school experience is as rich as it can be. Even if you’re not someone who finds social situations easy, joining a school club is the perfect way to meet like-minded individuals. Having fun with friends will make your high school experience more enjoyable, and those social skills will come in handy when you start university or your first job. Never underestimate the importance of connecting to others – there’s power in building networks. The friends you make tomorrow could be the ones who support you your whole life through.
Improved academic performance
You might worry that participating in co-curricular activities will detract from your schoolwork, but that isn’t the case. Active participation in an activity you’re passionate about will improve your brain functioning. You’ll develop your concentration and time management skills. For example, sports activities will train you to focus, build stamina, and teach you to keep trying in the face of failure or difficulty. Students who get involved in other areas of student life are also likely to have a more positive outlook on school and future study. In short, co-curricular activities could give you an advantage when it comes to improving your academic performance.
Stress relief and relaxation
Working on homework, studying for exams, thinking about your future – these things can all seem overwhelming. Co-curricular activities provide you with the opportunity to concentrate your efforts somewhere else. For an hour or two, you can escape whatever it might be that’s stressing you out and relax into something productive. Theatre or public speaking will build your self-confidence. Sports will keep you healthy and happy. Discussion or interest groups will increase your sense of community at school. Gardening, science, technology clubs will all allow you to build transferable skills while having a good time with friends. Whatever you decide to do, it’s important to do something that isn’t studying once in a while.
Broaden your horizons
High school is the ideal time to challenge yourself by trying new things and considering new perspectives. Through participating in co-curricular activities, you could find a new interest, talent, or even career goal. Not everyone finds their inspiration in the classroom. You might also find that new experiences inform and shape your opinions towards your academic subjects. Developing as a person is all about putting yourself out of your comfort zone – students who have studied abroad know just how impactful the experience was in helping them to mature, be independent, and consider new perspectives. The same goes for co-curricular activities, challenge yourself, try as many as you can and find the ones that make you a better person.
Co-curricular activities are an essential part of any good university application. They can show longevity: that a student knows how to commit to something and stick with it. Also, passion: if you’ve put your heart and soul into an interest, it suggests you’re capable of doing the same with your studies. Finally, leadership: Taking the initiative, driving a team effort, being bold in deciding how you want to spend your free time, even organizing your own club after school or leading one – these are all the sorts of attributes that university admissions officers will be on the lookout for.
Students at our international boarding schools make life-long friends, experience the culture of their host country and find their passion in the sports, clubs and activities that inspire them most. Our student life program is powered by their engagement and school spirit.