We found a lot of information showing how important
extra-curricular activities are for successful students. Most of the
researchers said that the break from studying refreshes a student so they can
concentrate when they return to their homework. Most people agree that
coming home from school and starting your homework right away is not a good
habit. Taking a break to get something to eat and getting some physical
exercise helps you pay attention when you do start to study.
Some people think that students who are involved in
after school clubs or sports have better time management because they know they
can't keep their grades up and do sports unless they use their time wisely.
When you are involved in extra-curricular activities, it is important that you
have a priority system. Grades should be the first priority and then you
should rate all the other activities. Both of our families have a system
that works something like this:
Our parents do not allow us to quit something after
we have made a commitment to a team, a club, or a group of people. We have
learned to think things out before we ask to join something.
We think it is important to be involved in
extra-curricular activities, but it's also important to make time for family and
friends. Sometimes our lives get so busy we don't have time for our family
or our friends. Sometimes it would be nice to watch television for an
afternoon. But we think it is better to be involved than to sit around all
the time playing video games, watching television, or just hanging around on the
streets. The main reason to join a club or team is that it gives you
something better to do than staring at the wall, or napping all afternoon.
People get involved are less likely to become addicted to bad habits, such as
smoking or drinking.
Mary Rombokas did a survey of college students and
came up with some interesting facts. We have put them on another page in
case you would want to read her research.
Rombokas did a survey of college students who were involved in extracurricular
activities in high school to discover if there was in fact a connection between
involvement in activities and academic achievement. She concluded after
inquiring two hundred ninety-two college students that "participation in
extracurricular activities improves both the academic and social development of
students" (Rombokas 21). In her research, she discovered that athletes have
higher grade point averages than the students that are not in athletics (Rombokas
6). In addition, Rombokas found that a national survey performed by Durbin in
1984 showed that students in extracurricular activities in high school received
better grades when they were participating in activities. But the students that
were not participating in activities (Rombokas 8). It is proven that people who
exercise do better in school.
large amount of components have a say about the reasons why extracurricular
activities benefit students academically. One of the reasons is that, students
learn character-building lessons that they can apply in their studies and to
their lives. Activities such as athletics, music, theater teach students how to
discipline themselves through drills, practices, or rehearsals. The students
have a responsibility to the activity and must perform the tasks assigned to
them whether it means to run, sing, act, or organize an event. By participating
and persevering in any of these activities, the students gain a sense of
self-respect, self-esteem, and self-confidence. Extracurricular activities give
them pride in their accomplishments, and they learn that if an activity is worth
doing, it is worth doing well. Students echoed Rombokas’ conclusions because on
her survey 74.6% reported that they felt team sports are an excellent way to
build character (Rombokas 18).
extracurricular activities, students learn life skills that help their studies.
Matt Craft, president of the Iowa State University Government of the Student
Body, stated that being involved teaches students organization and time
management skills. Because activities take time out of the students’ schedules,
the involved students must plan their time wisely and efficiently to complete
the assigned tasks (Craft). In Berson’s survey of the community college softball
team, she also found that the students had to learn to budget their time for
their studies and four-hour per day softball practices. In addition to
organizational skills, extracurricular activities in the arts teach students
logical skills and creative problem solving skills since they have to think
creatively to successfully perform music, act in a play, or produce a work of
STUDENTS AT RISK:
Not only do
extracurricular activities help students that are already successful in school
to further succeed, they also help students that are at risk of flunking out to
remain in school. Erin Fowkes, counselor at the Battle Creek-Ida Grove High
School, stated that students involved in activities at that high school cannot
flunk more than two classes or they will be unable to participate. Therefore,
the borderline students who thoroughly enjoy their activity work hard to pass
their classes in order that they may continue to participate (Fowkes). In
Rombokas’ research, she found that extracurricular activities are the only
component that makes some students stay in school and attend regularly (Rombokas
10). Another benefit of extracurricular activities for at risk students is that
it lessens the number of discipline problems. Rombokas discovered in her
research that “High school athletes were considerably less involved in
school-related deviance, non-school related deviance, drug, alcohol, and tobacco
abuse, and serious offenses with the law.” Extracurricular activities give
students positive activities in which to be involved, and they spend their time
in a productive manner. Also, some high schools have policies that students
cannot participate in activities if they have violated the law (Fowkes).
social aspects of a student’s life do not affect his or her grade point average,
they do affect the overall wellbeing of the student. Education is not
exclusively learned by reading the textbook for students can learn an incredible
amount from their peers through extra-curricular activities. Students learn how
to compromise and work in a group. Extracurricular activities also allow
students to meet and interact with students that may not be within their close
group of friends. In addition, extracurricular activities help to enhance these
social skills and teach lessons not learned in a classroom. Laura Bestler,
assistant director of the student activities at the Student Activities Center,
said that extracurricular activities are an effective way to network and meet
other people with whom the students can study (Bestler). Reinforcing Bestler’s
statement, Erin Fowkes commented that extracurricular activities teach students
to work in teams and work cooperatively, skills that will help students be
successful in school and attain jobs in the future (Fowkes).
administrations of schools ought to continue their funding of extracurricular
activities since it clearly benefits the students’ academic achievement. Schools
should encourage students to participate in extracurricular activities since
they benefit the students in many ways. Also, the schools should inform the
coaches and group sponsors on the influence that the extracurricular activities
have on the students’ lives. Activities are not solely about what the score is,
how many wins or losses are attained during a season, or what place is won at a
competition. They provide and instruct students with lessons that will last them
Interview questions for Laura Bestler, Matt
Craft, and Erin Fowkes
- Why is it beneficial for students to be
- Why do involved students get better grades?
- Does it matter what type of activity the
student is in?
- Why are clubs and organizations funded by the
- How are activities a vital component of a
Berson, Judith S. (1996, March).
Student Perceptions of the Intercollegiate Athletic
Program at a Community College.
Paper Presented at the Annual Convention for the National Association of Student
Personnel Administrators, Atlanta, GA. ERIC Document ED404607.
Bestler, Laura. Telephone Interview. 11 Oct.
Craft, Matthew. Telephone Interview. 11 Oct.
Fowkes, Erin. Telephone Interview. 11 Oct. 1999.
Rombokas, Mary. (1995, October).
High School Extracurricular Activities and College
Grades. Paper Presented at the
Southeastern Conference of Counseling Personnel, Jekyll Island, GA. ERIC
The National Center for Educational Statistics
states on their website:
Almost every high school in the U.S. offers some
type of extracurricular activity, such as music, academic clubs, and sports.
These activities offer opportunities for students to learn the values of
teamwork, individual and group responsibility, physical strength and endurance,
competition, diversity, and a sense of culture and community. Extracurricular
activities provide a channel for reinforcing the lessons learned in the
classroom, offering students the opportunity to apply academic skills in a
real-world context, and are thus considered part of a well-rounded education.
Recent research suggests that participation in extracurricular activities may
increase students' sense of engagement or attachment to their school, and
thereby decrease the likelihood of school failure and dropping out (Lamborn et
al, 1992; Finn, 1993).
Decide how many days a week you can work without allowing your schoolwork to
Join an extra curricular activity that would be fun for you.
If you want to get involved
listen to announcements for school activities like student council,
clubs or sports. Some schools have bulletin boards that have the activities
Make sure that school work comes before the activities.