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The Benefits of Extracurricular Activities for High School Students

WMA students performing on stage

Extracurricular activities help students in a multitude of ways throughout their high school years. At Wilbraham & Monson Academy, we offer more than 60 clubs, teams and activities to help our students thrive. These endeavors are a worthwhile commitment for any student who wants to improve their prospects for college while improving themselves. Take a look at some of the benefits of joining extracurricular activities. 

1. Improve Your Academic Performance

Some students feel that taking on an extracurricular activity or two will hurt their grades, but the opposite is actually true in many cases. With good time management skills, students can succeed both in and outside of the classroom. The key is to find a balance that works for you. 

Extracurricular activities of all kinds are great ways to let off steam and reduce stress. Whether you're staying active through sports or flexing your creative muscles with art or music, extracurriculars allow you to take a break from classwork to focus on something you're passionate about. With these productive breaks, you'll return to your academics with even more energy and enthusiasm than before.

Your extracurriculars can also complement the knowledge you gain in the classroom. Opportunities like student government or the school newspaper allow you to apply lessons you've learned in class to real situations. 

2. Boost Your Social Skills

One of the biggest benefits of joining extracurricular activities is the chance to meet new people. Whether you're joining a club with friends or trying out for a team on your own, you're sure to connect with new people and form lasting friendships. Extracurriculars allow you to interact with other students you might not meet in your classes. Building cooperation outside the classroom will improve your social skills in any scenario.

Group extracurriculars like athletics, theater or science teams also teach important lessons about teamwork. Learning to work with different kinds of people is a necessary skill in high school and beyond. When you work through problems and find solutions together, you'll bond with your fellow students and share your successes. In certain positions, you'll get the chance to earn valuable leadership skills you'll use your entire life.

3. Develop Better Time Management Skills

Time management skills are essential for everyone, and extracurricular activities will help you develop them quickly. When you have more to do between classes, socializing, clubs and finding time to relax, you'll learn how to build an effective routine in no time. Use a planner to keep track of dates, assignments and upcoming events. You'll realize you have more time than you thought! Taking extracurriculars will help you learn how to prioritize your responsibilities and passions in a sensible way.

Rather than leaving you drained, staying busy with the right balance of extracurriculars will boost your energy and improve your performance. Creating and sticking to a schedule helps you prepare for what's next at all times. Extracurricular activities also help you develop other essential life skills, such as goal setting and communication.

4. Boost Your Resume for College Applications

A big part of your high school experience is about preparing for college and the workplace. Extracurricular activities help students get ready for higher education in many ways. Colleges look for well-rounded students who will contribute to their campus. Today, it's helpful to have more than just good grades. Admissions counselors look for extracurriculars and community involvement that demonstrate how you'll be a good fit for their school. Join teams or clubs that you're passionate about to show colleges what's important to you.

Extracurriculars are also beneficial for resumes and college or job applications because they teach you practical skills that you wouldn't otherwise learn in a traditional classroom. Whether they're leadership skills from serving as a dorm prefect or experience gained as part of WMA's Finance, Entrepreneurship & Business Society, extracurricular activities stand out to colleges and employers.

5. Explore Your Interests and Passions

Joining extracurricular activities will broaden your horizons. No matter if it's a hobby you've had for years or something new you've decided to try on a whim, high school clubs are a great chance to diversify your interests. Take advantage of the opportunities and freedom that you have to explore during these years. You might find a new passion that becomes your college major or future career.

If you're hesitant about joining a dance club or robotics team, go for it! You'll never know what you can do until you try it. Each small success builds up your talents and self-assurance. Extracurricular activities help students engage with their passions and gain confidence in new areas.

6. Gain Experience With Long-Term Commitments

Another one of the benefits of joining extracurricular activities is the chance to gain experience with long-term commitments. When you sign up for a club or team, you're committing to that group. This commitment comes with responsibilities like showing up, making time in your schedule and doing your part for the community. You'll learn what it means to be accountable to yourself and to others, which is a valuable lesson at any age.

Making a long-term commitment to an extracurricular also helps you figure out your true passions. Extracurricular activities encourage you to earn success after an extended period of effort rather than instant gratification. You'll discover which of your interests you're truly willing to put time and effort toward. 

7. Build Self-Esteem

Participating in extracurricular activities will help build self-esteem across the board. Every student needs opportunities to succeed outside of the classroom. Without the pressure of a potential grade, students are free to take chances and embrace mistakes that they might not otherwise risk.

These opportunities allow you to explore your capabilities and reach your full potential. Every achievement, from a hard-fought win on the rugby field to a musical recital you're particularly proud of, is a success that will build up your confidence. These successes add up and lead to improved performance inside the classroom and out.

Explore Your Extracurricular Opportunities at Wilbraham & Monson Academy

At Wilbraham & Monson Academy, we have a wide range of organized clubs and activities. These extracurricular opportunities help our students grow as individuals and teammates in an evolving world. Learn more about WMA's extracurriculars today!

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