5 Reasons Why You Need to Join Extracurriculars

Since grade four, I’ve taken part in extracurriculars every year. For me, these mostly consisted of musicals and plays, and eventually became my favourite aspect of school. It might not surprise you, then, that I’ve gone on to pursue a degree in Drama at university. 

While my passion was in the arts, I also sought out opportunities to get involved with sports and other clubs. In addition to participating in drama club for all four years of high school, I joined the lacrosse and softball teams, the reading club, and a mental health awareness club called Stomp Out Stigma. This was all while doing competitive cheerleading, working a part-time job, and maintaining my honour roll status at school. Since coming to university, I’ve continued this trend by taking part in various plays, joining Yoga Club, volunteering for Big Spoon Little Spoon, writing for Her Campus, and continuing to work a part-time job. My point is this: even though life can certainly get busy juggling both work and academics, you should make it a priority to find time for extracurriculars. In my opinion, joining after-school activities is one of the most valuable things a student can do -- let me tell you why: 

  1. 1. You may discover your passion.

    For me, it was drama. What started as an activity I enjoyed outside of school not only turned into my passion but also into a career path for me, as right now I’m working toward becoming a high school drama teacher and sharing my love for the arts with other students. Whether you’re in high school or university, extracurriculars can be a useful tool for helping you discover your passion by allowing you to advocate for social justice issues, mentor other students, work with children, raise awareness about public health, and much, much more. All of these things might help you to realize what it is you really want to do in life. 

  2. 2. It can help you build social skills and make new friends.

    If you’re joining a club that truly excites you, then the odds are that you’re going to find other like-minded people. From my experience, one of the easiest places to make friends is in your extracurricular groups, because your shared interest is a great gateway to conversation. I’ve made friends in every single extra curricular I’ve ever joined, and some of those friends I’ve grown extremely close with!

  3. 3. Staying busy can be beneficial for your mental health.

    While this might not be true for everyone, it was certainly the case for me. As long as you aren’t drowning in schoolwork, keeping yourself busy and engaged for a few extra hours per week can be useful for your mental health. Don’t get me wrong, there were weeks where school got the best of me, but for the most part I found that keeping busy kept me from dwelling on stress or sadness and helped me to be more productive. Surrounding myself with my peers always took my mind off of the stress, not to mention that my time was definitely better spent doing the things I love rather than sitting in my bed watching Netflix while overthinking problems that would cease to exist in a few days, weeks, or months. 

  4. 4. It can boost your self-confidence.

    Let’s say you’re a full time student with a full course load and the only thing you’ve got on your plate is school work -- a few bad grades would likely take a huge hit to your self confidence. I’m not saying that grades aren’t important, but defining yourself as more than your GPA by joining activities and clubs will make it easier to boost yourself up when a bad grade gets you down. I think most university students can relate to bombing an exam or even an entire course, but belonging to extracurriculars might help you to realize that you have so much more going for you.

  5. 5. It makes school more fun!

    If the word school only makes you think of homework or partying, then there’s a good chance that you should be taking more extracurriculars. Activities and clubs give you so much to look forward to, whether it’s your friends, the work you’re doing or just following your passion! Besides, it’s good to learn how to have fun without being drunk. 

So, if you haven’t already opened a new​ tab and started searching for clubs and activities at your school then what are you waiting for? There’s not much you can lose but so much you can gain, so step out of your comfort zone and go for it! If you don’t try, you’ll never know what you’re missing out on.