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The Importance of Extracurricular Activities in a Student's Life 
 
by T. Sweeney June 14, 2005

Extracurricular activities can empower students to make their own decisions and help them gain vital experience and skills to lead them on the path to their future.

The Facts

According to the Montana State University Extension Service, students involved in extracurricular activities are more likely to become leaders, more willing to complete tasks, more willing to voice opinions, and more likely to graduate from high school and have annual incomes of more than $50,000. Extracurricular activities are also a good way to explore social, political, and career interests.

Gain Experience through Extracurricular Activities

Extracurricular activities help students gain experience in a variety of areas that will enhance their future. Through participation in sports, students learn cooperation, teamwork and time management. By serving as an officer in an organization, students learn responsibility, problem solving and communication. Extracurricular activities can also help students discover hidden talents, meet people they might otherwise not encounter, and learn about things outside their own environment.

How to Choose an Activity

But which activities should a student choose? Should they choose activities that use talents they already possess and meet people with similar talents, or should they choose something new and different and meet people who possess different opinions and skills? Some students are comfortable with growth while others will feel more comfortable with familiarity. If a student enjoys outdoor activities, he or she may want to look into archery clubs, horseback riding or other sports.

If a student enjoys reading he or she may also enjoy literary clubs, writing clubs or journalism activities. Extracurricular activities are also a good way to learn appreciation for new and different activities. A student who would ordinarily choose football or baseball might think about exposing themselves to archery or bird watching. Choosing something outside a student's comfort zone widens horizons and expands knowledge. Being open to new avenues by joining the newspaper staff, the computer club or the decorative painter's club will expose students to new people and new ideas.

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