Extracurricular activities are a great way to enrich a high school student’s educational experience. So how can high school students discover the extracurricular options available to them, let alone decide which to participate in?
Let’s first break down why students should get involved with extracurricular activities before diving into a list of tips students can use to help them find extracurricular opportunities on their campus.
Why Students Should Get Involved with Extracurricular Activities
Extracurricular activities benefit high school students in various ways. Extracurricular activities enable students to explore new perspectives and develop crucial critical-thinking skills that will help them in college and throughout their lives.
Research indicates that the students who actively participate in extracurricular activities improve their academic performance including better test scores, higher academic aspirations, and more consistent class attendance. Another study shows how extracurricular activities reduce risky behaviors including drug and alcohol use.
In addition to improving academic performance and curtailing risky behaviors, here are the benefits of extracurricular involvement for high school students:
- Strengthen college applications
- Build essential life skills
- Explore interests
- Create broader perspectives
- Improve self-esteem
- Increase social interaction
How to Get Involved in Extracurricular Activities in High School
How can students receive the various benefits associated with extracurricular involvement if they don’t know how to get involved in the first place? With a clear understanding of the benefits associated with extracurricular involvement, here are some tips to help students get involved and find extracurricular opportunities on their high school campus.
1. Discover What Extracurricular Activities Your School Offers
If students want to increase their extracurricular involvement, the first step is to learn what extracurricular activities are offered. Students can attend activity fairs, consult on-campus bulletin boards, and look at their school’s website to view event calendars and student activity lists to get a better sense of the opportunities at their disposal.
2. Brainstorm a List of Interests
Once students learn about the extracurricular offerings at their school, students should brainstorm a list of their interests and use it as a checklist to search for opportunities. Some high school students forget that joining a group should be fun first and foremost and should align with their passions. If students are going to spend hours every week doing something, they need to enjoy it because if they don’t – sustained participation will not be achievable.
3. Ask for Guidance
The number of extracurricular offerings can be overwhelming and can cause students to experience decision paralysis. High school students can leverage the knowledge and experience of their peers, parents, teachers, guidance counselors, and spiritual leaders for further assistance. Students can give their list of interests to these figures to help spark a dialogue.
At Paraclete, students can seek out Student Ambassadors, well-spoken and accomplished students, to help answer any questions they may have regarding extracurricular offerings and Christian service.
4. Keep an Open Mind
While creating a list of interests is a good starting point, students should keep an open mind and explore the extensive extracurricular opportunities available. Students should push their boundaries and try an activity they’ve never thought about doing before. If a student excels in athletics, in the offseason they can join an academic society or even try out for the school play.
Want a pro-tip? Students can attend the first meeting of a club even if they don’t think they’ll end up joining. Since most clubs are aware that students often try new activities at the beginning of the school year, there’s no harm in going to the first couple of meetings to help make a decision.
5. Consider Starting Your Own Club, Team, or Activity
If high school students can’t find the extracurricular activity of their choice, they shouldn’t become discouraged. High schools often have funds available to help students start their own club, team, or activity. Students interested in starting an extracurricular activity can seek out faculty members to help them get organized.
At Paraclete High School, we encourage passionate students to start their own clubs. Students who start a club gain valuable experience in managing an organization. These experiences help students become future innovators, educators, and business leaders, ensuring sustained success in college and life after graduation.
6. Schedule Time to Attend Extracurricular Activities
The aforementioned tips will help students find extracurricular activities on high school campuses but they don’t address the problem most high schools students have when it comes to student involvement: finding the time to participate.
Between a rigorous college-prep curriculum at school, daily homework, social obligations, and maybe even a part-time job, high school students often feel their schedule is too packed to find time for extracurricular activities. If students truly want to get more involved in their community and campus, they need to make the time. Whether that’s giving up one Saturday every month to volunteer or a couple of hours after school each week to attend club meetings, students will need to look at their schedule and block off time for extracurricular activities.
Get More Involved with Extracurricular Activities and Enrich Your Educational Experience
Extracurriculars are a critical part of an all-encompassing education. By leveraging the tips discussed in this blog, high school students can get more involved with extracurricular activities and build their self-esteem, make life-long friends, and foster a deeper connection with their school.
If you want your child to have the opportunity to discover interests and unlock new passions, register for our virtual tour and information session to learn more about our enriching extracurricular activities.