The idea of ‘extra work’ is enough to make most pupils feel nauseous. School is undoubtedly tough enough on its own, but with an extra push, you can really make the most of your time there. Who knows what fun will be had along the way too? Unfortunately, in 2018 it was reported that the poorest children were three times more unlikely to miss out on extracurricular activities, and this is completely unacceptable. No matter your background, these opportunities are yours to take advantage of, so do everything you can to get involved! For some added motivation, here’s a list of the ways extracurriculars can positively impact your life!
Extracurriculars can be about giving back to your community or helping others in need. It’s not all about Maths clubs and Duke of Edinburgh schemes; you can get out there and really make a difference. Tweeting a hashtag on Twitter or calling out people on Facebook isn’t activism or community outreach, or even remotely commendable, but extracurriculars can offer you genuine opportunities to help others.
Step out of fake social media spaces and build your core values as a productive member of real society. The old saying is true, in that actions really do speak louder than words. Volunteering counts as an extracurricular activity, so help where you can, and you’ll feel like you really made a difference in someone else’s life.
At one time or another, every pupil has felt downhearted and dejected. There will sometimes be days when failure will rear its head, and you might feel worthless and directionless soon after. It’s completely understandable, but there are ways to minimise the sting of these concerns.
Extracurriculars can introduce you to brand new passions in life. There’s a lot to be said for having a direction and a goal to work toward, and that will help you pick yourself up and carry on when times get tough. It’s empowering and motivating, both of which are compulsory to succeed in life! Everyone has bad days, but where others shy away from risks and challenges, you stand firm.
It might sound silly, but what started as something ‘extra’ can soon become your anchor in life in terms of who you are and what you care about. You’ll have something that you can be truly proud of no matter what happens elsewhere, and that counts for something!
Whether you’re firing off applications for sixth form, university or your first job, one thing is certain; extracurricular activities are application gold. They demonstrate that you have a wide breadth of interests, and that you’re willing to step outside of your comfort zone and try new experiences. All these qualities are highly appealing to admissions staff and recruiters. If you have something impressive to list on your application here, it might be you can gain entry to certain courses or roles even if you narrowly missed the minimum grading requirements. Talent and hard work come in all shapes and sizes! In the end, it’s important to acknowledge that extracurriculars can take you very far in life on their own merit, so don’t underestimate them!
The adult world can seem overwhelming. Adults have their fingers in many different pies, fulfilling every role that’s required of them at the drop of a hat. Finances, cooking, cleaning, professional roles – all these things demand a brand of discipline and skill that isn’t taught in typical school lessons.
However, you can get to grips with many of these things through extracurriculars. Learning these kinds of transferable skills is arguably better than learning in a classroom, because you get to apply your knowledge into practice in real world settings. What you do in many extracurriculars has real world rewards and applications, so let that excite and motivate you.
Finding yourself light on friends or struggling for things to talk about with your current pals is a common but tough problem to have. You’re not alone, though! You’ll notice that most of the ‘popular kids’ in your school are likely to be very chatty, and some extra interests outside of school can help you build your character and charisma too.
It’s a simple fact that the more interests you have, the more likely it is that you’ll have something in common with your peers. Think about all the new people you’ll meet, along with all the things you’ll get up to! You’ll have an endless supply of funny anecdotes and fun facts to chat about, which will make people want to engage with you more. It all starts with taking that bold first step and getting out there!
Remember, high school and sixth form is a time for taking chances, and everyone goes through enormous changes as they work themselves out. Don’t put yourself in a box! Even if you’re not considered to be ‘the sporty guy/girl’, join a club and find out for yourself. Grasp every opportunity you can and make the most of it, and things will turn around in no time.
I'm a freelance copywriter with an undergraduate degree in English Literature. I've written for many different outlets, including but not limited to marketing agencies, graduate recruitment websites, and online training companies. I've even interviewed a few famous actors for student and arts blogs too! Covering a wide span of material has been incredibly rewarding, as I get to turn my experiences in the arts, education and careers into helpful advice. I sincerely hope you'll find something to your liking here!