The Power of Extracurricular Activities: Building a Well-Rounded High School Experience

Central Highschool RoboLancers at a Robotics Competition | Source: Philadelphia Robotics Coalition
Central Highschool RoboLancers at a Robotics Competition | Source: Philadelphia Robotics Coalition

As high school students, we often find ourselves balancing classes, homework, and the occasional existential crisis. Amid this chaotic whirlwind, brushing aside those flyers for after-school clubs, sports, and events is easy. However, when you have a passion for sports, science, or whatever sparks your curiosity, do you really have a choice? But hold on a second—do these extracurricular activities actually have something valuable to offer, or are they just another item on our packed to-do lists?

You see, being a part of extracurricular activities, like my involvement in Science Olympiad, Bullhorn News, and those rigorous classes, isn’t just filling up your schedule. It’s all about personal growth.

Participating in extracurriculars can help students develop crucial life skills. For example, being involved in various activities like Science Olympiad, Bullhorn News, and classes forces you to manage your time efficiently. 

In Science Olympiad (A competitive science-based extracurricular program that allows students to explore various scientific disciplines through hands-on events and team competitions), I learned not only about, well, science but also about teamwork. We learn and adapt to our teammates' working styles in each event, enhancing our teamwork skills and teaching us how to work cohesively with others.

Over time, you might take on leadership roles within clubs or teams, this experience helps you develop leadership qualities, such as decision-making, communication, and motivating others. 

Writing for Bullhorn News and participating in activities like debate clubs can improve your communication skills. You learn to express your ideas clearly, persuasively, and respectfully, which is valuable in any career. Clubs and extracurriculars also teach you resilience.

With the amount of times I’ve wanted to just storm out of a room and get the day over—this skill is vital and helps you bounce back from failures.

High school can be a rollercoaster and we all need a support system. Extracurriculars can also help you build a network of peers, mentors, and professionals. During high school, you will need people to support and guide you. Having a mentor or peer to hold you up, help you while you choose the college that’s best for you, or just be there for you, is very helpful.

This network will be beneficial in your future career; whether it be internships, job opportunities, or simply finding a better state of life, networking can be your golden ticket.

Let’s seize the chance to take on extracurricular activities that could help us in life. They won’t just be items on your to-do list; they’re the formula to making the high school journey richer, more fulfilling, and ours. Through personal growth and the lifetime networks we create, extracurriculars offer us more than we might imagine. So don’t hesitate—dive into high school with the goal of having an experience your future self will thank you for.

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