September 29, 2021
How Extracurricular Activities Benefit High School Students
Written by Paraclete High School
High schools with extensive extracurricular offerings provide students a fun and engaging way to explore their interests in an accepting environment with like-minded peers. Extracurricular activities enable students to explore new perspectives and develop crucial critical-thinking skills that will help them in college and throughout their lives.
So what exactly is an extracurricular activity? Extracurricular activities refer to pursuits outside of the academic curriculum that isn't required for high school credit. The right high school for your child will provide an extensive array of extracurricular offerings to ensure each and every student has an equal opportunity to unearth their undiscovered passions.
What are the Different Types of Extracurricular Activities?
Students can quickly become overwhelmed by the extensive list of extracurricular activities at their disposal. To avoid the paralyzing problem of too many choices, let's take a closer look at the various types of extracurricular activities before diving deeper into their benefits.
- Music and Arts
- Cultural and Language
- Community Oriented
- Social Activism
Why Students Need Extensive Extracurricular Offerings
With a clear understanding of what extracurricular activities are and the various types, let’s break down some of the benefits of extracurricular activities for high school students.
Improve Academic Performance
Research on the cause-effect relationship between extracurricular activities and academic performance illustrates that students who actively participate in extracurricular activities receive various benefits related to academic performance including:
- Higher grades
- Better test scores
- Higher educational achievements
- Higher academic aspirations
- More positive attitudes toward school
- More consistent and regular class attendance
At Paraclete High School, we offer extensive academic-based extracurricular opportunities for students designed to encourage growth and academic exploration. Academic achievement societies and competitive academic teams help our students to reach higher with the support of their fellow students. Academic extracurricular opportunities include but are not limited to:
- Academic Decathlon
- California Scholastic Federation
- National Honors Society
- National Spanish Honor’s Society
Strengthen College Applications
Extracurricular activities account for about 30% of a student's college application and form a critical component of a holistic university application. Extracurricular activities are also a great way to demonstrate commitment and responsibility to admission officers. Students that start early and build their extracurricular experience throughout high school create a comprehensive college application that showcases leadership, ambition, dedication, and initiative inside and outside the classroom.
The Common App offers students 10 slots for extracurricular activities but the importance is not on quantity but quality. According to a survey cited in the U.S. News & World Report, 72% of admissions officers prefer students that are consistently involved with one issue over a variety of causes. A long list of extracurricular activities showcases a student's outside interests, but a shorter list that highlights a longer time commitment and progressive responsibility are much more valuable.
Build Essential Life Skills
Many extracurricular activities provide students valuable opportunities to develop important intrapersonal skills and engrain habits needed for collegiate and life success. Students involved in extracurricular activities put themselves in engaging environments where they can learn to problem solve, while simultaneously cultivating hands-on experience. Essential life skills include but are not limited to:
- Public speaking
- Analytical thinking
- Time management
At Paraclete High School, we encourage students to look for activities that enlighten and engage their interests. We take that a step further by allowing passionate students to start their own clubs. Students who start their own 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.
Unlock Your Passion with Engaging Extracurricular Activities
Extracurriculars are a critical part of an all-encompassing education. These activities provide the spark that ignites academic inquiry and the building blocks to develop integral problem-solving and interpersonal skills that students need for a successful experience in college and beyond.
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.