Undoubtedly, one the greatest ways to discover oneself and learn about the world is through extracurriculars. I believe a great representation of this idea was highlighted through my friend Sarah Keating’s video, “Ignite! – The Importance of Extracurricular Activities,” which can be found at her blog at http://skeatin2.wordpress.com/
This video displays numerous reasons as to why participating in extracurricular activities is so important and life-changing. For example, they offer opportunities for students to meet and collaborate with other students who share the same or similar interests. Psychologists have scrapped the old idea that “opposites attract” and have discovered through years of data that the real, relevant quote to follow is “birds of a feather flock together.” That being said, people are most interested in sharing time with those who are similar to themselves and what better way to do so than partake in activities with those who cherish and respect them the same as you do! The video also notes that there isn’t simply one type of activity to choose from, but rather a diverse portfolio of activities. There are athletics, dance, art, music, and after-school clubs and they can all be found at school and outside of school. I liked how Sarah demonstrated that these activities can help students discover talents and that these talents can be practiced non-competitively or competitively, depending on what type of person you are and what your goals are.
As someone who plans to become a high school special education teacher and golf coach, I place a tremendous value and emphasis on joining clubs and extracurriculars, especially joining multiple activities. When I reflect on my own high school experience, I realize that the activities I participated in outside of school (and after school) played a chief role in who I am today as a person and who I want to be in the future. Through extracurriculars I was able to hold leadership positions, discover my strengths and weaknesses, build confidence, meet diverse groups of people, find people with similar interests to me, learn how to debate, argue, and harmonize, follow others instructions and directions, and much, much more- the list could go on and on.
For example, I played on my high school golf team all four years of high school. Through that experience, I learned how to respect older and more experienced players, listen to and take directions from my coach, assist and coach younger players, lead the team as captain my senior year, work with opponents both competitively and sincerely, have strong sportsmanship, and countless other life lessons for which I could write a novel. Although academics and school are the gateway to knowledge and a bright future, those simply don’t cut it. One must go out and explore and capture what drives them. They must utilize the newly honed skills they’ve learned from the extracurriculars and apply them to the real world.
As a teacher, I plan to relay this information to my students. In today’s extremely competitive world, not only must someone have good grades and exam scores to enter a renowned university and earn a rewarding career, they must know how to work outside of the classroom and become a well-rounded contributor to society. I want my future students to understand the importance of the skills, passions, and life-lessons they can learn from extracurriculars and how they can apply them to all aspects of their lives, in and out of the classroom. I believe Sarah’s video expressed many of my similar beliefs and is a great learning tool for anyone who wants to try something new and explore their options.