57% of people age 6-17 are involved in at least one extracurricular activity, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Extracurriculars are extremely prevalent for many students, especially teenagers.
High school students participate in countless extra curricular activities including swim, basketball, dance, band, track, etc. It is obvious that these activities have become a very important aspect of the high school experience and a priority for most teenagers. Extracurriculars are a very healthy way for teenagers to spend their time. Not only do they allow adolescents to develop physically and mentally, but also socially.
“I’ve gained a lot of friends because of band. I have a lot of shared experiences with them which makes our friendships even stronger. Also, some people in the marching band don’t go to Davis so it’s cool to have friends that go to Farmington or Layton or other schools. It’s really expanded my social group.”
Says Rachel Dummer, a member of Davis High School’s marching band.
The majority of these activities require a lot of time devoted to them which allows fellow participants to get to know each other better and thus, to develop stronger, more lasting bonds. Being a part of a group and working with peers as a team to create something, ensures a better social experience in high school. However, this extensive amount of time can make it difficult and overwhelming for students to balance high school and their extracurricular activities. Teenagers have to learn to manage and balance their time to ensure that their priorities and expectations are met each day.
“I feel overwhelmed all the time. I think I could probably be less overwhelmed if I put in more effort to manage my time well. I’ve discovered that talking with my teachers, getting things done beforehand, and not wasting time at home really helps.”
Explains Bransen Erickson, who does ballroom dance after school.
Time-management is definitely a difficult skill to learn, but extremely important when trying to balance a busy schedule. Some high schoolers have mastered time-management by learning to prioritize their many ongoing activities and responsibilities each day.
“It’s hard sometimes, especially when you’re taking harder classes, to find time to do everything.”
Marcus Williams, an athlete on the Davis High swim team, states.
“When you are participating in extra curriculars, it’s important to stay focused on schoolwork and have the extra-curricular come second. A few times, I’d have to skip practice because I had a big test coming up that I needed to study for.”
Extracurricular activities have proven to have a very positive influence on teenagers as they allow students to expand and improve their social experience by providing a fun environment where they can make new friends. As students learn to be disciplined and smart with their time, they can create a healthy balance that will ensure a good high school experience.