Excel beyond studies in college
Extra-curricular activities help graduates and post-graduates unlock opportunities and test their potential
As youth grow up, they become increasingly interested in a number of activities, ranging from video games, sports, arts and craft, theatre performances, etc. The influences stem from a variety of things. It could be a friend's suggestion, something they've noticed outdoors as they go about their regular lives, or even something spotted on social media. To some parents, this may seem like a waste of time, especially when it seems as though their child is neglecting their studies or not achieving the desired grades in subjects.
Of course, while studies take priority, it is essential to encourage young ones to engage in a diverse set of interests beyond education. Extra-curricular activities bring in hidden gems of opportunities that could set graduate and post-graduate students on a path least expected. This could also lead them to success.
But what is it about extra-curricular activities, besides the "fun" and "time wasting", some parents may ask. These activities often require students to dedicate a specific amount of time, to stay commitment and also take initiative. These are qualities that can't be taught in the classroom, and no, having one student raise their hand to answer the professor's questions does not equal to success in life.
Our times have changed and students have to be more than just "book smart". Extracurricular activities push students to test their potential and instil leadership and coordination skills without them even realising it as a chore.
It is important to note that these activities also contribute towards improve academic performance. It exercises their minds, takes them away from the repetitive memorising nature of some subjects, and truly helps them be conscious about their time spend in a learning environment. Depending on the type of activity, it can assist brain function, focus and build stamina, help students manage stress and pressure better, and even help them with time management and finding unique solutions to a variety of problems.
Studies have shown that students that participate in extra-curricular activities have positive attitudes in life, better academic aspirations and in the long-run a clearer ability to envision their future goals.
Today's world is well-acquainted with the digital side of things. The evolving nature of technology means that as it gets updated each passing day, students have to constantly aware of the trends in order to keep up. So, something as simple as a fan using the latest edition of Photoshop to create a cheer poster for their favourite artist, a TV enthusiast using animation programs to make a compilation clip of their celebrated show, or even a gamer taking part in a co-operative online platform, are in the process of improving skills and will reap rewards as the world advances. It also helps them stay grounded with a keen interest in new things.
This practice also build high levels of self-esteem. The more passionate a student is about an acitivity, the higher their self-confidence grows. The feeling of satisfaction brings about self-acknowledgement, realisation of talent and encourages them to move forward in life.
Students receive free reign to work hard and master new skills in a fun, relaxed zone. Friendly-competition is also welcome, which adds to the students' natural ability to multitask, develop tactics, challenge their potential, and of course, raise their chances to survive in high pressure environments, as seen in today's workplaces.
The best part about students getting involved in activities at a young age is being able to experiment and try their hand in diverse interests without fear, and at times, without the need for commitment.
Just as much as it is important for students to stay dedicated to what they have to achieve, they do need to understand their value and what truly makes them happy. This sensation alone is enough to give them the boost they need to unlock opportunities and succeed in life.
The final benefit? Students, once they hone themselves through extracurricular activities of their choice, can also get into prestigious universities abroad.
More than often, international universities want to know a student's personality and how they connect with their surroundings more than what they want to achieve. You could write a 1,000-word essay on how you'd like to bring world peace, but that's just textbook writing. Deans and admission officers want to understand how you, as an individual function and what you would bring in terms of individual value.
The bottom line is: Let youth discover, explore and find their standing in an extracurricular activity of their choice. A blend of commitment and passion could unlock their door to success.
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