“What are you ‘in’ in school?” is a common question asked among students. In other words, what activities do you do? What clubs do you belong to? And why are these extra activities of any value?
Many people would agree that, long after high school, they have fond memories of extracurricular activities and realize that belonging to those activities taught lessons of inestimable value, much like the lessons learned in a formal classroom setting. Many high schools offer students an array of extracurricular activities, which sharpen a student’s social and academic skills while providing experience for future careers and strengthening relationships so important to the overall high school experience.
No matter what your strength or interest, many high schools have a variety of clubs and organizations to choose from. And each offers a possible way for students to expand their minds, cultivate an interest, or learn something in a more relaxed atmosphere. Extracurriculars also strengthen a wide range of specific skills for students.
These skills include:
1. Social Skills: Students learn to interact with others socially. They learn to be respectful of differing views and how to behave appropriately in a group. Having good social skills are imperative to a growth in maturity and character.
2. Collaborative Learning: Students learn to work together. It might be planning a presentation in an international club or following a cooking recipe in a cooking club. Students in extracurricular clubs quickly realize that a great deal of collaboration is needed to get tasks in many facets of life completed. These collaborative skills are sought by many employers in the workforce of the twenty-first century.
3. Work Ethic: Many organizations require a work commitment from students involved. Students who might be on the newspaper or yearbook staff must meet deadlines and complete assigned tasks. Students in a math club must develop a discipline to learn the subject in class so they can complete. Forensics students must likewise commit to learning and performing a speech, not to mention get up early and travel to local high schools to compete. No matter the subject or theme of the club, students have the ability to learn a strong work ethic as a life skill that employers seek in potential employees.
4. Creativity: Several extracurriculars require student creativity and thinking “outside-the-box.” These activities could include public speaking events in forensics, choreography, planning presentations, or contributing ideas during a meeting. Students who push themselves to break away from the ordinary and strive to be highly creative are more likely to grow into individuals who consider many options for success.
5. Time Management: Balancing time is a valuable skill for anyone in school or outside of it, especially at a boarding school. Learning how to budget time assists students in their academic and community life and teaches great responsibility. Commitment to a club or organization requires the development of time management abilities, yet another example of life skills that anyone can use.
6. Experience for Future Careers: Jobs of the future will most likely emphasize creativity, collaboration, and an ability to interact positively with others. Many jobs will also require an employee to work independently, think critically, and possess a wide range of social skills. Extracurricular clubs provide numerous opportunities to hone just these sorts of skills.
7. Deeping Fraternal Ties: As with many collaborative activities, friendships and bonds are strengthened in extracurriculars. Students learn how to support one another, put the needs of other people before their own needs, become familiar with a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and grow in their friendships. Living together and working together fosters a strong tie between students. Be it practicing a piece together for forensics, cooking together in a cooking club, or writing captions for the yearbook, students experience a great deal of brotherly affection, fun, and enjoyment.
Many of the extracurricular experiences offered to students are wide and varied. They allow students to grow and spend time with peers in a productive and educational way, which is also very often fun. A boarding school setting makes these activities even more intense and meaningful as bonding experiences and as ways to satisfy curiosity or discover a previously unknown interest.
So when people in the future ask what a high school graduate “was ‘in’ in high school,” chances are that several extracurriculars could have played a role in shaping the person he/she is today.
Are you interested in learning about the extracurriculars offered to the students at St. Lawrence Seminary High School? We invite you to visit our Activities/Clubs page to get a sense of the types of extracurriculars we value here at SLS.