If you are reading this article, you may ponder to yourself, what exactly is an extracurricular activity? Don’t be bothered because, this article is going to help you get through that, with necessary examples to back it up. Now, extracurricular activity is any activity or activities, done outside of the school curriculum.
They are not compulsory and are not graded either. It could be a series of activities ranging from art or acquired skill set to natural talent, provided it contributes positively to both society and a person’s personal growth.
Extracurricular activities are of different types, some of which may be sponsored by the school, like debates, quiz, jet club (science activity club), press club (journalism, newscasting), and some of which may be performed without school knowledge such as, forming a music group or enrolling in the church choir, voluntary services, joining a home-based sports club, drawings and paintings, it could go on and on.
Before we take our time to go through a long list of extracurricular activities available to students in Nigeria, we would like to discuss the importance of these activities and how they could help grow an individual in a positive light.
Broadens Intellectual Capacity
This is a formidable advantage of participating in an extracurricular activity. It puts one in an environment quite different from that of the classroom. Considering the fact that extracurricular activities take place outside the normal school curriculum, it gives a student the opportunity to learn or acquire knowledge not present in the curriculum. Such a student now has the chance to learn new and interesting things. These are things that can’t be thought of in a normal school setting.
Some students may go on to learn something from a different field than what they are studying in school. For instance, a student studying medicine could pick up coding as an extracurricular activity, or maybe decide to learn how to play the piano or violin.
One could even decide to broaden their horoscope and further their line of study, like when an engineering student decides to learn to code or enroll in a robotic program. These activities also help keep the minds of children sharp and build up a healthy competitive sphere around them.
Kids who participate in let’s say, debate competition, quizzes, article writing, would have a sharp mind relating to reading and understanding. They could also acquire knowledge relating to other aspects of life. This is a result of researches done to perform such activities. The ability to keep the brain busy also help develop a healthy intelligent quotient (IQ).
Helps in Multitasking
What is multitasking? This is the ability to simultaneously carry out more than one task at once. To be quite frank with you, not everyone can find a way to balance different activities. Some people see this as being strenuous and infuriating. They lack the capability to successfully split and manage their time in doing multiple activities. It also boggles their mind and stretches them thin.
The human brain as we know it is wonderful at adapting to suit situations. So if one can’t do this, it simply means their mind didn’t have enough practice in multitasking. The participation in multiple activities as a kid provides one with the ability to handle situations under duress.
A student who was able to participate in quite a number of extracurricular activities when in school, would find it easier to squeeze out time and take care of both work and family effectively. The ability is a possibility as such a student had already gone through this as a kid. So this wouldn’t be something alienating to them. Time is a very tricky construct and could fly by without one achieving anything useful, if not properly managed.
Improves Our Resume
Nigeria and job opportunities, it has always been a struggle. Due to the lack of job vacancies in Nigeria, the competition is a very brutal one. So, one needs every advantage they can get when going to submit their curriculum vitae (CV).
Extracurricular activities related to your line of work could prove very useful in securing a spot to work. It may not be even related to the line of work you applied for, but, it at the very least shows your employer that you are hard-working and show commitment to tasks you pick up to handle.
Extracurricular activities also help employers know what aspect of life you are interested in. If an employee may have leadership qualities, or if they are good at working with other people. This information could also be useful to the company employing you and plays a huge role in what sector of the job you would find yourself.
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It also helps employers decide where best you would enjoy and function properly without being unhappy. This is because a happy employee yields better results. Therefore, it is a win-win situation for both parties (employers and employees).
It Helps Boost Confidence
Extracurricular activities help initiate a Confidence boost. When one does something over and over again, without any fear of being called a failure, they get really good at it and this in return increases confidence. Activities like this that are not awarded grades and provides a stress-free environment for one to master a skill set without stress.
I could use myself as an example. I have been doing graphite pencil art since the age of six, I started little with my parents encouraging and admiring my works. Back then, I drew mostly cartoon characters but branched out to portraits in my senior secondary school.
I wouldn’t say I was perfect at portrait drawing at first because the picture of my mum which was my first professional portrait didn’t really look like the woman that carried me for nine months. This didn’t bother me as no grades were being given, my mum still appreciated and smiled at the work.
Five years later, I was so good that I was summoned to present artwork to a celebrity at his performance. This line of extracurricular activity helped me boost my confidence because, right now I would confidently say, “give me a picture and I’ll put you in a paper with a pencil or a pen.” It’s just how it works, practice makes perfect.
Helps Discover Hidden Talents
Talent is something an individual is naturally good at. They don’t need excessive coaching or tutoring to be good at it, it just comes naturally and such a person excels in such an activity. You never know what you are good at until you have tried it.
The purpose of several choices in choosing an extracurricular activity is to provide numerous options for students. Students are willing to participate to keep trying out till they find the most suitable activity they can excel at. One might not know they are good at, like say, songwriting, till they have understood the art and tried to write a song.
You may try this and find out that putting together, word plays and punchlines come easy to you. Who knows, you may end up being the next Eminem of our generation. Talents could also help in making a living in the future and one would enjoy what they do as it comes easy and they enjoy it greatly.
For instance, a student good at drawings and paintings, music or football could use it in the future to earn a living. Extracurricular activities could help them discover and perfect this.
Broadens Our Social Circle
Not every child can make friends easily. Some kids appear to be shy or withdrawn. According to social relationships, we can be grouped into introverts and extroverts. Extroverts are outgoing, relate with people easily, and can make friends without much stress, while their introvert counterparts keep more to themselves and find it difficult to come out in the open.
Putting an introvert through extracurricular activities could make them get to interact with their colleagues more easily, thereby aiding them in building a healthy relationship. Both extroverts and introverts get to build a greater social circle than they had before.
Getting to interact with people outside one’s comfort zone can help eliminate the fear of expressing one’s self in public. This is one of the effects of extracurricular activities which should be put into consideration, especially for little kids as they always need to be around their age-grade for better interrelationship in the near future.
What are the types of extracurricular activities?
This list could go on and on because anything one can do or learn which affects them and an external party could be termed an extracurricular activity. Activities like this place a child in no harm but encourage creativity instead.
So I wonder why parents would only decide to subject their kids to just rigorous school works, even during the holidays, with thoughts that extracurricular activities are distractions to their academic work.
The school system should also make participation in an extracurricular activity a necessity during school breaks too. I personally think this builds character, and arms one with weapons to fight the storms and tides of the real world.