The Best Benefits of Extracurricular Activities

February 21, 2023
By AdmissionSight

The Best Benefits of Extracurricular Activities

What is an extracurricular activity?

What exactly is meant by the term “extracurricular activity”? An activity or program that occurs outside of a school’s academic curriculum is called an extracurricular activity. Extracurricular activities can take the form of both programs and activities. The benefits of extracurricular activities give students the opportunity to participate voluntarily, and the activities typically aim to help students develop skills and interests unrelated to their academic studies.

The term “extracurricular activities” encompasses a broad category of activities, including but not limited to athletic teams, music and drama clubs, academic clubs, student government, volunteer work, and more. These activities aim to give students a chance to pursue their interests, learn new skills, and form connections with classmates with similar interests.

Students who participate in extracurricular activities may see improvements in various areas, including their ability to interact with others, their self-confidence, their ability to develop leadership skills, and their ability to collaborate effectively. As a result of the fact that these activities demonstrate a student’s dedication to learning and personal development outside of the classroom, they are frequently taken into consideration in the process of college admissions.

Advantages of participating in extracurricular activities

1. An improved performance in the classroom

Some students are concerned that participating in extracurricular activities will prevent them from devoting enough time to their schoolwork, resulting in lower grades; however, participating in extracurricular activities can improve your attitude toward school as a whole!

Group of students talking in a room.

It has been shown that engaging in activities that you are enthusiastic about can improve brain function, as well as help you concentrate and better manage your time; all of these factors contribute to improved academic performance. Sports that require high levels of endurance, for instance, will teach you to concentrate and build stamina in the face of significant adversity. You will have an advantage as a result of this when it comes to studying and taking examinations.

As part of the benefits of extracurricular activities, students who participate tend to have higher academic aspirations, more positive attitudes toward school, and higher grade point averages. This finding is consistent across the studies that have been done on the correlation between participation in extracurricular activities and academic performance.

2. Increased sense of one’s worth

Your confidence in yourself will grow to the extent that you are successful in the pursuits that you enjoy. For illustration’s sake, let’s say you’re good at math, and your math teacher encourages you to participate in local math competitions. You decide to participate in the school’s team and immediately begin preparations for the national Math Olympiad. During the process, you have the revelation that mathematics can be enjoyable and that you are exceptionally talented, both of which provide a significant boost to your self-confidence.

You can be successful without feeling the pressure of getting a good grade if you put in a lot of effort and focus on mastering new skills in a fun, relaxed, and occasionally competitive environment. In addition, once your self-assurance has increased to the point where it needs to be, you will be more willing to take chances in all aspects of your life, not just in the Math Olympiads.

3. Social opportunities

Let’s be honest. Making new friends can be difficult, but going out of your way to participate in extracurricular activities is one of the best ways to do it! If you participate in a variety of extracurricular activities, you will have a greater number of opportunities to broaden your social network. This will serve you well in the future when you are seeking employment.

In addition, if you make friends while participating in extracurricular activities, you’ll have a better chance of becoming more invested in them. For instance, if you participate in community service at school and make a few friends there, the three of you might decide to start a volunteer club together and have a significant impact on your community.

5. Resumes

One of the many benefits of extracurricular activities is that you can put your extracurricular activities on your resume. If you don’t have any previous work experience, hiring managers can evaluate your skills and work ethic by looking at the activities you’ve participated in outside of school.

high school students in an AP class

For instance, if you were on a debating team, the manager would know that you work well with others, can argue a point professionally, and have experience with public speaking; these skills are extremely beneficial in the workplace.

6. The cultivation of skills necessary for networking

Students get to know new people when they participate in activities outside the classroom, such as their classmates, teachers, and coaches, as well as influential members of the community. Students can form and maintain relationships, which may result in beneficial connections and opportunities in the student’s future.

7. Better mental health

Participating in extracurricular activities can effectively lower stress levels, improve mood, and provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment in one’s life. It also has the potential to foster a sense of community, which can help students feel more connected to one another and supported. In addition, engaging in physical activities like sports can assist in the release of endorphins and provide other benefits to the participant’s physical and mental health.

8. Applications to colleges and universities

If you don’t have any extracurricular activities, getting into college will be very difficult. Universities are looking to see if you have done everything to show your intention in the field of study you wish to enter. Suppose you want to get into university and study chemistry as a major. In that case, it will help your application if you are a member of a chemistry club, have taken additional chemistry classes at your local university, and have volunteered in a laboratory.

It is important to know that, as one of the biggest benefits of extracurricular activities, universities place an even greater emphasis on extracurricular activities. Your leadership experience and extracurricular activities account for approximately 30% of your application.

A hand holding a plant that's about to be buried on the ground.

Suppose you are interested in studying science and have a passion for filmmaking. You should consider participating in international film competitions, directing films, writing scripts, or hosting movie nights to raise money for environmental science. Your chances of getting into the university of your choice will significantly improve if you hold the presidency of the science club at your current school.

Which are the best extracurricular activities?

The activities that are listed below are among the best extracurricular activities that one can get. When deciding what activities to list on your application, do so with intention and strategy.

Jobs and positions in leadership roles

Candidates who have demonstrated leadership ability are highly sought after by colleges. Leadership provides an opportunity to demonstrate both a commitment to your interests and passions and the ability to make a difference in the campus community once you have arrived. Examples of leadership include being an Eagle Scout, receiving a Gold Award, being the school newspaper editor, being the captain of a sports team, and holding positions on the student council.

If there is a particular activity that you participate in frequently and find enjoyable, you should think about running for a leadership position in that activity. You have the opportunity to improve yourself as a person, which may also help your chances of getting into college.

Part-time jobs

One of the benefits of extracurricular activities is that the presence of part-time work experience on college applications is highly valued. Your work history can highlight your work ethic and experience working in a more professional setting. Even if you still live with your parents, demonstrating that you can support yourself and earn your own money is a positive indicator.

In addition, having work experience can demonstrate that you can be successful in a setting that is different from the classroom. It can demonstrate to admissions offices that you can contribute to campus life in other ways besides academics.

Participation in sports and athletic events

Prospective students’ athletic involvement is a positive trait that admissions offices highly value. Participating in team sports can demonstrate a willingness to work together with others and put individual glory behind you in favor of the group’s greater good. Participating in a sport for your school or a club can be a great way to showcase your determination, commitment, and ability to manage your time effectively.

Since intramural, club, and varsity sports are offered at most colleges, athletes can typically continue pursuing what they enjoy doing at some level once they arrive on campus.

Academic clubs and teams

Demonstrating an interest in learning and expanding one’s knowledge beyond the confines of coursework can be accomplished through extracurricular activities such as debate, chess club, Model United Nations, and mock trials. Because you have chosen to complete additional academic work above and beyond what is necessary to earn your high school diploma, admissions officers may be able to evaluate your level of dedication and motivation.

Participating in academic clubs and teams frequently demonstrates some of the same characteristics as playing team sports, including teamwork, dedication, and a commitment to a collective goal. This makes it one of the best benefits of extracurricular activities.

Activities related to the arts and creativity

Participating in artistic and creative activities, such as painting, drawing, sculpting, graphic design, fashion design, theater, music, and dance, can highlight your ability to think and create in visionary ways. Consequently, colleges get excited when they see applications from prospective students that include these activities.

Students lining up for audition

Participating in activities such as acting in plays, playing in bands, or dancing on teams requires collaboration, coordination, and a commitment to a larger goal. These qualities can help convince admissions departments that you will be a great addition to their communities.

Participating in community activities and volunteering

Experiences gained through volunteer work and community service indicate that you are concerned about the world around you. Building homes with Habitat for Humanity, serving meals at Room in the Inn, or sorting canned goods at your neighborhood food bank are all excellent ways to demonstrate your dedication to community service and make your neighborhood a more pleasant place to live.

Indicating to colleges what they may be getting in return for accepting you by participating in volunteer work and community service can be helpful. This highlights how you may contribute to the campus community in ways other than simply attending class.


Internships pertinent to the program or school you are applying to at a college can be a powerful addition to your application if you are trying to get accepted into that program or school. These experiences demonstrate both your interest and experience in a particular field. They may also provide you with a helpful perspective that you can bring to bear on relevant coursework.

Working as an intern for a local organization or company can be one of the benefits of extracurricular activities. It will improve your chances of being accepted to more prestigious educational institutions and prepare you for the academic rigors of college. High school students have access to various internship opportunities, despite the common perception that internships are only open to college students.

Understanding the benefits of extracurricular activities is going to help with getting into college. As you learn more about entering colleges, it is important that you get all the help you can get to make admission easy, and you can get it with AdmissionSight. At AdmissionSight, you will benefit from the guidance of experts with 10 years of experience in college admissions. Set up an appointment today and get the best help with getting into college.



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