The Role of Extracurricular Activities in Building Futures for Students

While learning traditionally happens in a classroom setting, sometimes the learning that happens beyond the classroom walls can be even more enriching. When it comes to students’ longterm development, getting involved in a club, team, or activity is key. Read on to learn how extracurricular activities can help with building futures for students!

Developing Communication Skills

A primary benefit of extracurricular participation is improved communication skills. In many activities, students may be working with teammates, coaches, or instructors whose communication styles differ from their own. This provides an excellent opportunity to learn how to engage with others respectfully and clearly. 

For example, a student on a soccer team will learn how to receive feedback from a coach or handle being benched. They’ll learn the value of offering and internalizing encouraging words. And, in the long run, this experience can help shape stronger leadership skills. 

A student in a musical ensemble will learn technical skills on a given instrument. They’ll also understand how their ability to master a passage positively impacts the overall performance of their group. 

Extracurricular opportunities provided needed social outlets for students, as well. When academic work can feel stifling, an outlet where students can interact without pressure is a welcome reprieve. Students can gain friendships and potentially see improved mental health.

Helping Students Find Direction

Extracurriculars can help students develop better self-esteem and a sense of direction. Many young people don’t look beyond their present circumstances. And not every student has a support network at home that helps them set goals.

For students who struggle to choose an extracurricular opportunity, a mentor’s guidance can be critical. And for many students, meeting with a mentor might be the first step toward building more focused activities outside of school. A mentor can articulate a student’s strengths to them and help guide them toward a well-matched opportunity. 

When students find direction, that discovery can positively affect every facet of their lives. They’ll learn to set goals that may include higher education or career aspirations. In addition, they’ll feel like they have a sense of purpose that can carry them forward. 

Building Futures for Students Outside the Classroom

Ultimately, students will need to see a future beyond the classroom walls. Extracurricular activities allow them to apply what they’ve learned inside the classroom to other scenarios. And over time, they will come to see that classroom learning doesn’t exist in a silo. Rather, it supports their efforts in extracurricular activities.

At the same time, extracurricular participation can improve outcomes in the classroom. With improved confidence and communication skills, a student can see more value in learning in a shared community. They may prioritize academic performance more, too, especially if it affects their ability to participate in an extracurricular activity.At OhanaHC, we offer meaningful opportunities for students to engage with mentors and activities beyond the classroom. If you want to get involved to help facilitate these important interactions, you can serve as a mentor. Please fill out the contact form on our website or email us at to learn more!

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Ohana of Howard County, Inc. is following the CDC, Maryland, and Howard County recommendations to ensure the safety of students, volunteers, and staff. At this time, we will be moving to in-person programming and masks are optional. When appropriate, we will provide hybrid or virtual options for engagement.

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