Extracurricular Activities and You
Congratulations- you have completed the first month of the 2020-2021 academic school year! It has definitely been a learning curve for everyone, but the year has started off strong, with your students eager to learn and connect!
“Virtual Learning” may have raised many questions in your home about extracurricular activities: What is offered? Why are they necessary? Is my student too young?
Extracurricular activities- clubs, sports, work, or other pursuits outside of the classroom can help your student develop new skills, build their self-esteem and confidence, and can be a lot of fun! In addition, extracurricular activities can play a huge role in college admissions and scholarship applications.
It is never too early to work with your student on building their resume, their story of their interests and passions that lie outside what they may learn in the classroom. Colleges and scholarship committees look for well-rounded students, and they want to know how your child will leave their mark on the schools they apply to. What your child does in his or her free time can showcase important personal qualities. For example:
- Serving in student government shows leadership skills.
- Being on the track team through high school shows long-term commitment.
- Doing volunteer work within the community shows dedication to helping others.
- When your child is old enough, working a part-time job while keeping their grades up shows responsibility and time management.
The number one rule for extracurricular activities for students: DO WHAT YOU LOVE (or at least what you are interested in)! 8th grade through your child’s sophomore year is a great time to explore and get a solid grasp of the type of activities they love. As upperclassmen, they may want to hone in on a couple of those activities, and maybe even take on leadership roles!
Every school will have different activities offered for their students. From Affinity-Based clubs like Asian American Student Association (AASA), Latinx Club, and Black Student Union (BSU), to service and marketing-based programming such as National Honor Society (NHS), Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), and the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA). Yearbook, Journalism, and photography are also great student experiences that your child can participate in. Volunteering is a graduation requirement and your student can start working on their hours starting in 9th grade!
Although athletics are not a guaranteed this academic year, please read the reopening plan on the district website to learn more about the potential athletic season for the different sport offerings. You can also connect with the school to speak to the coach to learn some ways to help your student get in shape for the upcoming season!
Did You Know?
There is no way to predict what activities will impress college admissions staff. What counts is how you are able to express what your chosen activities mean to you! GEAR UP provides various extracurricular activities- STEM Club, HUSKY STEM Challenges, Career Speakers, and College Exploration through Office Hours! If there is a club your student would love to be a part of, but maybe it doesn’t exist at their school, have your student reach out to the ASB Staff and see what it takes to start their very own club!