The adage “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” has acquired a lot of significance today. This is because today’s kids are told to “Play less and study more!” Kids today are forced to get very high GPAs (Grade Point Averages) or secure very high percentages (read unrealistically high!). Thanks to the high cut offs in most of the colleges and universities. Come exams and children go through a hell of a time, leaving them no time for anything other than studies. The curriculum and syllabus framed is so vast that children don’t find the time to pursue their hobbies seriously. Schools and colleges emphasize on students getting good grades and very high marks, all in a bid to get recognition! They are all result oriented. Students find school nightmarish because of all the pressure and the anxiety. Why are we burdening them at such a young age? The realm of education is transforming from boon to bane, given the current circumstances! If it is slightly altered, from a broader perspective, it would be perfectly conducive.
Gone are the days when kids would happily play outside their homes! Now you can only see them poring over books or hooked to the internet! Agreed, academics plays a vital role in the kids’ future. I’m not of the view that academics must be neglected. It is very important that we do well academically. Knowledge is one’s greatest possession. But that should not let the extra curriculars take a back seat! Both are equally important. They are needed for recreation. Otherwise, the very purpose of education stands defeated. Parents and teachers should take active interest in encouraging children to participate in extra curricular activities.This articles states and explains ten reasons why they are important and must not be neglected, and here they are:
10. They look good on the resume
I am not sure how many parents are aware of this fact, but yes, many reputed universities in India and abroad look for a resume that is about more than just academics. They look beyond the grades and marks. How accomplished a prospective student is, is judged on an all round criterion. Skills and activities are thoroughly examined. I think that this awareness must be made widespread, especially for students aspiring to study abroad and even generally, it is better to be versatile.
9. Activeness- on the move!
Being physically active from a young age can have numerous health benefits at a later stage. It is good to be ‘on the move’ always! It boosts metabolism and improves blood circulation. It also improves stamina and mental alertness. It improves the energy levels. Nowadays, kids complain of fatigue too often. It’s probably because they are not used to running around and playing. Involving children in extra curricular activities will keep them active and energetic. It will get them out of the sedentary routine they have these days. It makes them enthusiastic and chirpy too!
8. They teach teamwork
Learning to work well and co-ordinate in a team from a young age can be very beneficial. Children who grow up in isolation generally find it difficult to work in a team. Differences arise and they take long to settle. Settling disputes amicably, persuading people and trying to compromise for the good of the team as a whole are important to work in a team and this comes from prior experience. Exposing the kids to such experiences through extra curricular activities makes them capable and strong.
7. They let the creative juices flow!
Curiosity, thinking out of the box and creativity are inborn! But they can be developed too. They just need the right environment. You cannot turn on creativity like a faucet! It should have been nurtured the right way, using the right methods. And extra curricular activities help to do just that! Arts, music and writing etc. are all creative pursuits. When children participate in such things, new doors are opened. The way they think will change. They will start doing things differently, and innovatively.
Creativity has no boundaries whatsoever. There are innumerous possibilities when you are creative. It is a great skill to have hold of! It will set you apart!
6. For a good social life
You may have noticed that, sometimes, sticking only to academics will not fetch you many friends. It is only when you go out there, in the real world, that you meet new people, socialize and make friends. When you meet people and discover shared common interests, that is when you begin to bond! Taking part in group activities is a great way to make friends. Whether it is playing a sport or dancing in a group. You will meet them regularly and keep in touch, and later, this gives you a sense of attachment and a sense of belonging. It is thus safe to say that taking part in such activities is a pre-requisite for a happening social life.
5. Stress busters!
Nowadays, it is not just the working people and office-goers that undergo stress. Even young students have fallen pray to this! Competitive exams, competition in the class to come first, weekly tests etc. make the children succumb to stress. Apart from good sleep, extra curricular activities play a key role in busting this stress. They provide the much needed leisure and recreation. They cool the mind down and remove all the tension. They give peace.
4. Better time management and prioritizing
When you are multi-tasking, you develop better time managerial and prioritizing skills. You will come across many situations where you have to do more than one thing! And this requires time management, which is one of the most important skills everyone should possess. Also, prioritizing is needed to make the right decisions in limited time. Big things should assume importance, in comparison with the insignificant ones. This ability to differentiate the wheat from the chaff is called prioritizing. Participating in many activities will improve the kids’ ability to handle different things and take on newer challenges.
3. Raise in self esteem
Inferiority complex and the lack of self worth arise out of a feeling of non-accomplishment. Many times, children who have not stepped out and tried anything may later get this feeling. After all, an empty mind is a devil’s workshop! If children are involved in many activities, they will not have the time to think negative thoughts. Doing many things gives them a feeling of self-worth and this raises their self-esteem. They become more aware and acquire more exposure, making them more knowledgeable and having more experience. They become bold and learn how to face life.
2. Holistic and all round development
People who are good at many things are preferred over people who can only do one thing correctly! When children are encouraged in extra curricular activities, they acquire many skills, which fosters their all round development. They grow holistically. If you are skillful in many things, it makes you more reliable. You also become independent. You become multi-faceted and versatile. There will be many shades that define you, instead of a monochrome.
Come on! Paint the canvas of your life with many colours and patterns. Don’t make it a plain landscape. Make it unusual and exciting!
1. They harness talent, the right way!
There is some special talent in everyone. And this talent remains latent till it is woken up from its hibernation! This will happen if you start taking chances, grab opportunities and try out everything you can. You will definitely identify your forte’ and find your niche’. We must let kids take part in many extra curricular activities so that they discover and learn about their talents. Their strengths, weaknesses and aptitude can be clearly identified. They will then discover a new side to themselves, previously unknown! It can lead to unconventional, but very rewarding career choices. It can even change their lives forever, for they discover what they are capable of achieving.