What Makes Clubs and After School Activities so Important to the High School Experience?
High school is a place where teenagers are discovering who they are and what interests them. Clubs and other after school activities, like drama and athletics, are important to this discovery process. During school hours, students take the classes they are required to take and only really get to talk to friends and people with similar interests at lunch or for a few minutes between bells. Clubs help students to find and relate to others with similar interests and to talk and learn more about topics of their choice .
One great way that activities such as clubs can improve the high school experience is by helping to build strong relationships between students with like interests. Language clubs can unite students that take the same language by giving practice in speaking the language, but also by learning more about the culture and even participating in some of the activities or customs that there may not be time for in the curriculum for the class. Other clubs, like GSA, can help to provide a safe space for students to talk about things that are personal to them and to get the support they need, as well as to just have fun with other students they relate to. Political clubs, awareness groups, and activist clubs are important too. These show colleges that a student is interested in making changes or believes strongly in a cause. Many of these clubs also have good public service opportunities, which benefit the community as well as the student.
Clubs and sports also look good on college applications. Students involved in after school activities prove to colleges that they are well rounded, can manage their time,and have interests outside of academics. Clubs that require community service are even more beneficial because they prove that the student is involved and cares about the community they are a part of, which is why things like NHS and Key Club are so popular and important, not only to the school and students but the community as well. Community involvement can also help to provide a sense of accomplishment, which is important, especially now during the pandemic when it feels like everyday is the same, so any good done is important.
Involvement in sports does not just look good on applications; it is also important to physical health. Most students do not get enough exercise, so those that participate in athletics are staying fit, in addition to learning to work as a team, and enjoying their sport. Athletes often bond over wins and losses, but sports can also bring the whole school, and even community, together to cheer for victory, getting everyone involved, even if they are not actually on the court or down on the field.
Athletes are not the only students to bond over a shared goal or competition. Our drama club, the Peak Players, focus on acting, learning about different aspects of theater, and even put on a spring musical. There are also clubs that compete in competitions like Science Olympiad, Robotics club, FBLA, and others that promote the same type of bonds as sports teams..
After-school activities are great ways to help students discover new interests and meet people they might not have met otherwise. These activities also look good on applications because colleges want potential students to be well rounded members of their community with interests and causes that are important to them because it shows that the students are passionate about more than just school work.