Perks within passions

How holding on to extracurricular activities further provides benefit


Sophia Prill

Student performing in Athenian-inspired one-act play as part of theater’s spring production schedule.

In preparation for college, extracurriculars are becoming the life or death of any application. In recent years, universities around the nation have begun to shift their gaze from a more academically-inclined profile to more all-around, holistic approaches. With this added factor, students are starting to load their plates from both sides of the line. However, to balance the scale and seem impressive, adding extreme amounts of sports, clubs and activities alongside the actual academic work has become a common phenomenon.

In return, after students are admitted to colleges, they are able to equalize their lives once again to find that healthy balance of work, school and other activities to participate in. This idea brings the temptation to completely drop extracurriculars to focus on studies and work themselves. It’s almost idyllic to leave these activities behind, but continuing at least a few extracurriculars after high school reaps benefits for both the human brain and even for post-college careers.

To start off with mental health, activities a person enjoys other than school and work give serotonin boosts to the brain. And in college, there are plenty of activities to choose from and partake in. From sports, fine arts and service to academic add-ons, the opportunities quickly become limitless. There are also plenty of skills to boost from participation in any extracurricular, St. Johnsbury Academy lists leadership, teamwork skills and building confidence as just a few. With these increased feelings of self-worth and self-belonging, it is also easy for new students to feel like they fit more into a new campus with new faces unlike if they never took the effort to get out there and enjoy a new project. Any two people with similar interests can share that commonality between each other, and through activities that foster and encourage such passions, it’s easy to find others with similar fascinations.

Student performing in fall show “Damn Yankees” as part of the theater department’s production. (Sophia Prill)

Similarly, these activities also reap benefits both in academics and therefore post-college career. One large impact quickly seen is in a student’s academic life. If a student finds a passion in a certain pursuit, they can further hone skills in concentration, endurance and time-management that can be applied into their studies as well. Lastly, after the degree or certificate is reached, these skills can transcend into a person’s career or other life goals, creating a more thorough and maintained experience.

Yet again, there are still others who say activities beyond schoolwork could cause more stress on top of college students.And don’t get me wrong, it’s completely okay to leave some activities behind. This stands especially true for those who decide to pile up on things to do beforehand. Not having a million things to do while off at college seriously helps the psyche and leaves more time for studying and breaks. A study from NYUCN (New York University College of Nursing) reflects this problem and concludes 49% of high school students reported feeling a great deal of stress daily while another 31% claim to feel somewhat stressed. However, if a person holds onto and hones a passion or two, the benefits of the matter far outweigh the stress as long as proper time-management is in play.

As a whole, it is important for students to at least remain in a few extracurriculars after high school comes to an end in order to continue growth in both the mind and academically. As long as people remain passionate and focused on something they love, extracurriculars help, not hurt.