Extra-curricular activities are activities in which students can do along with schoolwork. They are made as positive bonuses for students who want to participate in these sorts of activities. They would encourage students to do well in school and enjoy it as well. I think extra-curricular activities should be a requirement for graduation, but the students should have an option to count participation out of school as well. This way, students who don’t participate at all can do something in school, and those who have other activities going on after school may continue those and not be forced to take an extra activity that is school-sponsored just because of a requirement.
One reason that it should be a requirement is because it looks very good on a college transcript. Many students do seize the opportunity of extra-curricular activities but some aren’t aware at all that colleges like to see sports or clubs on a transcript. Colleges like to see participation and involvement from students in high school since they want to observe the same positive image for their college. For example, my family friend had perfect grades throughout high school, but didn’t do any clubs or sports. He went to college but got rejected from the ones that he wanted to really go to. Meanwhile, my other family friend participated in cross country, basketball, track, and a few other clubs while maintaining a 3.5+ GPA and he attended Northwestern on a scholarship, a college that he really wanted to go to and a college that is very selective of its students. The difference between these two is that one was heavily involved in activities while the other only focused on school. Obviously, colleges look for well-rounded students in the selection process. Some schools may even offer a scholarship because the student demonstrated outstanding involvement in school sports and clubs. Schools also look for some social skill, which will be covered in the next paragraph.
Another reason that extra-curricular activities should be required for graduation is it gives students to improve social skills which would also help in the future. They would do this by making friends through the activities and in sports, teamwork is a big thing that leads to that. Although this seems like such a perfect idea that would probably make life easier for many people, some may think otherwise by saying that they don’t feel comfortable doing these sorts of things. What the school and students could is support these individuals and help them make the best out of what they have. Positivity would be a huge priority because these students may decide that they’re not good enough for a sport or worthy of a part in the play, but the rest of the school must urge them on and maintain a positive outlook. These activities build character and also build relationships, and even though some may disagree, a long times the students’ lives could be saved because of friendships and having a place in the world. For example, I know that I was an unathletic person as a child, but as I came to participate in football over the years, I made some friends, and found that I could be a great athlete when I wanted to. It gave me a place to fit in and some comfort when I felt very alone in a school where I knew nobody. It gave me confidence in finding something I enjoyed, which will be talked about more in the next paragraph.
The final reason that students should be required is that the student may find a special, even hidden talent that would spark them in gaining self-confidence and enjoyment in life. A student may decide after playing a few years of football that they’d like to try and get recruited to play in college and then maybe even in the NFL. A student in drama club may decide that acting is for them and they vow to get into a top school for the arts and make it into Hollywood. The point here is that the extra-curricular activities give students options to explore for what they might want to be in the future. It gives them a drive after finding that hidden talent and maintaining it until the goal is reached. Some parents believe school is the main priority of students when looking into the future and while that may be true, colleges look for well-rounded individuals who actively participate in activities. The student should be allowed to choose for themselves in what they want to be as an occupation should only be worth chasing if it’s enjoyable, money aside. Relating back to the stories told before, the family friend that attended Northwestern found what the enjoyed in track and went to college on that. While he may not become an Olympic runner, he certainly got the most out of his choice of participating through his scholarship. For myself, I know I don’t want to play in the NFL but I do know that through participating in other clubs and finding out that I was pretty good with science did figure out that I wanted to become involved in medicine or biochemistry. Hidden talents could lead to a career in the future, and if the student doesn’t discover his or hers, they may have lost a huge opportunity.
Extra-curricular activities should be a graduation requirement because it gives students so many opportunities for the future. If they feel as if they don’t want to actively participate, then it should be up to the school to make them participate in something that the student may find interesting. Students should be allowed to the participation out of school on weekends or such, but they should definitely be involved. Lastly, the social skills that came from participation will give them a bonus in their future lives.