Photo Courtesy of Sarah Meadows
As the world is becoming further fixated upon knowledge, one may only wonder how many more facts, equations, timelines, DBQs, and political and moral issues can be crammed into the adolescent mind before the mind is no longer adolescent. The word “youth” may paint a picture of two young girls picking flowers on a field at noon. That is, at least, in the mind of someone who did not grow up in the twenty first century. But today, the word “youth” may paint a picture of two young girls comparing literature analyses at midnight. That is, at least, in the mind of a millennial. In all honesty, it seems that extracurriculars are the only factors to serve student life with a side of… fun!
From clubs to music programs to sports, there is, indeed, fun for everyone. Including an extracurricular in one’s schedule provides the individual with a mental break from the root of all mental breakdowns. Alexis Little (10), an honors and high achieving student, revealed her utter gratitude towards song and dance when she stated, “I am so grateful for song in my everyday life because it distracts me from reality and the stress of school, allowing me to get a break from anxiety and be with people that make me smile and laugh.” Sharing a similar point of view, Ellie Mottram (10) expressed that playing softball, “affects [her] life because [she] gets to meet amazing friends and teammates that [she] can laugh with on and off the field.” Sometimes it is merely a little laugh at an inside joke with one’s friends that reminds a kid to never forget to be… a kid!
Part of being a kid, however, in today’s age is worrying about college at an alarmingly young age. More and more people each and every year are submitting a close to 5.0 GPA and a close to 1600 SAT score. Universities, such as the University of California at Los Angeles, emphasize extracurriculars in order to distinguish one genius from another. Students often speculate as to why “having fun” is valuable in the eyes of college administrations. Hannah Gray (11) theorizes that perhaps, “extracurriculars show how involved you are in your current school, which will show the colleges how involved you can be in their school.” Contrastingly, students like Alysse Dodge (10) accept that the colleges’ palpable concern regarding extracurriculars has less to do with school spirit and more to do with individual spirit and morale: “I am a true believer in the fact that softball teaches me skills that I can use in the real world. These skills include teamwork, perseverance, and patience.” Whatever their reasoning may be, it is, without a doubt, a reason to join something.
For a slight percentage of people, their extracurricular activity has the potential to pay for their college tuitions. Sterling Millsap (10) is planning on playing soccer in college because, “[she] can do something [she] loves while getting paid for doing so.”
Despite one’s talents, interests, or skills, there is an extracurricular activity for everyone. So get involved. Have fun. Just do it.