Benefits of Extra-Curricular Activities for High School Students

How do extra-curricular activities benefit you as a high school student?

Extra-curricular activities help build a student's character, and promote growth and maturity. Taking part in extra-curricular activities at a young age develops soft skills that will help grow the student into a well-rounded individual.

What Soft Skills?

Students displaying these skills demonstrate a confidence that will land them again and again in opportunities for leadership. Leadership experiences at a young age lay the ground work for what success they have at the college level and beyond.

What are Universities Looking For??

Universities look at several different documents to get the overall picture of a high school student. These include the following:

1. Course Curriculum and Grades
Universities look over 4 years of high school transcripts to get a broad outlook on the classroom performance of a student. They look not only at your grades but also at what courses a perspective student took to challenge themselves. How hard was the curriculum? How well did this student do at easy classes versus college prep? A student's 4 year body of work in the classroom is important in showing how this student will perform at the next level but is certainly not the whole picture.

2. Extra-curricular Activities and Leadership
Universities are looking for students who can contribute to the campus community. That is best demonstrated in the application process by the extra-curricular activities they contributed to in high school. Transitioning to the life at the university often presents challenges beyond the classroom setting. How effective the student is at overcoming these potential challenges often is revealed in the way a perspective student spends his/her free time. Extra-curricular activities show what the young person is passionate about and reveal likely soft skills and overall qualities. These are the things that help a student stand out from the thousands of other applicants with similar academic achievements. These are ultimately what show a complete individual.

3. Tests
Universities will look at how the student scored on the ACT, SAT and other standardized tests to get a further picture of the academic ability of the student.

4. References
Universities want professional recommendations from teachers and other school faculty, former employers, and other qualified colleagues that can vouch that the student is qualified for their institution.

5. College Essay
Universities require an essay which allows the applicant to be an active voice in the process. These essays can cover a variety of topics but it is important to be concise and coherent and quickly establish individuality through the essay. Students often write about pertinent experiences they have had during their high school career to demonstrate challenges overcome.

How does Grand Classroom Student Leadership Adventure Prepare Students for College and beyond?

Student Leadership Adventure is a unique program that focuses on the skills attained from the experience itself. The program is committed to the personal growth of each individual participant. Scholars in this program are not only participants, but also active contributors and leaders throughout the expedition. This unique model can lead to self-efficacy or the belief that one is capable of achieving a goal or outcome. Students with a strong sense of efficacy are more likely to challenge themselves with difficult tasks and be intrinsically motivated.

Student Leadership Adventure provides the student with several of the requirements universities are looking for. The expedition course stands out on a resume as a strong extra-curricular activity focused on leadership. Colleges will see that this student is invested in his or her own personal growth. Upon completion of this program Grand Classroom provides the student with a Letter of Recommendation from Dr. Laura Friedman stating that this student completed this leadership program and succeeded in it. For many students the experience itself is a powerful one that changes their life in a positive way. A student will use this type of unique background on a college essay to further display the unique set of skills and experiences that would be valuable to any collegiate institution.

Extra-curricular activities are beneficial to high school students in that they develop the individual in ways the classroom alone cannot provide. These valuable life skills translate into a healthy and successful rest of high school, college and beyond.

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