Throughout elementary and high school, there are many clubs and extracurricular activities available for students to join. They range from sports to music and many others in between. These activities are available for students to have fun and meet new people, but they can have a greater impact than one may suspect.
According to an article by Learning Cubs, “School clubs are beneficial for children of all ages. Whether they’re making new friends and burning off energy or they’re getting through some difficult maths homework, there is a place for every child in an after-school club.”
In fact, clubs and after-school activities may play a huge role in future careers. While club activities are not one-size-fits-all, they give youth the chance to explore their passions.
Jacob Belay, a recent photography and content creation graduate at Algonquin College, says he had no idea he was interested in photography until he joined school clubs.
Belay says he knew he enjoyed hands-on editing from previous experiences at school, which prompted him to join a few specific clubs. These became a major factor in his decision to pursue a photography career.
“The experiences helped me learn what I wanted to do,” says Belay. “Trying out new things is a great way to figure things out.”
While clubs and extracurricular activities are great for discovering new interests, they can also be beneficial in exploring career paths.
The experience you obtain from clubs or activities can be easily translated into a future career. They allow you to get hands-on experience to see how things work and explore what you’re good at.
Clubs also give students the opportunity to work on less job-specific skills as well.
An article by The Princeton Review states, “Your participation in clubs can hone your communication skills, foster creative thinking, and teach you how to work effectively with other people. Your extracurricular involvement is one of the few ways that colleges can gain insights into your personality.”
Clubs and extracurricular activities can also be useful for your career, even if they don’t directly relate to what you plan on doing for the rest of your life.
Jeannie Hunter, a music teacher at Nepean High School in Ottawa, Ont., says clubs and extracurricular activities are important for individuals to grow into who they want to be.
“Not all the students who participated in band go on to be professional musicians,” says Hunter. “But the experience allows kids to change, grow and build their confidence.”
The experience of participating in clubs and extracurricular activities gives students a chance to break out of their shells.
Not everyone has the confidence to be the team leader or speak out in front of a class. However, if students can identify their strengths in their various areas of interest, their confidence will grow, which can help them in every facet of their life – not just their careers.