Published: February 2015
By Shauli Bar-On
The successful high school student finds the right balance between academics and after school activities.
In addition to clubs and other academic supplements, students should engage in athletic and/or art related activities. Regardless of whether these activities take place in school or out of school, they have countless benefits.
Joining a sports team was one of the best decisions I made in high school. Athletic activities keep participants fit, healthy, and ensure a student’s time is well spent. During my freshman year, I played high school soccer and I was able to exercise, meet interesting people, and learn lessons that cannot be taught in a classroom.
High school sport tryouts are very lengthy and intense at many schools. This hard and tiring process trains students to cope with stress and to deal with failure. Although not everyone makes the team their first tryout, it is important to work hard and come out for tryouts the next year.
Sports teach students how to manage their time. Students playing high school sports will generally get home around 6:00-6:30 PM every day. Because of their tight schedule, these students need to create homework plans and stick to them.
Playing high school sports can also give students additional credit. Most high schools require students to take two years of PE or fulfil these credits by playing a school sport. By playing a high school sport, students have an additional spot in their schedule which they can use to have more free time or to take a class they are interested in.
Aside from school sports, I played club soccer with high schoolers that went to different schools from me. Sports unrelated to school allow students to learn about other’s experiences, obtain insight from different perspectives, and expand their social group.
Since athletic activities are not for everyone, I highly recommend participating in some form of art activity. These activities are a great way to take your mind off busy school work. I was always interested in music and have played the guitar since the second grade. Music is a way to calm down after a busy school week and it allows me to relax and play any style that fits my mood.
Music is a universal language and simply knowing how to read notes, keep a beat, or form chords is a great skill to possess. Since music can be played by everyone all over the world, it is a great way to meet new people and be exposed to new cultures.
High school can be extremely stressful, and after school activities give students time to breathe and relax. Physical and mental health can both be obtained from athletic and/or fine art activities.