“It is not enough to understand, or to see clearly. The future will be shaped in the arena of human activity, by those willing to commit their minds and their bodies to the task.” Robert Kennedy
At AISB we believe that we must engage students fully thus we ensure that they are offered a wide variety of opportunities to play sports, perform on stage in theater productions or music festivals, compete in math, speech & debate and Model United Nations competitions to name but a few. We are fortunate enough to have an athletics and activities program that is wide and varied, and growing rapidly. This has come from students pushing to want to do more, an extremely supportive leadership team that support our program, and from the hard work and dedication of our staff members to coach and teach our students in their fields of specialty.
The benefits of these activities on our students is truly immeasurable. Below is an outline of just some of the skills and benefits I have seen our students develop.
Learning Time Management and Prioritizing
One great benefit of students being involved in extracurricular activities is that they will learn about time management and prioritizing things in their life. As adults, we get very used to juggling a variety of different tasks and commitments. Our students need to learn how to do this as well, and getting involved in these activities can give them some practice at it.
Getting Involved in Diverse Interests
Getting involved in extracurricular activities also allows students to get involved in new and diverse interests. Offering a rich and varied program allows them to explore various interests that they may have.
Learning About Long Term Commitments
Students learn about long term commitments when they are involved in extracurricular activities as well and this is another excellent benefit. When they join one of the activities or clubs, they commit themselves to that activity for a period of time.
Making a Contribution
Extracurricular activities allow our students to make a contribution to our community through representing the school teams, performing in a musical festival or theater production. It shows that they are getting away from just thinking about themselves and contributing to something bigger.
Raises Self Esteem
Being involved in extracurricular activities helps to raise the self-esteem of students. There are many teens around the world that feel worthless or that there is nothing they are good at. At this age, students can struggle with self-esteem, and these activities are a way that they can build a confidence in one’s ability to do something great for themselves and their teammates. Everyone wants to find something that they are really good at, and extracurricular activities provide them with a way that they can get involved in something and really shine, giving their self-esteem a boost.
Building Solid Relationship Skills
Students have the benefit of building solid relationship skills as well when they get involved in extracurricular activities. Students need to get involved in social activities and learn how to appropriate act in social situations and these activities give them a chance outside of school to do this, while they are still being supervised by adults. A great example of this is the homestay program during our international tournaments, when students will be welcomed in to the houses of families from other schools. Learning to be a house guest and building a relationship with opponents on the field is a wonderful experience offered to our students. And these relationships go one to last a long time.
Looks Great on College Applications
Yet another benefit of students getting involved in extracurricular activities is that it looks great on college applications. Most colleges not only look at grades, but they take a look at extracurricular activities that students are involved in while they are in high school. They want to see that students are getting out there and doing more than just book work. The activities that students are involved in reveal a lot about them, and definitely will say something to the college admissions committees.
It is truly an honor to work to develop the students at AISB, to see them grow and help them find a passion that will hopefully stay with them far into their lives.
Author: David Hughes, Athletics & Activities Director, American International School of Bucharest
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