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How to balance extra-curricular activities and academics?

extra-curricular activitiesWhat does “research” say about effects of extra-curricular activities over academic performance of a student? The study undertaken by U.S. department of education says that students pursuing extra-curricular activities get higher grades than the students, who do not have interest in extra-curricular activities. The same study also confirms that any student could get better grades in his studies, when he participates in various co-curricular activities irrespective of the backgrounds they have come from. The extra-curricular activities come in various types, such as participation in the events of sports, music, art, drama, and other social activities in school and college.

balance extra-curricular

Apart from better grades in the examinations, the activities also have good impact on personalities of students, shaping up their behavior and attitudes towards life. Extra-curricular activities usually take place in groups, which help the growth of competitive spirit in the students, guiding them for better conduct in a group. Extra-curricular activities are the only things, which develop the qualities of leadership in the student. The student would shine in a career, when he participates in such activities, while retaining his usual interest in his study. He needs to strike a balance between extra-curricular activities and his academic interests, which would considerably help in his development in learning and future plans.Let’s know about some of the ways, which would help in creating perfect balance between academics and extra-curricular activities. A student could successfully create a balance between these two and excel as an all-rounder student in his career.

Decide and choose certain extra-curricular activities

extra-curricular activitiesCould a student become good in every type of extra-curricular activity? Surely, he or she could develop participative spirit in such activities. But it is important to devote meaningful time to the activities and select specific activities for participation. When the pressure keeps on growing on bringing better grades in the studies for various subjects, it would not become possible to take up every available activity in extra-curricular programmes in the colleges and schools.

It is important that the student choose one or two activities for this and he needs to have basic interest in that particular activity. If the student has interest in taking part in debates and essay writing, it would become ideal for him to choose both these interests and develop a strategy to improve in both the activities. During a particular day, the student could devote a fixed time to the practice of debate and essay writing at home or hostel.

Create a time-table for regular study and extra-curricular activities

Create a time-table for regular study and extra-curricular activitiesMost of the students create their time-table for studying the subjects like Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics etc. But they forget that keeping a regular schedule for practice of extra-curricular activities could create balance in both the things. Like the regular reading of books for different subject matters, extra-curricular activities need daily practice. This keeps the interest alive in such activities as the students devote time and find ways to excel in such activities. For example, if a student has interest in playing Cricket, regular practice of the game gives him freedom from mental stress and ability to play better. The student could fix up some time every day for regular practice and during this, he could hone up his skill in bowling, batting, or in fielding, which are essential parts of the game.

Devote more time to think, conceptualize, and develop in extra-curricular activities

develop in extra-curricular activitiesThe student could develop to a great extent in extra-curricular activities, if he devotes some amount of time in thinking, conceptualizing, and developing creative ideas about such activities. He would get a lot of creative ideas, when he searches in web about his interests in extra-curricular activities. Ideas only come when a student consistently searches for making them better with addition of innovative things. Extra-curricular activities bind the students to the core values of academics and keep the students connected to peer group as well as faculties in the institutions, where they study. 

Research also shows that intense participation in extra-curricular activities builds up successful rapport between students and adults. For instance, genius cricketer, Sachin Tendulkar, was selected for his extra-ordinary talent in Cricket right in his school days and this was the result of his good relationship with his sports teacher.  History is replete with such examples, where relationship flourished between students and adult experts only when the students displayed their brilliance in any extra-curricular activity. Later, such students got the opportunity to get to higher platform and excel in their lives.

Balance is the result of “focus”

Balance is the result of “focus”When a student makes diligent efforts and divides his time between studies and extra-curricular activities, he gets the right “focus” on both the sides of his development. The need is to create a routine, where both “academics” and “extra-curricular” activities would get their respective places. A serious approach to the practice of both the essential aspects of career development for students would create perfect balance for achieving holistic result in academics.

Students pursue extra-curricular activities casually and take those activities only to drop before term-end examinations for academic papers. This results in the loss of prospects as students lagging behind in extra-curricular activities get poor rankings in the entrance examinations like IIT JEE and job interviews. These activities get special mention in the “bio-data” of the student, when he tries his luck in an interview.  If a student has mentioned that he has won certificate of merit in the inter-college Cricket tournament, it would show clearly that he has the spirit to take on challenges in life as Cricket is a very challenging game.

Balance comes from leadership

Balance comes from leadershipIn every type of extra-curricular activity, leadership is the first necessity. When the student shows leadership in such activities, it shows he or she has perfectly balanced his actions in academics and extracurricular things. Again it shows that the student possesses the right amount of interest in both the valuables aspects for over-all development of his personality and career. Extra-curricular activities give ability to develop skills and with initiatives in leadership, the student could meet the desired goal for his career.

Research has shown that extra-curricular activities create interest in the students and encourage them to go for more in academic activities. Research has always shown that almost all the highly successful educational institutions have scope for students to display their skills in extra-curricular activities and this keeps the students, faculties, parents, and peers motivated for higher realms of achievement. Such activities are only instrumental in keeping all integrated for better achievement. A perfectly balanced student between academics and extra-curricular activities is an asset for the society.

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