Be it a working professional, a student or a stay-at-home mom, all of us are under immense pressure to perform to the best of our abilities. But every so often, even our professional, academic and domestic work requires a break into other recreational and extra-curricular activities to help us find the right balance between work and play. For students, we often mistake a good academic performance as the only measure of success. However, as educationists believe, true education is one that encompasses all round development in order to achieve one’s full potential. Even our children believe so, as this week’s feature reveals. Class 11 student Mughato A. Aye, winner of the Autumn Fest Essay Competition advocates the importance of extra-curricular activities in the lives of all students today.
Balancing Act: Work and Play
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, reads the proverb that carries a lot of weight. Students study a lot, trying hard to score well or get maximum marks in the exams and are rewarded by being promoted to the next class. That is the usual practice. But is the studying of printed and written material the only important thing for the all-round development of students? A student may be really good at scoring high marks in the exams but that does not guarantee that he will be able to speak properly or fluently, and if he is not able to speak properly or fluently, it shows that the student is not fully developed to face certain hurdles of life, and this problem may get magnified in the future and cause major problems for the student. There are other cases like some students being extremely good in studies but not interested in sports and proven to be physically inactive. Education is about the all-round development of the students, which means students should excel both physically and mentally. Studies and academic performance of the students are important, but the students must also be aware of what’s happening in the real world.
Exams and results are all part of education, but extra-curricular activities are important as they help in building a child’s personality, which is the necessary requirement of today’s fast and competitive era. Extra-curricular activities such as sports, debate, extempore, quiz, science and art exhibitions held in schools and colleges help the students by enabling them to develop their personality in an all-round manner. It also helps them by enabling them to handle various challenges, tasks and situations. Different extra-curricular activities help the students in different ways by making the students think out of the box, learn team work, quick thinking and quick actions, match up to the competition and work under pressure. All these exercises and skills are useful in the future when the students take up jobs and deal with various daily challenges. A student who is active in extra-curricular activities develops certain attributes like competitive spirit, co-operation, team leading and people management. All these qualities improve the student’s confidence and create a sense of achievement in him or her. Extra-curricular activities help the students keep fit and develop both physically and mentally.
Extra-curricular activities help the students learn new things, for instance, it brings different people with different culture, backgrounds, attitudes, traditions, etc. together. In such cases, all these different people become friends and exchange of views take place. This enables the students to learn new and different things enriching their knowledge and making them more knowledgeable. As mentioned, it is not only the exchange of ideas but even friendships are being forged and new relationships take place. This increases sociability which is an important attribute in the process of the development of the students’ personality. People’s ability to make friends or to become part of a group fuels confidence and this creates an atmosphere of liability among the people. Thus, sociability increases the confidence of the students.
Extra-curricular activities help the students to develop their intellectual self. It also helps the students to develop their talents. Extra-curricular activities are an absolute essential part of a students’ academic life. It is a good breather for the students from regular classroom teaching and helps to refresh their minds and concentrate better. Extra-curricular activities provide the students with an opportunity to take part in activities and areas depending upon their talents, skills, and interests. It is a way for the students to express themselves through the things they are best at.
Thus, students must not focus entirely only on their academic life, but also take part in extra-curricular activities. A student whose academic performance is poor may have the potential to excel in other fields. Education is all about the human’s physical, mental, aesthetic, and spiritual self. Extra-curricular activities provide various platforms for the students to improve themselves in different things and in different ways. Socializing with different people enables the students to gain ideas and knowledge about a variety of things. Extra-curricular activities build up, in a student, the qualities of working as a team. It helps the students to learn how to work as a ‘unit’ and be a team player. It is true that students have many talents which must be developed, and one of the best ways of showcasing them is through the organization of such extra-curricular activities.
(Winning Essay of the Autumn Fest Essay Competition 2014)
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