Editorials and Opinions

Lessons learned outside the classroom

By Matt Robbins
Published: December 2007

Everybody at Newton South involved in any extracurricular activity knows how time consuming they can be. Two to three hour practices or rehearsals right after school are mentally and/or physically draining.Following a rigorous practice, students must go home and start the many hours of homework awaiting them. With these circumstances, it is often very hard to complete a night’s work. With an extra couple of hours after school to do work, you would think it possible to be able to finish more and do better in school.

Often times, if an athlete is struggling in school, he or she will quit the team in order to boost their grades. People who make this decision do not understand the basic and most important principle that can be taken from extra curricular activities: discipline.

During a sports season, one focuses on the important things in life. Directly following practice they know
to go home and begin their homework without wasting

Someone who doesn’t do an after school activity, however, may go home, watch TV, have a snack, go online for a while and then start their homework. The vast majority of Newton South graduates do not become professional athletes or actors later on in life.

Besides enjoying the activity, after high school, all of the hard work and effort that was put into a sport or skill may seem useless. The ability to discipline yourself, on the other hand, is never lost. An eight-hour workday is nothing compared to the staggering 14-hour workdays consisting of school, practice, and homework that most students who take extra curriculars have.

Anybody who has trained hard to win a game knows the sweetness that follows it. This feeling brings motivation to work hard in all aspects of life. Not having surplus time to waste forces one to balance their time. It can be difficult to make room for everything. Extra curricular activities force one to use their time efficiently. This ability is a life skill.

Being able to balance what has to be done with personal activities will remain a problem in everybody’s life. Being able to manage your time is a vital step toward success. The ability to work with a team is another strength that sports and other extra curricular activities instill. You will be able to work cooperatively and effectively with anyone. This skill will stick with you long after high school ends. You will need to work with people you don’t like, people more skilled than you, and people you are more skilled than.

Do not choose to avoid after-school activities, because you won’t have time to do homework. Many things a person takes from extra-curriculars are more important than anything learned in the classroom. Students only remember how to answer a chemistry problem until the final, but the skills attained from extra curricular activities will last forever.

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