Opinion: After-School Activities Help Student Success


Roslyn Skinner and Kennedy Willison

 Lots of students nowadays are very busy, but after-school activities can be beneficial. They can help support one’s self-image, academic development and other key factors.  

     One major benefit of participating in after-school activities is improving self-image. Self-image is the way we see or think about ourselves. Social media negatively impacts self-image with users adding filters, trying to hide body parts or features, distorting their bodily image before posting and believing they do not look good enough without editing photos. But after-school activities can keep one away from the negatives of social media. 

According to youth.gov, Attending high-quality after-school programs and regular participation can lead to improved social and emotional competencies, including prosocial behavior, intrinsic motivation, better concentration efforts, and higher sense of self-worth”. 

     After school activities help promote self-image because they’re around people who share your same interests, they can help you stay in shape (depending on the type of activity it is), and they can help you stay in touch with people who make you happy. Students often gain confidence by seeing success with extracurricular activities which then improves their self-image. 

     Participating in after-school activities often leads to the improvement of academic development. After-school activities help students get more help if they’re struggling. 

     Youth.gov states that after-school activities “can improve students’ academic performance. A national evaluation found that more than 40 percent of students attending 21st Century Community Learning Center programs improved their reading and math grades, and that those who attended more regularly were more likely to make gains.” 

     Some activities require a 2.0 GPA, so extracurricular activity participation motivates students to achieve higher grades to be able to participate.  

     Students getting higher grades can also guarantee graduating on time as well as higher chances of getting into a prestigious college.  

     Lastly, feelings of protection and safety are boosted in these environments. Often children are around adults and people they come to trust, providing a safe place for them if they have difficult undertakings happening in their lives. If a kid was having a hard time at home and didn’t feel comfortable doing what they love there, they could come to an after-school activity meant for them that could make them happy. 

     Although after-school activities are great and very beneficial, they’re not always for everybody. For some students, after-school activities may be distracting. Some students may also not enjoy being in an after-school activity if it is forced upon them. It may be hard to manage a healthy work to activity life, which can lessen one’s grades. 

Ultimately, students should decide what is best for their particular situation. Overall, after-school activities have many beneficial qualities. They help with self-image, academics, safety, emotions and health. Extracurricular activities can help students mentally and physically as they go through life.