Essay: Balancing Academics with Co-curricular Activities (CCA)
Why is balancing academics with extracurricular activities important for a student in this day and age? In particular, explain why such a balance may be important for future job prospects
As per questions
Word Count / Required:
1034 / 1000
Pretty straightforward, but it is important that anyone working on this title remember not to veer away from what the question wanted. It wanted you to explain and provide a linkage to why extracurricular activities (or CCA in Singapore) are ultimately important for future job prospects.
Many people may easily miss out on this and focus instead on how CCA activities are good for the well being of the student.
In fact, this is a common problem for most people; they tend to include many irrelevant, but somehow related, information in their essays.
One quick tip: Paste the title of the question at the top of your document. Keep referring back to the question after every paragraph written.
Extracurricular activities are generally viewed as beneficial for students. Students who participate in extracurricular activities are reported to have better grades and self-esteem (Massoni, 2011). However, others debate these purported advantages. This essay will explain the importance of balancing extracurricular activities with academics, and why this balance is important for future employability.
Involvement in extracurricular activities is seen as normal for a large number of children and adolescents all over the world. The popularity of extracurricular activities is such that one in four children participate in these endeavours (Miller & Zittleman, 2010). Mahoney and Cairns (1997) define extracurricular activities as pursuits that are typically voluntary, ungraded, and done outside of school hours. Massoni (2011) further clarifies extracurricular activities as those that are not included in the regular school curricula. Extracurricular activities are found at each grade level, and may include sports, art, newspapers, and vocational clubs (Mahoney & Cairns, 1997).
Balancing extracurricular activities, along with academics, is seen as beneficial for students. One benefit of balancing academic work with extracurricular activities is that students who do so are apt to exhibit better behaviour. Massoni (2011) states that students who engage in extracurricular activities demonstrate a decrease in behavioural problems. This is because of enforced discipline in extracurricular activities, such as through sports, which further helps students to resist unsafe behaviour and misdemeanours. Another benefit of extracurricular activities is an increased academic competence. A longitudinal study conducted by Dumais (2006) shows that students involved in extracurricular activities exhibit higher academic achievement; furthermore, they are less prone to dropping out of school (Mahoney & Cairns, 1997). This is because extracurricular activities boost students’ self-esteem, and render school as a more appealing experience due to increased social connections brought about by student involvement in various groups.
Furthermore, involvement in extracurricular activities is often perceived as a predictor of greater employability and career success. This advantage is particularly essential in today’s day and age, where securing employment is highly competitive, especially for new graduates. Gardner, Roth, and Brookes-Gunn (2008) state that the ability to balance academic rigour and involvement in extracurricular activities is positively correlated with academic, civic, and professional success. Cole, Rubin, Feild, and Giles (2007) evidence this statement by reporting that extracurricular activities relate positively with recruiters’ employability ratings. According to Rubin, Bommer, and Baldwin (2002), job applicants who engaged in extracurricular activities as students are often seen to have leadership and interpersonal skills, as well as motivational qualities, than those who did not. Moreover, students who are able to engage in both academic and extracurricular activities perceive themselves to be highly adept and competent in valued workplace skills, such as teamwork skills and work ethic, as a result of their after-school activities (DuPre & Williams, 2011).
It has been established that it is important to balance academics and extracurricular activities. Involvement in both offers many benefits to students, such as higher academic achievement and employability. Extracurricular activities, then, should be explored not merely as an option, but as something that may greatly impact the future success of each student.
Cole, M., Rubin, R., Feild, H. & Giles, W. (2007). Recruiters’ Perceptions and Use of Applicant Résumé Information: Screening the Recent Graduate. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 56(2), 319 -343.
Dumais, S. (2006). Elementary School Students’ Extracurricular Activities: The Effects of Participation on Achievement and Teachers’ Evaluations. Sociological Spectrum, 26, 117-147.
DuPre, C. & Williams, K. (2011). Undergraduates’ Perceptions of Employer Expectations. Journal of Career and Technical Education, 26(1).
Gardner, M., Roth, J., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (2008). Adolescents’ participation in organized activities and developmental success 2 and 8 years after high school: Do sponsorship, duration, and intensity matter? Developmental Psychology, 44(3), 814-830.
Massoni, E. (2011). Positive Effects of Extra Curricular Activities on Students. ESSAI, 9(27), 84-87.
Mahoney, J. & Cairns, R. (1997). Do Extracurricular activities protect against early school dropout? Developmental Psychology, 33(2), 241-253.
Miller, D., & Zittleman, K. (2010). The Extra Curriculum. In Sadker, M. (Ed.), Teachers, schools, and society (pp. 189-190). New York: McGraw Hill.
Rubin, R.S., Bommer, W.H., & Baldwin, T.T. (2002). Using extracurricular activity as an indicator of interpersonal skill: Prudent evaluation or recruiting malpractice? Human Resource Management, 41, 441–454.