Extracurricular or Extra Work?

Ryan Johnson, Writer

Hunter Stricker
After school crew work on the school’s spring musical, Spamalot.

Extracurricular activities help students in a myriad of ways. They help students develop social skills, meet new people, and may even help increase a student’s understanding of the world.

An extracurricular activity is any activity outside of the regular school curriculum. This ranges anywhere from sports to a school play. 

In a survey conducted throughout Ralston Valley, 63% of the participants said they were in some sort of extracurricular activity while 37% said they do not currently participate in an extracurricular activity. 

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) posted a study on the difference between students who participate in extra activities and those who don’t. Students who took up extra activities were shown to have less unexcused absences and less frequently skipped classes. 

In the same study by NCES, 68.2% of students with extra classes were projected to earn a bachelor’s degree or higher, while only 48% of students without any extra work were projected to hit the same point.    

Extracurricular activities can be forced upon students by their parents or guardians. Freshman Kai Johnson thinks that all students should be involved with an activity at some point, whatever that may be. “It gives them extra experience in their life in sports and life in general,” said Johnson.

Not everyone may agree with Johnson’s statement. Alexander Long does tennis in the fall but has nothing extra to do in the spring. Long doesn’t have a lot of time for extra activities in the spring because homework is prevalent.“I have better things to do like homework and practice in my own time,” Long said. 

Sports and other activities are a great way for new students to meet new people that have similar hobbies and interests which can make an easier transition to a new school. Mr. Lawton Davis, a German teacher who’s been the Mountain Bike Team’s head coach for 5 years, said, “I think that RV offers a lot of different opportunities for that kids can kind of find their group, find their people.”

Depending on a student’s classes and whether he or she is in any honors or AP classes, the homework can be pretty intense. This may impair a student’s ability to be involved with these extra activities that may be helpful for them in the near future.