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Balancing Extracurricular Activities & Academics

Taking several extracurriculars on top of your schoolwork can be a daunting task. Often times, children have so many activities after school, that they hardly have enough time to complete homework and study as well. To avoid facing this issue, you can strategically plan your study schedule to make sure there is enough time to get your schoolwork done.


One of the best strategies to save time and avoid procrastinating at the last minute is to use your time over the weekend to study and preview the lesson material. Put aside 1-2 hours on Saturday and Sunday to complete any homework due during next week, as well as scan over the material you will cover in class next week. Finishing assignments earlier and understanding concepts covered in class beforehand will certainly help when it comes to doing homework on weekdays.


Another effective strategy you can use to balance your workload with after school activities is setting reminders and deadlines. For example, if I had set a deadline to finish a history project due next Wednesday, I would spend at least 20 minutes every day working on the project leading up to the day it is due. This way, I give myself plenty of time to finish it and can use the last day to prepare for the presentation and any final touches.


Now, let’s focus on the extracurricular activities themselves. First of all, you should be involved only in activities that matter the most to you. Try and be choosy with your time by doing things that you are truly excited to join and will remain active all year. If I want to focus on developing my skills in the business world, for example, I would benefit more from being involved in a career-oriented club such as Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), than spending my time in a STEM-oriented club.


Also, focus on picking activities that will develop your leadership skills. Join a club where you can build your way up to a position of leadership (e.g. president, vice president, secretary, treasurer). When you move towards high school and college, they want to know what YOU contributed to clubs and teams you joined. By joining these extracurriculars, you will learn skills that will ultimately benefit your academic and career paths.


In conclusion, you need to choose extracurricular activities that are meaningful to you. Instead of being the “jack of all trades, master of none,” hone in on a special skill you want to develop for personal growth in the future. In addition, learn to balance your academics with smart strategies like working over the weekends, budgeting your time wisely, and staying organized.

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