Aside from the cramming sessions before exams and constant deadlines for school work, it is important for students to find an extracurricular outlet.
Having good grades is great, but it isn’t everything. Being able to do what you enjoy outside of school is also important.
Many times students think about what they are good at when considering their future majors in college. Also getting students involved in various types of clubs and organizations can help them establish hobbies.
There are beneficial extracurricular clubs and organizations that help the community that students can get involved with, like the National Honor Society. It teaches through participation and service learning.
“I do it because I want to help others and improve my environment while improving myself,” said Amina Baker, member of NHS at J.D. Clement Early College high school. “It’s important because I want to be a part of something positive that keeps me focused on the right things.”
Being involved in clubs and organizations can be beneficial to students in the social aspect also.
“When I am involved with a group of people outside of school I am able to enjoy, and experience, other people in a different way,” said Amani Brown, an Early College senior.
Neil Hairston IV, also an Early College senior agrees that these activities can introduce students to new people and experiences.
“I can make more connections with my peers and form new relationships with new friends,” he said.
According to Early College senior Maia Crumbie, students must be “rounded,” and joining clubs can help.
“It’s important to be well-rounded in school because you find out how to balance your studies with other extracurricular activities and also have time to socialize,” Crumbie said.
Another Early College senior, Briana Headen, said extracurricular activities help teens learn about people and the world.
“It helps you to be able to deal with people with different personalities and learn how to respect people that are different from you,” she said.
There are stories of students that do well in school but don’t get in the school of their choice. Sometimes this is due to little or no involvement in clubs or groups outside of the classroom. Many college admissions look for students who are well-rounded in their studies but also in other activities like sports, clubs and performance teams.
A few noteworthy community programs that students could get involved in are:
- The Durham VOICE- this community-building newspaper that covers Northeast Central Durham. durhamvoice.org
- YO:Durham- Year of Opportunity for Durham Teens with a mission primarily focusing on a summer career academy, internships, service learning and mentoring. yodurham.org
- Student U- an organization that works to empower students in the Durham Public Schools to own their education by developing academic skills and personal well-being necessary to succeed in college and beyond. studentudurham.org
- SEEDS- an educational community garden in Durham that teaches respect for life, the earth and for each other through gardening & growing food. seedsnc.org
All of these organizations act as positive influences on teens and can make becoming an adult a little easier.
Hairston summed it up like this:
“In life it’s good to make connections,” he said.