What are the benefits of extracurricular activities?


Photo Source: Jaden DeLaCruze

CRHS varsity football players

Hannah McClintock, Staff Reporter

An extracurricular activity can be defined as any class, club, sport, or other organization that has an outside-of-class component, maybe for practice, a concert, or a rehearsal, but there are times where an extracurricular activity means an in-school class that students partake in. Extracurriculars includes football, basketball, choir, drama, or any club. A great number of CRHS students are involved in extracurriculars which begs the question: why do students do extracurricular activities, and do they have any benefits?

Coach James Poole, the Dropout Specialist for Canyon Ridge High School and head football coach at Canyon Ridge High School, explained, “…[extracurriculars] can keep you away from trouble just because it’s so time consuming. A lot of times you don’t really have a lot of time to do anything else because you’re so involved…” 

Sports-related activities such as football or basketball are often so time consuming for the average student that they only have time for sports and homework. “I just think that when you have a lot of time on your hands that’s when you get into trouble, or sometimes it finds you…and if you have a job, it’s probably nearly impossible,” said Coach Poole.

  Mr. Marion Oneida, a science teacher at Canyon Ridge, has similar feelings when talking about extracurricular activities. Mr. Oneida had participated in basketball in his high school years, and sees the benefits of participating, he said; “Oh yeah, it was a huge benefit. Basketball kind of opened up a lot of doors for me, academically and athletically, I think it made a huge difference in me being a good student.” 

Sophomore STUCO members create banners for the 2022 Service Bowl. (Photo Source: Hannah McClintock)

Though some students would think that being in sports would take away from an academic experience, Mr. Oneida has exemplified that being in an extracurricular that you enjoy will potentially boost you academically, since it is required to have no failing grades to participate in an extracurricular and hopefully opens doors that could help you in your future. “Well actually, I went to the Colorado school of Mines on an engineering and basketball scholarship,” explained Mr. Oneida. Most extracurriculars can lead to scholarships at most schools.

An anonymous Riverhawk Review poll was conducted with a total of 42 students. Of those students, 73% had said that they are currently in an extracurricular, and 71% claimed to enjoy the extracurricular they are involved in. Twenty eight percent of students had claimed that they are not in a extracurricular, and roughly 21% of that 28% showed interest in any extracurricular that the school has to offer.

CRHS choir performing for their 2022 winter concert (Photo Source: Rebekah Piland)

“[Football, wrestling, and track] helps me stay in shape. [Sports] also allows me to make more friends and fills my time so I don’t play video games as much,” wrote one sophomore boy anonymously. “[Violin lessons, Ski, and Swim] gives me something to do instead of [sitting] at home all day,” wrote a male junior. This is all to say that extracurriculars such as sports, learning an instrument, drama, etc, can help students stay focused during the day, keep students busy, and overall keep some students out of trouble.

This is not to deny the fact that some students have negative views on extracurriculars. Four percent of students who answered the poll claimed to not like any extracurricular they are involved in, and 16% of students don’t have an opinion. A male student involved in GSA, Theater, and Art says: “My extracurriculars are often boring or overwhelming.” A student who participated in Cheer her freshman year says: “ There was too much drama, as well as unfair coaching styles. Personally, I feel like the cheer team…creates too much drama. It just wasn’t for me.” 

While certain extracurriculars are not for everybody and 4% of students polled do not enjoy their current activity, the positive recommendation for being involved in extracurricular activities was overwhelming. Some of the benefits include, but are not limited to: scholarships (full ride or partial), being more motivated and involved in the school, and overall having a sense of belonging in a community.