Extra-curricular activities are an integral part of the educational environment. It has been integrated into almost every school and university. These activities are a pivotal tool for personality development and this has been recognised by almost everyone. The problem is that this recognition has been overpowered by the importance of the marks syndrome, which is usually an identity mark for Indians. Come on, let’s all accept it!  We are all driven by marks all through our school and university.

Marks have become the topic among everyone during kitty parties. Be it the father or the mother, they are stressed about their children’s grades. Unfortunately, extra-curricular activities have also been trapped in this crazy marks syndrome!

Imagine if we made it to the best college in our country say like something parallel to the Harvard in the states and imagine if we inform our parents that we are planning to drop out of college to do something in the field of the extra-curricular that we have a passion for? That’s one encounter with our parents that we don’t want to ever face. (Honestly, I can imagine myself sitting through the lectures that would surpass my entire college attendance). This is the point that I wish to draw some light upon.

Extra-curricular activities are appreciated as long as they remain as an extra hobby. They are mostly curbed in most of the cases once it takes shape of a prospective career.

Most educational institutions have made extra-curricular activities compulsory to encourage students to build their personality but the con of this is that it has become a part of the grading system. Grades and marks have almost degraded the concept of extra-curricular activities and their importance has been totally negated.

Shweta Kaul, a debating society member from Lady Shri Ram College for Women has broken down the importance of extra-curricular activities through her experience. She says, “Extracurricular activities provide a holistic approach to problem-solving and analytic thinking. They facilitates the understanding of interpersonal communication and helps in shaping opinions through experiences with people and situations. It also builds a sense of responsibility towards a team, project and people. It shapes creative aptitude and uses it as an inspiration for later projects. Further, it builds a sense of belonging and duty towards others, builds loyalty which becomes a huge part of any work structure in the future. Along with it, it motivates people to keep improving themselves to keep up with time”.

Extra-curricular activities are a forever thing. It’s a skill that we acquire throughout our lifetime.

Shivanshi Khanna, Journalism student from the same college explains why extra-curricular activities are more than just marks. She says, “Having been a part of many societies and activities I’ve realised that extra-curricular activities improvise skills and helps us explore. Extra-curricular activities are a forever thing. It’s a skill that we acquire throughout our lifetime. Not like every year syllabus that we complete, memorize and reproduce for marks within a short span of time, it’s much more than that. It’s a skill enhancement tool that shapes oneself. It also improves emotional and mental stability. Helps meet new people and network which in turn helps us in future”.

If you observe around, you are more likely to find children glued to their gizmos and gadgets rather than pursuing activities like dance, music, arts and crafts, sports, drama and other games. This has been criticized by doctors.

Being a member of various societies and a part of the college football team greatly added to the academic experience, shaping my personality and allowing me to grow holistically as an individual.

It’s true as to how when driven by the goal of acquiring marks, students choose a narrow path and miss out on the essence of various things that institutions offer. Anushka Gupta, Member of the Football team of LSR says, “A college is a place where we’re given opportunities to explore things much beyond the realm of just academia. My engagement and involvement in co-curricular activities is the reason that I’m going to be taking so much more than just discipline-specific knowledge and leave college with innumerable memories and unique experiences. Being a member of various societies and a part of the college football team greatly added to the academic experience, shaping my personality and allowing me to grow holistically as an individual”.

While most of us know the benefits of these activities, we tend to lack the interest to follow it through. But with various personalities shining in various fields other than academia, we should unleash ourselves and try understanding our interest. Once we do so, we should follow it through since the qualities acquired through one’s own experience is worth it!

Also Read: Women in India on New Year: Let It Be Safe Please

Reshma is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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