Extracurricular Whereas compulsory is defined as “required

Extracurricular Activities Should Not Be Made Compulsory in Institutions of Higher Learning
An extracurricular activity is defined as an activity being outside the regular curriculum of a school or college (‘Extracurricular’ 2016). Whereas compulsory is defined as “required by law or rule” or in other words, obligatory (Oxford University Press 2018). Although extracurricular activities are found to bring benefits such as chances to practice leadership and communication skills to students. Extracurricular activities should not be made compulsory in institutions of higher learning because doing so would turn extracurricular activities into another cause of stress to the students. Besides, extracurricular activities should not be made compulsory as the participation in extracurricular activities itself should be out of self-interest rather than peer stress by the school institutions.
First of all, extracurricular activities should not be made compulsory in institutions of higher learning. This is because extracurricular activities would be another cause of stress if it is made obligatory. Extracurricular activities as mentioned above, are activities that are not included in the normal school or college course. This means that to participate in extracurricular activities, personal free time of students will be needed, thus decreasing the total time available for taking a break and relaxing. If extracurricular activities are made compulsory, students are then required to excel in the extracurricular activities as well. With the need of excelling as well as the reduced free time, extracurricular activities will be another cause of stress among students as students nowadays are already under the stress of needing to perform well in their academic studies. This is an issue as according to the National Institute of Mental Health (2017), an estimated 25.1 percent of teens between 13 to 18 years old are found to have anxiety disorder. Besides, by making the participation in extracurricular activities compulsory, it means to force the students to take up extracurricular activities. This is being inconsiderate of the students who already finds it hard to catch up with the studies or the progress of the lecturers. Students nowadays are already facing a stress with a pattern that is similar to that of what adults face, according to a survey released by American Psychological Association (2014). With the extra workload to cope with extracurricular activities, such individuals will be facing extra stress, which would be a bad influence on their health.
Secondly, extracurricular activities should not be made compulsory as the participation in extracurricular activities should be out of self-interest rather than peer stress from school institutions. School institutions thinks that by taking part in multiple extracurricular activities a student would have greater chances of admission for their jobs. This is however not true as what most admission officers are looking for is to know how the student uses his free time. Therefore, extracurricular activities that students join should be out of their own interest rather than peer stress from school institutions. As stated by McClure (2017), students should not choose their extracurricular activities based on “what will look good” on their applications but rather on what they enjoy doing and what will bring them satisfaction and fulfillment. In addition, according to Unigo (2011) extracurricular activities in high school should be a chance for students to discover who they are and what they find enjoyable. Students should therefore not be limited to taking part in certain extracurricular activities that are listed or provided by the school institutions. Students ought to find out what they prefer doing in their own time and then do it as an extracurricular activity rather than just joining a random club of their school because they were obligated to do so.
Critics may argue that extracurricular activities are capable of training students to manage their time, making it a good thing to make extracurricular activities compulsory. Critics claim that students who take part in multiple activities after school would learn to prioritize things. For instance, according to Wisestep (2016) extracurricular activities are the best practices that enable students to manage time effectively. This statement is irrelevant because time management skills are found only to be slightly improved by being a core member in extracurricular activities. The participation in extracurricular activities only slightly improves the time management skills of students. Based on a study carried out on Taiwanese business school graduates, students who are core members in extracurricular activities does enhance employability skills such as leadership and communication. However, it is found that time management skills only benefited slightly by participating in extracurricular activities (Hsien et al. 2014, p16). Besides, according to Ali (2015) a poll carried out on young adults in UK shows that students tend to drop extracurricular activities when they are unable to cope with the workload.
In conclusion, extracurricular activities should not be made compulsory in institutions of higher studies as doing so would make it another source of stress for students. Besides, the participation in extracurricular activities itself should be out of self-interest rather than peer stress by school institutions. Institutions of higher studies should consider providing a wider range of choices of extracurricular activities for students rather than making them compulsory.

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