The Stalwart

After School Programs and Extra-Curricular Activities WHY?



Life can be stressful. To teenagers today, it’s really hard. When life gets tough, everyone can use someone to talk to or somewhere to escape. Some of my friends dread going home from school because of how they are treated, the environment they live in, or other personal reasons. That’s where after-school programs and extra- curricular activities come into play. Sports and clubs are the reason many can cope with their feelings and emotions. I initially got involved with the marching band and soccer to find myself and to find peace. To release my anger and to regroup after the endless tasks that schoolwork brings. Ultimately, I wanted to embrace all that is me and to work on me.

High school students have expectations and standards to conform to, that if you don’t meet, you either feel worthless, told you’re worthless or treated worthlessly. Everyone needs space to be understood, grow and heal. Some homes don’t have any of those options. People have so much on their plate that they don’t have time to process what is happening to them and around them. But having access to an after-school program to relax, help build self-esteem and confidence is the best opportunity to take time to find yourself.

School life happens fast without time to think in some cases. Like you’re walking down this extremely long street that is never-ending when inevitably you get to a fork in the road. Something stops you and you must make a decision. Either about schoolwork or friends. Your options are to succeed or fail, to have hope or feelings of despair. Each road has its own obstacles but it’s about what you’re willing to sacrifice to reach the other end. What’s best for you. Either one you choose, there’s always obstacles. After every obstacle is achieved and you’re feeling successful, is where the clubs and sports teams offer a place to relax, have fun and to just be. To not stress stereotypes or peer pressure. It’s in those stress-free moments you find that the things that happen to you are all connected and have more meaning in your life than you thought. Growth.

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