Participating in extracurricular activities not only looks good to colleges but it's also a great opportunity for meeting new people. School social activities can help enhance leadership skills as well. Participating in them throughout high school can help your child get into the college of his choice while enhancing his social skills. In addition, social events like dances can help your teen learn how to relate and respond to people who push her to do things she might doesn't want to do, like drink alcohol.
High schools usually have a large number of clubs and groups for students to select from. There are social clubs (like a knitting club or a sorority-type group), service groups (Interact), career-oriented clubs (Future Business Leaders of America), honor societies (Mu Alpha Theta for excellence in math), special interest groups (drama club) and groups that promote a certain cause (Students Working Against Tobacco). Clubs like these will teach your child how to work toward a common goal and stick to a social calendar. Also, if your teen chooses to hold a leadership position within the group, he will develop skills in time management, communication and supervision.
Although some may not immediately think that playing a sport is a social activity, it truly is. Learning to work as a team while developing individual talent can go a long way with regard to life in general. From soccer to football, golf to cheerleading, the different types of athletic groups on the high school campus emphasize teamwork, honing the child's natural skills, maintaining good grades and staying physically fit. Athletics encompass more than just throwing a ball or swinging a bat.
Each grade of the student body needs a representative to help organize activities and communicate to the administration on behalf of the students. High schools will have officers for each grade (president, vice president, secretary and treasurer, for example) who meet on a regular basis to plan student events and address any concerns the students have with what's going on at the school. This allows the members of the student government to learn how to relate to both peers and superiors as well as how to communicate effectively. Students must "campaign" and this helps them get over any fears of public speaking. Sometimes, a school will have a parliamentary body that consists of more students who have come together to discuss class-wide issues and make decisions as a group. Learning how to properly debate is another social skill a student learns when she participates in student government in any capacity.
Dances and Other Events
Homecoming dances, proms and other events can also provide social opportunities for your teenager. These are important learning situations where the student can have a good time with her friends but also keep your rules in mind. Peer pressure is in full force during events outside of school, but this helps reinforce to your child that he should stick up for his own morals. Negotiating is also a useful tactic that can come into play when under peer pressure. These types of events include dances, field trips, banquets and fundraisers.