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Why Band, Why Anything?

Why Band, Why Anything?

Statistics show that approximately 57% of high school students participate in an extracurricular activity and that the three most popular activities are; sports, performing arts, or student government/clubs. The reasons for students participating in these specific areas are very diverse, including passion, talent, wanting to be a part of something big, or in order to further their education.

I participate in band as well as theater because I have always loved and appreciated the performing arts and I love music more than anything else on Earth. There are a lot of different factors that make these specific activities special to me, but the feeling of teamwork and being a part of something is the main factor. There is also a rush of success when you are standing on the stage, the adrenaline rush from knowing that all your hard work has led to this moment, and the bittersweetness of it being over afterward. But what are some other reasons for students choosing certain extracurriculars?



Approximately 36% of all high school students play one or more sports. Boys account for 57% of all participants while girls make up the other 43%. The top popular sports for both genders are basketball, track & field, and volleyball pulling ahead for girls and football for boys.

Lexi Spangler, a freshman and the starting goalkeeper on the Girls Varsity Soccer team, remarked, “I’ve always found soccer as something I like to do. It’s a way to express yourself, to learn about yourself, and have a community.” Playing sports, especially physical sports such as soccer, can make you mentally tougher. You cannot get angry or be whiny because your team is depending on you. Without teamwork, a game could fall apart. It is a great choice for students who may be generally athletic or play other sports.

Another freshman athlete, Autumn Cookson, says that she chose softball because of the challenge. “It takes a lot of skill, trying to hit a moving round ball with a round bat.” This difficulty is an additional reason students may choose certain athletics. Physical challenges can improve mental strength and make it easier to face other circumstances in life that might be unpleasant.

Alexandra Byser, a freshman track and field participant, explained, “I wanted to try to get better at running. It’s a stress reliever because I know that I’m trying to get from point A to point B. It relaxes me during and afterward.” Sports, especially ones like track or swimming, where there is no team except yourself, can be good for high school athletes’ mental health. Participating in more physical activities helps relieve stress, relax players, and improve mental focus. Athletes often score better in school for that reason, and high school athletes have been proven to be at lower risk for obesity, smoking, and drug use.


Performing Arts

49.9% of high schoolers are enrolled in at least one art discipline, a higher amount than those participating in sports. These performing arts teach students a lot more than they are given credit for, such as practice, teamwork, creativity, and perseverance. Students with a high participation in the arts also have a dropout rate of 4%- 5 times less than students not in performing arts.

Ash VanVranken, a freshman at GHS, said, “I like to see myself as an artistic person, I enjoy activities like band and chorus more than sports. You learn as you go instead of it being the same thing over and over again.” Every time you start a new piece or song, you’re creating something new and beautiful, something that nobody has done before the same way as you. For many people, this is what appeals to them. However, Ash also had a warning for students who are not sure if the performing arts are what they want to do. “If you are on the deciding end of wanting to do it or not, you shouldn’t do it because there are probably things that you will find that will make you not like it,” she asserted.


Student Government/ Clubs

About 61% of students join one club or another throughout their time in high school in order to further their education or expand on previous knowledge. There are a variety of clubs that high school students can participate in, but the most popular clubs are language, community service, and game clubs, such as chess or video games.

Alexandra, a member of Future Farmers of America, commented, “I want to be a vet, and I felt like this was a sort of background for my future.” Some people may think when they hear “farmers” that this club focuses mostly on agriculture, but that view is incorrect. There are also vet science and other branches within FFA that students can take part in. “If you want to join, you should join,” Alexandra concluded. “There’s not that many people that do it, you get to go on field trips, and you have opportunities to learn new things.”

I had run for student council president because I wanted to learn leadership, but I also wanted to affect and influence my school for the better. If you are interested in or considering running, my personal advice would be to try. There is nothing to lose and even if you do not get the role, you gain the experience just from making an effort and giving speeches in front of others. The journey makes you braver and even a better public speaker, showing the many benefits of simply trying.

Most of the students interviewed remarked that the person who affected their decision to join a specific extracurricular was their father, which coincided with my previous observations. If you or somebody else is on the fence about participating in an extracurricular, you should probably go for it. There are some exceptions, such as performing arts, but that advice stands true for the most part. While there are many reasons for students joining specific extracurricular activities, every student interviewed agreed that they wholeheartedly enjoy the ones they picked.

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About the Contributor
Aubrey Simpson
Aubrey Simpson, Staff Reporter
My name is Aubrey Simpson. I am 15 years old and a freshman at GHS. After high school, I want to go into the medical field. This is my first year taking journalism; I took it because my dream is to make a difference in the world, starting with my school. I’ve always enjoyed and been talented at writing, so I thought journalism was the perfect outlet. Writing articles for the student newspaper makes me feel like I’m changing my school for the better.   

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