The Second Family: How School Clubs Benefit Mental Health

School clubs can be a quintessential part of every child’s life. Despite the academic challenges that come from taking classes and preparing for tests, many students still join clubs. People find fulfillment in joining groups, so they see the increased workload worthwhile.

However, what exactly do students get from joining school clubs? It turns out that club participation has beneficial effects on mental health, as clubs can act as a second family.

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Providing Support Systems

The most direct benefit of school clubs is that they allow students to meet new people. Clubs revolve around a particular interest, so its members are more likely to bond over shared interests.

Since clubs often take members from various levels, they are an excellent venue for meeting people outside your classroom. Many students find companions within clubs, allowing them to expand their circle of friends.

Like a family, a health club offers a robust support system for members. Participants have shared experiences that bond them together. This solidarity allows the group to become a closely-knit group.

Many members feel secure as a part of the club, trusting the members enough to share any problems they may have in life. They can expect to receive emotional support from the group, and in turn, they also reach out to other struggling members. 

The support system offered by student organizations is suited to the challenges that children face in school. In these groups, members have other students as peers. Their similarities mean that the kids can better relate to one another and think of corresponding solutions.

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Improved Academic Performance

Some parents think that school clubs are a distraction from classes. However, more often than not, academic performance improves when the student joins a club. Indicators of academic achievements, such as grades, test scores, and study habits, are higher for students who join organizations.

School clubs indeed require commitments in terms of time and effort. However, being a member also teaches children to take increasing amounts of responsibility. Activities such as organizing club events require a level of agency and self-efficacy, which can translate into other areas of life.

Furthermore, some clubs are academic. For example, some clubs might focus on particular fields such as chemistry or music. Other organizations might specialize in helping students succeed in certain activities like debate or quiz bees. By their very nature, joining these organizations will directly improve your academic performance.

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Cultivating Social Skills

Another mental benefit of joining organizations is that kids get to interact with more people. While club members tend to have common interests, they still come from a wide range of backgrounds.

Diversity means that children get to interact with many people of varying personalities and work ethics. Hence, they will have to develop social skills to form working relationships with diverse sets of people.

Most club projects require teamwork and coordination, so students need to work together to achieve their goals. They are also excellent avenues for developing leadership skills, encouraging your child to lead projects and to delegate the work at hand.

Club members need to learn conflict resolution as they set aside personal differences to focus on achieving larger goals. They need to learn to cooperate with others, even those who might have personalities incompatible with theirs.

Clubs are a great way to build confidence and self-esteem, especially as they achieve their milestones.  Being a club leader is more challenging, but it can help kids learn crucial leadership lessons that they will use throughout their lives.

Organizations are also hotbeds of creativity. Members frequently brainstorm by discussing issues and figuring out possible strategies. They then formulate plans to achieve their goals.

Action-oriented problem solving enforces the mindset that ability is a product of hard work and strategic thinking. In turn, adopting this mindset allows the organization, and its members, to perform better.

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As Andy Tix, Ph.D. puts it, “one of the basic psychological determinants of a student’s performance involves how they explain failure and success to themselves.”

It might seem that only extroverted students get to reap the social benefits of clubs, but this is false. Even introverts can find camaraderie in a student organization. With co-members that accept them as who they are, they might also learn to become more outgoing through these groups.

Maximizing Benefits

To get the best benefits of joining school organizations, students must be careful in choosing which clubs to enter. They should take into account both their interests and the culture that’s promoted internally by the organization.

It’s wise to choose only a few clubs to allow for deeper engagement instead of joining several clubs but being unable to dedicate enough time for each.

On days when the school allows organizations to highlight themselves to potential applicants, students should consider the clubs that pique their interest. They should then research to narrow down their choices. It’s good for them to speak with someone from the clubs themselves to get a clear picture of the club experience. 

Finally, students who join clubs should be able to dedicate enough time and energy without compromising other aspects of their lives. If they find themselves sacrificing their academic performance or family time, it might be time to reevaluate their membership.

Overall, clubs are a great way to gain a support group, improve academic performance, and learn social skills. If you’re a student, take note of these benefits the next time your school hosts an organization fair. Join a club now and grab the experience of a second family!