By: Palak Modi, Student, Grade 9 (going to 10), Shiv Nadar School, Gurgaon
Education is the interplay of intelligence and character. It is not restricted to homework and marks, classroom and lectures. It also builds one’s personality and changes capabilities into abilities. This is where co-curricular activities come into play. Not only do they help hone a definite interest, but also contribute to boosting of several soft skills like creativity, collaboration, etc. In addition, art and sports aid in the development of physical and moral strength.
My own effort is not only to focus on studies, but also indulge in co-curricular activities in order to identify areas of interest, passion and recreation. Other than reading, what pique my interest are painting and Kathak. One helps give fillip to my imagination and creativity, another gives my body and mind the much needed rejuvenation and exercise. Furthermore, such activities also pave way for discovering oneself.
While I do believe studies and co-curricular activities need to be given the same status, in order to build a truly ‘civilised society’, let us not get carried away. There is a pressing need to learn to find balance between answering the needs of academic curriculum, as well as pursuing passions without stress.
Being a student of grade 9, all set to enter the crucial Board examination year next, the pressure of expectations is immense. A ninth grader is expected to finish the due homework, attend subject classes, be prepared for tests and still have the time to undertake co-curricular activities. You see, we are constantly juggling so many different things. But is there a way to replace ‘juggling’ with ‘managing’?
According to me that the one most important skill we all need to cultivate is Time Management. Organizing time and utilizing it effectively enables one to work smarter, not just harder. Besides this, it also improves one’s work quality and induces productivity. There is a time for everything, and we must learn to prioritise what to do when.
For me, summer break is the best time when I can write, paint, dance and read, as much as I want to. However, exam time is just the opposite end of the spectrum. To put it into perspective, I hardly get a good night’s sleep, and there’s no way, I can read. Except, my textbooks!
Prioritizing tasks reduces wastage of time. Judicially allocating time to specific subjects drastically reduces workload. It has worked wonders for me and helped me score better. Not just between curricular and co-curricular, but even between subjects, I allocate time based on how much effort does the subject demand.
While studying, I never forget to prepare a to-do list, keeping in mind – the tougher the earlier. Also, all this effort is futile without setting deadlines and sticking to them. This bit of organization gives me extra time for revision and for fun. Needless to say, all work no play make Jack a dull boy!
Another way I balance studies along with my hobbies is by following a very interesting yet simple rule, called ‘The Wise Weekend Rule’. Weekends can be relaxing and rejuvenating. But wise weekends have something extra to themselves - planning. Using weekends as preparation time for the forthcoming week makes life easier by a great margin. Also, revision over the weekends can be really advantageous for improving class performance, as well as create stress-free time for pursuing interests.
According to Leo Christopher, “There’s only one thing more precious than our time and that’s what we spend our time on”. I relate strongly to this, and hence try and make the best possible use of it to excel in both, curricular and co-curricular domains.
*This article originally appeared in Indian Express. You can read the original article here - http://indianexpress.com/article/education/students-voice/studies-and-extra-curricular-activities-how-to-manage-time-and-find-balance-4707156/