High school is a great time for students to learn about themselves and discover their interests and talents. Spending time on extracurricular activities often is a way to do this. Some students do well in both their academic and extracurricular pursuits, but others struggle. However, a student’s ability to balance extracurricular activities and maintain a good GPA often indicates they will be able to achieve good grades in college.

Activity Type

The type of extracurricular activity you participate in can have a bearing on how a college views you. Your high school extracurricular activities also can impact your college grades. According to an article from Iowa State University, "students learn life skills that benefit their studies" while participating in extracurricular activities. Certain extracurricular activities also can teach career skills. For example, if you were an editor for your high school newspaper, the skills you learned could help prepare you for work in the news industry or other related fields.

Time Management

How well you managed your various activities in high school hopefully taught you some vital time-management skills. This is almost as important as content knowledge when you are in college. Many students take heavy course loads, work and participate in extracurricular activities while in college, so knowing how to effectively manage time is very important to achieving good grades.


College offers many opportunities to have fun. If you are used to having your parents wake you up on time or remind you that you have football practice, you’ll be in for a shock. But students who participate in many extracurricular activities in high school often have experience being responsible. Having to show up on time for practice and stick to a certain schedule helps students learn the responsibility that is necessary to get good grades in college. According to the same Iowa State University article, extracurricular activities teach students "lessons not learned in a classroom."

Social Skills

Learning how to work with others is another skill students can learn from extracurricular activities. Colleges often have study groups or group projects that require students to work together to achieve one goal. If you were an introvert in high school and your social skills are underdeveloped, you might find yourself struggling in group settings.

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