Extracurricular activities can help students with anxiety

Counselors say extracurricular activities can help students cope with social and academic stress. (Photo by Christy Soto)
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) Summer break is almost over and for many students that means a potentially stressful school year lies ahead, but counselors say extracurricular activities can help students cope.

According to Pew Research Center 61% of teens say they feel pressured to get good grades, 29% say they feel pressured to look good and 28% say they feel pressured to fit in socially.

Counselors say anxiety is common among middle school and high school students and that is why it is important for them to get involved in school activities.

Lyssa Davoust is a counselor at Waco High School and she says the best way for students to find a place to belong is by joining extracurricular activities.

“Part of coming into high school is finding your place and some kids have an easier time with that than others but it is so crucial to find one organization you can contribute to and feel a part of,” Davoust said.

She also says extracurricular activities teach student’s life lessons like building relationships, working in a team and time management.

Although some may argue extracurricular activities can be added stress factors for students, Davoust says there are more pros than cons.

University High School Band Drum Major Daniella Suarez says being a part of band helped her cope with her anxiety and depression.

“It’s helped me with anxiety and other problems that I have had," Suarez said.

"It gets you out of your shell and brings you into a loving environment with people that share the same love as you do."

So counselors recommend parents to encourage their children to get involved in school activities like athletics, band, theater and academic clubs.