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Have Extra-Curricular Activities added value to your life now as an adult?

(23 Posts)
takeallday Mon 27-Apr-15 11:53:13

(forgive me for my typos as using phone)

Just out of curiosity. What and how?

morethanpotatoprints Mon 27-Apr-15 12:02:52


Yes, mine did and i'm sure that it will be the same for our dd.
Mine was music and whilst I don't play anymore did get to a good enough standard to play in pit bands and sing/dance on professional stage.
All of these activities helped me form my own very successful business at an early age.
I ended up marrying a musician and one of our dc is set to be a musician also, having made her extra curricular her curricular iyswim.

Even if you don't choose it as a profession it can help to keep you disciplined and on the right tracks during your teens, when peer pressure and the results of this are at their greatest. I really don't think there are any negatives that could outweigh to the benefits.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 27-Apr-15 12:07:15

Sorry, the benefits.
Whilst my peers were hanging around the streets getting into trouble or just wasting their time, I was learning so much besides the actual activity itself.
for e.g, working as member of team, meeting deadlines, passing exams that give UCAS points, meeting a variety of people, confidence building.

My older dc played a lot of mens hockey, their peers were playing games, looking at porn, wasting time hanging around, whilst they were gaining skills and enjoying themselves.
They still play when they can now, even as adults. Unfortunately, sometimes work commitments don't allow as much as they would like.

JulieMichelleRobinson Mon 27-Apr-15 13:10:25

It's my job (I'm a private music tutor).

But I have worked in other places and other roles. My experience doing extra-curricular music, helped me to develop:
- timekeeping skills (be there 10min before rehearsal).
- organisation (practise schedule, getting to rehearsals).
- independent learning skills.
- teamwork (ensemble playing).
- leadership skills (first chair violinist and director of school orchestra).
- listening skills and ability to follow instructions.

It also provided me with an outlet for self-expression, helped me to develop emotional maturity (an area I've found difficult), and more or less kept me sane.

Most of those 'soft skills' were also developed through other extra-curricular activities, especially as a guide. I'm now involved, slightly, in a traditional scouting movement with a strong faith element, the "Guides and Scouts of Europe". Scouting is excellent for building character.

Doing extra-curricular activities helped me to make friends, when I was a kid, who were older/younger than me (in some cases by around 60 years!) and who went to different schools, were more or less privileged, etc. I was introduced to business skills through quartet playing and gigging from around 14yo.

I still play in local orchestras and while most of the music teachers are involved, other players are medics, nurses, secretaries, accountants, stay-at-home parents etc. There's a huge mix.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Mon 27-Apr-15 18:31:12

Well I met my Dh through my (now ex) sport so you could say that. ��

My Db played the sport first so I tell him that when I'm up in the middle of the night yet again with ds I'm muttering "it's all db's fault. If he'd just gone on the badminton course with me instead I'd be asleep right now."

(We each went on a course one summer when we were 8 and 6. I choose Badminton and Db - for the first time ever - didn't copy me but instead chose his own sport.)

Mistigri Mon 27-Apr-15 19:19:46

My main activity as a kid was gymnastics and yes it did add value in the sense that it was hugely beneficial when I took up other similar sports at a high level (I was a full-time climber for a while).

I'm less sure what value I got from learning instruments although as one of my two children is musical it's handy to know the basics, and I have taken up one of my old instruments again as an adult.

TheFirstOfHerName Mon 27-Apr-15 19:22:52

Singing in choirs at church and school led to:
- choral scholarship at university
- friends I still have twenty years later
- a skill that I will never lose (just successfully auditioned for a choir after a break)
- enjoyment and stress-relief

shakemysilliesout Tue 28-Apr-15 08:43:00

I still love swimming. And generally Sports. I think making activity a part of your life from child to elderly is important and a good habit.

I see less value in music as it is very expensive and my childhood was constant rows about piano practise. But I had no ability for it!

takeallday Tue 28-Apr-15 14:21:42

Shake that s the same reason my dd1 dropped piano. Not about affordability but still after paying £16 for 1/2 hr lesson weekly I cannot not to nag at my dd to make sure she practise so after three years we both had enough of piano. Now my dd2 s learning guitar but @ £6 per week in school. Don't know how long it will last but it costs a lot less so we both more relex as less nagging. I wish I had gone for an instrument that a lot cheaper with dd1.

CMOTDibbler Tue 28-Apr-15 14:32:36

Nope. I played instruments, but was never better than school orchestra level, and rowed as a teenager which was not compatible with my adult life.

I don't regret doing them, but I'm trying to encourage ds to try doing some things that are easy to take into adulthood

takeallday Tue 28-Apr-15 15:15:02

CMOT , that's partly the reason I started this thread. I want to know if many people really continue their activities or interests into adulthood. Or how their experiences influence their choices for their dcs.

Ishouldbeweaving Tue 28-Apr-15 17:52:59

I'm struggling to think of anything I did out of school. I was the class swot and from what I remember my life was divided between school, homework and the library. No sports, no music. I used to knit and otherwise mess about with wool and I still do. I don't crochet anymore but I do knit, spin, weave and sew. If I could pop back in time I'd advise the younger me to do GCSE needlework (which I think it was back then) rather than one of those languages that I never used. I suspect that we would have covered pattern alterations and I could have done with knowing that thirty years earlier. At the time I saw it as a soft option but it would have been more useful in the long term than Spanish.

I am determined that my DS should not have the perfectionist streak that I had because contrary to what I believed at the time the world does not end if you don't get top marks in everything. I look at the pleasure he gets from music and I do wish that it had been an option for me - I didn't like the recorder but if I'd realised at 7 that was going to be the only thing I was ever going to have the chance of then maybe I would have tried harder to like the screeching.

takeallday Tue 28-Apr-15 20:54:23

I did croche and drawing because they were inexpensive. Also my parents (selfemployed)didnt have time to take us to places.

tumbletumble Tue 28-Apr-15 20:57:50

I was sporty, my favourite sport was netball. I don't play any more, but I did play (for fun, not at a serious level) up until I was 31 and got pregnant with DC1. So yes, it definitely enhanced my adult life.

tumbletumble Tue 28-Apr-15 20:58:43

Netball was inexpensive - free in fact, as I played for school and college teams.

Theas18 Wed 29-Apr-15 23:59:37


Played in uni orchestras ( but not after sadly). Still sing in church choir at times when there is a big choir gathering ( it's really a kids choir now , the " back rows " have mainly died or hone to uni!). Recorder playing comes and goes over the years - haven't played for months but will again.

I have a knitting group - though ive not been for a few months ��. I'll get back there. Am mostly sewing now as ive inherited mums fabric stash and my concentration isn't up to knitting.

Dh turned his music from extra curricular/ hobby to head of music in a prep school ! ( via a very portfolio career path!).

The 2 big kids have choral scholarships at uni - fun high level singing, a " choir family" and some dosh - what's not to like. The youngest had a fun jolly to trinity cambridge as a taster choral scholar thing yesterday too. I'm sure singing is such a part of them they will continue in some form long term. I also think they'll play piano for fun for ever - they both spend ages on it when they are home.

As for the ballet - didn't last long, though it got ds on stage and he's always been find of am dram. Swimming - well they can swim I guess , and ds rugby..... I reckon he'll say , when he's old and grey that we weren't supportive enough. I hated it it and didn't go watch etc though I did take him - he was injured more than he played ����. Ds has taken his tennis racket to uni this term. Maybe something will come from the year or so of tennis lessons he had.

BackforGood Thu 30-Apr-15 00:08:32

Yes - this :

*I was learning so much besides the actual activity itself.
for e.g, working as member of team, meeting deadlines, meeting a variety of people, learning to plan and run events, confidence building*

(I've added a bit, sorry MoreThanPotatoPrints grin

I think that it's not always the particular skill, or hobby, that you carry on, or that you use in your adult life, but all you learn around or through taking part in things outside of school.

That said - I continued to sing (choirs, shows, you name it) after starting with school choirs, which I'm still doing some 30+ years after I left school. I continue to volunteer with things I started as a teenager.
Having my DofE Gold, was asked about at interviews for many years after I achieved it, tbh - it was very well respected back in the day.
I have spent many, many happy years hiking and holidaying after starting to do that for my DofE - took me out of my comfort zone and found I liked it.

Classicsgirl Thu 30-Apr-15 17:07:20

Backstage extra curricular (national youth theatre) helped get me into Uni, gave me a range of leadership skills that helped me into my current profession (finance), and helped me get my current job as CFO in an arts organisation. Also gave me the annoying ability to say 'I used to know them' when watching many TV dramas and awards ceremonies!

motherinferior Thu 30-Apr-15 17:16:44

I spent most of my out-of-school teenage years playing musical instruments till I hit 18 and realised I'd rather spend the time in political meetings than orchestra practice.

I do however now sing to quite a high standard, which is fun and is underpinned by all that musical education.

On balance, though, I think I could have had a damn sight more fun with a bit more of a wasted youth. I cannot say that hours of bloody scales practice have enriched my life to a huge extent.

All I got to do was Brownies and piano lessons neither of which I greatly enjoyed or got much out of longterm. There's not much that I wish my parents had done differently when I was growing up, but this is definitely on the list. I did do some arty crafty stuff, but went through my teens and to university with no proper hobbies or interests, it was quite an eye opener at uni how many hobbies some of the other students had. I spent a lot of my teens just hanging out with friends, never got into bother, but didn't achieve anything outside school either. I want it to be different for my DCs (9 and 11) so even though it is a lot of effort I am supporting them in whatever hobbies they choose to pursue. Especially DS who has AS and finds it hard just hanging out with other children.

PizzicatoPizza Fri 01-May-15 10:50:13

Extra curricular opportunities have definitely enriched my adult life e.g. a love of hiking (courtesy of D of E), enjoyment of watching dance (thanks to ballet lessons), confidence in swimming. The music lessons have helped develop a deeper appreciation of music, and helped me to make like minded friends wherever I've been with people from all nations and different backgrounds, find a spouse, and makes a difference every day e.g. informs what radio stations I listen to, and what concerts I go to. It's quite amazing when I think about how these things have given me such life enhancing pleasure and joy. Thank you to my parents and school teachers for all your encouragement!

takeallday Thu 07-May-15 10:31:43

Very interesting, thanks for your responses. Any more...

Mopmay Thu 07-May-15 18:33:21

All my friends did lots of sports- all still do as adults. Swimming opens doors to new activities too.

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