Many Uni students are involved in a variety of extracurricular activities ranging from sports to robotics to orchestras. Students put lots of pressure on themselves to join extracurriculars and students often face pressure from their parents to join different extracurricular activities for reasons ranging from exercise to resumes.
According to a survey done last year by the Journalism class on parental pressure, almost 33% of Uni Students reported that their parents would not let them quit an extracurricular activity when they wanted to.
“My dad made me play it [a sport] for 8 years, even though I hated it,” commented one student.
Many Uni students are also pressured into doing extracurricular activities they never wanted to do in the first place.
“(…) Almost every week they [parents] prod me to do another extracurricular,” said another student.
One of the most common reasons students are pressured by their parents to do an extracurricular is because it would look good on a resume for college.
A student commented, “My parents both care a lot about where I go to college, so they are constantly encouraging me to do extracurricular activities that would look good on a resume or a college application.”
Counselor Kristi Bandy commented that there is a “misconception from parents” that students need to do a million different activities but in her opinion this won’t actually help on applications. She believes that it’s good for students to have three activities that they’re super passionate about.
Bandy noted that parental pressure to do extracurriculars can be harmful for students.
“I think that they’re tired. I think that it makes them super stressed that they’re not going to get enough stuff done,” Bandy said.. She also said that the pressure can make students lose self-esteem and make them feel as if no one is listening to them which can cause anxiety and depression.
If students feel that they cannot handle parental pressure anymore, Bandy says that she will talk to students “about ideas on how they can talk to their parents.” Sometimes students and their parents will even have a meeting with Ms. Bandy, who acts as the mediator.
However, not all students feel this intense pressure from their parents.
“I often like to do extracurricular activities, because I want to, but my parents have never told me that I should,” said one student.
Sometimes a little bit of parental pressure can be good. Bandy says that it is beneficial for students who aren’t involved in anything to get a push from their parents. More importantly, parental pressure can be important in making sure that kids follow through with activities that they have committed to.
Some students are actually glad that their parents have forced them to continue extracurricular activities.
“I’ve wanted to quit multiple classes (…), but my dad has made me take them. Every time this has happened I’ve ended up being glad I took the class.”