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The occasional musings on student activities and leadership development
by Leadership Logistics CEO Lyn Fiscus.
And way leads on to way…
I recently had the opportunity to speak to students at my son’s middle school as part of career day, a day where members of the community come in to talk about their careers and what kind of background lead them to where they are professionally. My “job” isn’t very easy to categorize, and as I reflected on what I do and how I got to this point, I realized anew the importance of the activities I was involved in during my school years.
While in middle school or high school, most of us don’t think about where our interest in writing, or chemistry, or fashion—or whatever—will lead us. We just like what we like and learn more about it. But if you ask any adult in your life how they ended up in the career they have, their answers will likely fall into one of two categories. Either they pursued an interest they had when they were younger or they didn’t really know what they wanted to do, so they took a job that was available or that sounded good at the time, and one thing lead to another.
This tendency of one thing leading to another is one reason why educators should strive to get students involved in activities, whether it’s a club that appeals to a special interest, a sport, student government, or whatever. Every time students gain experience in something, it opens up new opportunities and helps them gain new knowledge and skills. They take that experience into other opportunities, and, as Robert Frost eloquently put it, “way leads on to way.” The activities students are involved in now might just lead them down a path to a satisfying career.
For me, the link between activities and career is obvious—I was very active in student council and newspaper staff in high school, and today my journalism experience and devotion to student leadership development are directly related to my early interests. Not everyone has such a direct link from current careers to their early involvement in activities, but I would be willing to wager that skills that were learned, talents that were developed, and confidence that was gained in student activities all influenced the career path you took. We often find as adults that the activities of our youth have brought us full circle. For that reason alone, the importance of student activities in the lives of students cannot be overlooked.
Become a champion for student activities. Get kids involved!
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