Four essential life skills students will learn from competing in academic competitions
Posted January 13, 2021 by Jessica Fahrenholtz
Academic competitions are becoming extremely popular for good reason. They are a great way to subsidize learning and help students fill in the gaps missing from their school’s regular curriculum. Today there are more academic competitions available than ever, from creative writing to STEM and bot-building. There is an academic competition to foster and inspire any subject a student is interested in.
While these competitions are incredibly educational, they are also a great way to teach students the real-life skills they will continue to use in college and adulthood. Here are four essential life skills that students will learn while participating in academic competitions that they aren’t likely to learn from school.
1. Academic Competitions Teach Grit
Succeeding in an academic competition will require students to see their project all the way through to the end. From start to finish, and through the ups and downs that come from completing large tasks, students are solely responsible for their project’s outcome.
Since most students do not like to lose, and with money and recognition on the line most of the time, students are more motivated than ever to dig deep and bring their A-game. This can be an excellent lesson for students to pull from in the future as they will see what they are capable of when they focus and do their best.
2. Academic Competitions Teach Collaboration
Collaborating with peers is challenging even for some adults, but it is a crucial part of successfully navigating life. Academic competitions give students the perfect environment to practice the multiple skills involved in collaborating with others. From dividing up tasks to giving and getting feedback, students will deal with it all in the process of completing a large project.
Since students are competing, they will be more motivated to deal with challenges head-on and solve problems as they arise. This will require them to communicate, compromise, and make tough decisions. These are all crucial life skills needed to thrive into adulthood.
3. Academic Competitions Teach Accountability
In college and career scenarios, people will often have deadlines to meet and others waiting on them to complete their portion of the job. Academic competitions allow students to feel the pressure of others counting on them to complete the bigger picture and understand firsthand how important it is to do what they are supposed to and meet deadlines. If they do not, they could risk losing the academic competition for their entire team, and no one wants that.
There is no better place for students to deal with the real-world consequences of succeeding or failing based on their own efforts without risking something as serious as college admittance or a dream job.
4. Academic Competitions Allow Students to Nurture Their Passion
Often in school, students must complete projects just for the sake of completing them to learn a skill. This often leads them to ask the dreaded question, “When will I ever use this?” While this is a normal part of school, it is rarely heard in academic competitions because students have many options in which competitions they compete. This means they can choose a topic that they love and want to learn more about.
Doing something you love automatically leads to more success and fulfillment from the work they are completing. Academic competitions also allow students to cement their understanding of a concept they learned in school by doing something they are passionate about. These are the lessons that students will carry with them forever, and they also look great on college applications.
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