Extracurricular activities, such as sports, drama, music, and various clubs, are an important part of the educational experience for many students. Studies find that children who participate in these activities are more successful academically than those who don't. Extracurricular activities offer many benefits. The chance to excel in the arts or in sports, for example, can make a huge difference in self-esteem. Many extracurricular activities teach real-world skills which can lead to lifelong interests, even careers. They also learn teamwork and leadership skills that may be even more important in the long run than some of the academic subjects they study. Extracurricular activities also play a role in reducing drug and alcohol use and irresponsible sexual activity in teens, especially those who otherwise would be on their own after school. It's not only a matter of keeping the kids busy. The self-esteem and sense of purpose that children can get from serious involvement in extracurricular activities may help raise their aspirations and give them a reason to say "no" to risky behaviors. As important as the activities themselves are the relationships young people can build with the committed adults who direct the activities. It is often the presence of this sort of supportive relationship, either with parents or with another adult that makes the difference between success in life and later unemployment or even legal problems.