Extracurricular activities can play a big role in college admissions. While grades and test scores are important, your extracurricular activities can be one way to set yourself apart from the other students. Unfortunately, many students do not realize how important extracurricular activities are until they are filling out their college applications. Here are five tips for extracurricular activities for college bound students.
- Start early. Don’t wait until senior year to join clubs and organizations. For new high school freshmen, it is the perfect time to start looking at activities. Younger high school students will have the time to test out the many opportunities that are available and find the right ones. In addition, starting early will allow you to gain experience and move into leadership roles later on.
- Find your passion. Don’t choose activities because you think admissions officers will value it over other activities. Instead, find something you love. Extracurricular activities are not just about building your resume; they are also something you should enjoy doing. When asked to describe your activities in writing or in person, admissions officers can usually spot passion or boredom. Passion about an activity is endearing and could help your case when making admissions decision.
- Quality versus quantity. A misconception about extracurricular activities is that students need to be involved in a lot of things. However, quality time in an activity will always look better than a bunch of activities with no quality. For example, showing up to a bunch of club meetings or being on many club rosters is not impressive. However, spending a lot of time on one activity shows dedication and passion.
- Step up. After you have found your passion and activities you enjoy, do more. This may mean running for a leadership role or leading an activity for the club. Attending meetings is great, but stepping up and leading others can make an applicant more desirable to admissions officers. In addition to being impressive, a leadership role can tell the admissions committee that you may want to continue your involvement on the college campus.
- Think outside of school too. Finding activities sponsored by your high school is easy. However, getting involved off campus is another way to practice your passion. There are many great organizations in your town or area that welcome volunteers. In addition, if there is a need somewhere that maybe others are not addressing, it is possible you could find a solution. Think outside the box and make a difference.
While a lot goes into college admissions decisions, extracurricular activities can push an applicant over the top. Start early and find your passion! Extracurricular activities should not be a chore, but something you enjoy. Choosing the right activities can help in college admissions and enrich your life.