You may be wondering... What extracurricular activities should I do?
Or Which extracurricular activities will help me get into an Ivy League?
This signals you are on the right track! It’s important to consider what you’ll need to put on applications even at the start of your first year of high school!
What are extracurricular activities?
Extracurricular activities include student participation in clubs, student government groups, sports teams and even through volunteer work at your school or in your local community. Extracurricular activities are supplement ways students can be active outside of the classroom setting.
It's not too early to begin thinking about the college admissions process. The college application process can seem daunting, but high school students can prepare themselves in a fun way—by including the student activities you were involved in during high school.
Why should I participate in extracurricular activities?
Activities are so important, that they are one of the seven sections included on the Common App
Choose a school club or activity that you’ll love. This way you’ll benefit from the experience in more ways than just the word count on your college application. Also, letters of recommendation
will be important your senior year
; a lot of students ask their club-sponsor teacher and their coach to write about their involvement and growth.
Ten Impressive Extracurricular Activities for College Applications
Below are impressive extracurricular activities that will look good on your college applications:
Colleges are impressed by students that have held leadership positions. What better way to demonstrate such skills than holding a seat in your student government association? It’s a terrific way to participate in school matters, to show you’re both capable and responsible.
Academic Teams and Clubs
Joining an academic club or team shows that you’re passionate about learning and gaining a competitive advantage. When it comes to rigorous academics, you don’t shy away from but, rather, embrace a challenge. This kind of activity can also help with test prep, and increase test scores!
The Debate Team
Students on the debate team are more likely to be engaged in the issues of today, able to think critically on their feet, and are not afraid to speak out – all qualities that colleges look for in prospective students.
Creativity is always an asset when it comes to college applications. Students active in creative arts, like music, drama, and visual arts tend to be open-minded, eccentric, and think outside of the box. These qualities add to campus life, which is a bonus in the eyes of a college admissions officer.
Obtaining an internship while in high school
is impressive any way you slice it. An internship shows you’re capable, dedicated, and mature enough to enter the workforce. Demonstrating such qualities, in turn, allows college admissions officers to assume you’ll be more than capable of handling heavier course loads and actively participating in your curriculum since you’ve already demonstrated initiative.
With all of the focus on anti-bullying campaigns and acceptance of others, colleges value students active in promoting diversity and culture now more than ever before. Being involved in these activities shows your willingness to learn about and accept others while creating awareness for those who may be different from you.
Volunteer Work and Community Service
Most colleges consider some form of volunteer work or community service a must-have for all applicants. An important part of the volunteer experience is to consider the activities you enjoy and find a way to apply them to your service hours.
If you enjoy art, volunteer at a local children’s center to help kids with their creation time. Love to play music? Volunteer to play your instrument at a local senior center. Are you a sports fanatic? Coach your local little league team. An animal lover? Shelters are always in need of great volunteers.
The Student Newspaper
Whether it’s the student newspaper or another form, being published in any form is an impressive accomplishment. Most college courses require writing as a basic skill and being published demonstrates you’re not only capable of writing, but, good
at it. Mastering this feat looks great on your application because it shows that you’re active outside of the classroom in an activity that will translate to the likelihood of academic success in college courses.
A Part-time Job
If you’re concerned about your lack of extracurricular activities because of your part-time job
, don’t be. Colleges know that many students don’t have the luxury of participating in extracurricular activities because they must work to help support their families.
Participating in sports is a great way to showcase your teamwork, leadership skills, and emphasis on athletics and physical fitness. While athletics are a platform to demonstrate these important traits, it is common for students to participate in them and may not hold as much significance as when balanced with other activities.
As with anything in life, balance is particularly important to keep in mind. Choose activities from different categories, social and academic, so that colleges can see your wide range of talents and strong character traits.
All your efforts can be applied to student financial aid
opportunities in the future. We're talking essay scholarships
or institutional merit scholarships based upon club or sports team involvement!