Extracurricular Activities: How to Get Ahead of the Competition
Many students puzzle on the same question: what does “extracurricular activities mean?” How to approach this question? Where to find the answer? Should you organize a competition or create your own club? The main thing is to be authentic. Your extracurricular activities should reflect your interests and character. Think of something that excites you and consider activities that will allow you to contribute to the community. In this article, college-writers will explain what are the most popular extracurricular activities so that you can improve your college application.
First, you need the right extracurricular activities and the right combination of different activities. You need to demonstrate a few different things about you, such as your ambition, your passion, and your goodwill. This approach is the best way to impress admissions officers.
Here are three important categories of activities that will allow you to demonstrate how you can contribute to the community in different ways:
- Community activity;
- Career activity;
- Your favorite activity.
Start with the Career Activity
You should demonstrate your willingness to study in this college and your excitement about your future in this institution. The admissions team will certainly appreciate it.
Schools are looking for hard-working students who really love their area of study. You should explain that it’s not money or prestige you’re looking for but an opportunity to be the best version of yourself which is impossible without a degree.
Here are some good examples to consider:
- Create an app (Computer Science)
- Start your own newspaper (Communications)
- Volunteer at a hospital (Medicine)
- Become an Olympiad or Mathlete (Applied Mathematics)
Choose the Community Activity
Another extracurricular should be about helping people who need your help and your efforts to contribute to the community. The admissions officers must see that you want to change the world for the better. Take charge and demonstrate your dedication. Try to impress the admissions team with your perseverance and initiative.
Choose some area that concerns you and devote enough time to it. We recommend that you work on this issue for at least a year. The longer you participate, the more significant your contribution, and the stronger your application.
You should apply your knowledge and skills, such as problem-solving and critical thinking, while also demonstrating your high level of responsibility. If you have no idea what to choose, just google your main interests and you will learn about some options. Here are just a few nice examples:
- Work with kids or teenagers and help them develop their creativity (Schools)
- Work with senior citizens (Nursing Homes)
- Choose a fast-paced work related to hospitals (Medicine)
- Work in animal shelters (Animal Care)
- Work in a park (Environment)
- Work in a library with kids (Organizational Skills)
- Work in food banks with those in need (Perseverance)
Your Favorite Activity
This is a very important thing because this activity must demonstrate your personal traits and passion. This activity can be related to your community or career activity. For instance, you can work at a lab and volunteer in a hospital if you’re passionate about medicine.
However, this activity can also have nothing to do with your other activities to pain a more deep picture of you. For instance, it may be your YouTube channel that you use to promote another activity.
This activity can be a surprise for the admission team because it reflects your excitement about your life as a whole. Therefore, make sure that his activity presents you in a good light. This activity must explain what motivates you besides your career or area of study.
We suggest that you don’t choose activities that only focus on you, such as playing a computer game or having your personal channel on social media.
Simply put, your activity must:
- Be related to your community activity or career activity, strengthening your narrative;
- Diverge from these interests and present your ability to collaborate with different people and to make meaningful contributions.
For example, consider the following activities:
- If you like economics, you can also work with kids;
- If you like math, you can choose a cultural scenario;
- If you study English, you can also teach it for free;
- If you want to become a lawyer, you can also develop your app;
- If you’re working on your business, you can also volunteer at an animal shelter.
Let’s say, a student chooses to teach English as a community activity so that people who have English as their second language could feel more confident. At the same time, this student can create a mobile app to connect people with therapists because you care about mental health problems that touched some of your friends.
In this case, the student can demonstrate their passion for the community’s mental health, their initiative in tutoring, and their empathy.
We also recommend that you don’t choose too many activities. To tell a comprehensive personal story, make your extracurricular activities effective. Here is what qualities you can demonstrate:
- Commitment, passion: A hobby that you’ve practiced for a few years;
- Leadership: Taking initiative;
- Work ethics, perseverance: Increasing your responsibilities;
- Entrepreneurship skills: Creating something from scratch;
- Contribution to the future and an ability to build relationships: Mentoring
Extracurricular activities are crucial for everyone who wants to get into college because they demonstrate your responsibility, passion, and ethics. We recommend that you choose activities related to your career, passion, and community, combining them in different ways. We hope that our examples will help you find something you’ll be excited about.