Activities outside class are of great worth in later life. Hence, you should try to be involved with a sports team, club, job, internships, volunteering spots, or whatever you can get your hands on.

There arrives a time when you will have to apply for college. This is when you will also have to work towards improving your application. Doing so will help you stand out among other students.

To know exactly what to do, you have to ask yourself what looks really good on a college application. And for answers to that question, you will have to keep reading.

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What Are Extracurricular Activities?

Your college application would carve out the first chance to stamp a great impression on your institution. But, remember, the competition is tough and may get the best of you.

But it does not diminish the fact that you need to make the most of your application. For example, one of the sections includes extracurricular activities. This will tell the institute about your likes and dislikes.

However, not every extracurricular activity holds the same value? Hence, it is also essential to figure out what activities will help you secure a spot at your first-choice college.

Therefore, start by making a list of things you like doing. Then, make a list of activities associated with the degree program you want to get into.

Where both these preferences converge, that is the activity you should invest your time in.

Importance of Extracurricular Activities

Students sitting under the sky cheering their sports team
Sports, debates, chess, or cheerleading; all of these modules make up what looks good on a college application. And if you want to strengthen your portfolio, try becoming part of the National Honors Society (Source: Pixabay)

Extracurricular activities may sound like hobbies, but they are more than that. Of course, education and grades are a priority for college admissions departments.

However, extracurriculars say more about the person, their perceptions, reactions, commitment, and will to work.

Your potential college would be delighted to know if you offer a wide range of traits and characteristics to contribute to the student body.

For example, being part of the mathletes may show that you are willing to learn new skills and work with a team in the long run.

Therefore, these activities show the specific areas you can improve on professionally. It also highlights if you need improvement in certain areas.

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The Different Types Of Extracurricular Activities

Now that we've discussed the importance of extracurriculars, let's look at the different things you can invest your time in over the summer or during high school:

Leadership Activities

Leadership skills have been the most in-demand skills by colleges. It shows the absolute power of an individual and the desire to embrace responsibilities.

Having activities on your application as a leader highlights your ability to lead a team of people. This could include:

  • Being a president of a student council or school club
  • Captain of the sports team
  • Head of the school band
  • Cheerleading captain

These activities provide colleges a shred of factual evidence. Other examples of leadership include being in charge of a school campaign, led research projects and presentations or debates.

Of course, if you had a senior position at your job, heading a community project or doing volunteering count a lot.

Colleges would love to hear about the diversity of the areas you may have actively participated.

Internships

Having Internships to your name show colleges that you have gained hands-on experience in the chosen field.

For instance, business students could pursue an internship in the marketing or Human Resources departments of large-scale organizations.

This addition to your application can be the difference between it being at the top of the pile or the bottom when the admission office hunts for new candidates.

However, interning is not a make-or-break addition to your profile. Most highs schools don't even describe it as a necessary prerequisite.

But if you ever have the opportunity to apply for an internship at a company you like, embrace it with open arms. It is like extra credit for your career.

Athletic Participation

Sports participation matters a lot as you step into higher education, like college. Colleges need to feel that you have a strong sense of commitment and are devoted to achieving your goals and aims.

Having a history of playing sports may build your athletic image and work ethic. However, athletic skills take a lot of time and effort to develop.

Furthermore, athletic participation reveals many unspoken attributes, and one is that colleges understand that you know how to follow directions while working with your peers.

Participation also illustrates your disciplinary skills and your role as a team worker. You can also mention if you or your team won any major championships and prestigious awards.

A girl is in full swing, pitching the baseball
Playing baseball, or any other sport for that matter is excellent for your college profile because it shows that you're good at working with others. Sports and politics are a part of what looks good on a college application for activities (Source: Pixabay)

Work Experience

Work experience may sound like something to include in a job resume rather college application. Well, if you have worked somewhere, even as a part-timer, adding this would put you in a better position.

Work experience depicts that you learned time management skills and worked along with fellow employees and supervisors.

Therefore, it is seen as desirable to colleges to have someone in their institution with work experience. Your presence will also enable your peers to learn from you.

When you have professional experience, it emphasizes that you have positive interactions with professionals and customers.

As a result, you may have the edge over other college applicants who never have had this kind of experience.

A man is seeking an adventure by climbing in the daylight
If you have maintained good grades throughout school and you've been actively involved in extracurriculars like a debate club, you're a shoo-in for a spot at your desired university. However, if you want to cement your status as the ideal candidate, search for national honors society requirements, and join it (Source: Pixabay)

Academic Teams And Clubs

In a progressive world, grades don't matter as much as we think they do. So instead, having extracurricular activities to your name is what makes you the perfect candidate.

Those club teams or participations may have deepened your level of understanding on a particular subject or opened a new area you feel interested in now.

What if you have participated in many academic teams and clubs? Should you include all of them? While it might be tempting to you, but including the most important ones is the best strategy.

For example, mentioning the academic teams and clubs that tie into the degree or career, you'll pursue is the best option.

In addition, you should include your roles within these groups, especially if you were a captain or team leader.

Creative Pursuits

Adding the extracurricular activities that are related to your chosen field was a great idea. But now, to add more, colleges want to know more about your interests outside academics and activities mentioned before.

Creative pursuits may include interests in reading books, writing stories, playing a musical instrument, singing songs, being part of a theater group should list on your application.

These kinds of interests express your curious nature and the anticipation to learn and bring change. As a result, it shows that you are open to new experiences, and colleges hunt for applicants that possess such traits.

You only mention these interests if you have gained some level of expertise. Remember, it takes a colossal amount of effort to develop yourself in these activities.

Technological Skills

Technological skills are not an extracurricular activity; however, they show what you've learned during these activities. Therefore, you should try to mention them on your college application.

Colleges generally expect the student to have basic skills, such as:

  • Typing
  • Online research
  • Experience with commonly used software programs
  • Knowledge of online etiquette and other skills to make them stand out

However, these are skills that most people can boast of; hence, one should add technological skills to this list to make them a shoo-in for college class spots.

It will help if you mention technological skills that aren't common knowledge, such as computer programming.

Having technological skills mean that you have dedicated the time and effort to learn something challenging.

These skills would suit you best in college if you are pursuing a degree in computer science. In addition, having technological skills would enable you to learn more skills to further your progress.

Political Activism

Activism of any kind shows that you are passionate about what you believe in. Now, this can go against you if your views are against the norms and opinions of society.

Student activism has been rising among high school students in local communities. If you have been an active part of political activism in your community, you should include this in your application.

These kinds of extracurricular activities exhibit colleges that you keep yourself updated on current events, and they may stand by you in your beliefs and rights.

When including political activism, emphasize why it is important to you and what kind of activism you participate in. Just make sure there is no violence, racism, or other frowned-upon things mentioned.

Travel Enthusiasm

Travel experiences are life-long experiences, which you may like to include in your application. Don't include family vacations, but do mention:

  • Solo trips
  • Soul-searching trips
  • Volunteering trips
  • Project-based trips
  • Significant events (Burning man, Music festivals, film festivals)

If you have traveled to other countries, you can discuss your experience of the culture and what unique things you gathered.

If you have written some travel essays, it will highlight you in a positive light. Furthermore, talk about what you learned and describe your experience wholly.

What Is The National Honors Society?

It is a nationwide organization dedicated to high school students in the United States.

The NHS is responsible for elevating a school's commitment to the values of scholarship, service, leadership, and character.

In addition, the National Honors Society cares about helping students achieve superior grades, maintaining the value of community engagement, and improving their social skills.

With that said, let's look at some National Honors Society Requirements. There are many to include, but here are the most important ones:

  • Scholarship: If you want to avail a scholarship, you should have a GPA of 4.0 or have an equivalent standard of excellence
  • Service: This is consists of when a student contributes to a school or community
  • Leadership: Involves resourceful students, good problem solvers, and idea contributors
  • Character: Student of good nature is conducive to interacting and has an excellent balance level in behaving

Find Out What Extracurricular Activities You Should Do With Expert Counseling

The best way to know what extracurriculars you should sign up for is to test all your potential likes and dislikes.

Suppose you realize that public speaking is your strong suit or that you enjoy playing lacrosse. In that case, it would help if you found an instructor to help you improve your performance.

Having a skill isn't enough; you must be good enough to justify adding it to your college application.

Therefore, if you want to practice a particular skill or trait, look for tutors on Superprof. In addition, Superprof links teachers and students from all over the world.

Simply sign up today, find an instructor near your place, and you may even get a free first session!

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