With colleges being very selective, you will need extracurricular activities to push yourself ahead of others during applications. Colleges do not just want students who excel in their classes; they also want students to be well rounded. Being well rounded can mean that you’re involved in sports, perform in a band, or play an active role in your school and community. Many colleges pay attention to what you do not just inside, but also outside of school.
Participating in extracurricular activities shows colleges that you are making a contribution to your community, are committed, and know how to manage your time and priorities. However, being well rounded does not mean that you join every club in your school or participate in every sport. Colleges are looking for those who are passionate—depth rather than breadth. A consistent commitment looks more appealing than scattered dedication. Don’t worry about trying to do everything; try to focus your time on a few activities.
Extracurricular activities are also a great way to show leadership skills. Many clubs require officers to run their activities. In my school, I am the president of the Spanish National Honors Society and Key Club and an Executive Board member of the National Honors Society—I help coordinate various events in all of these groups. If you can, try to run for a position in your clubs.
Initiating projects within your club is another way to show leadership. For example, our Spanish National Honors Society will be starting a clothes drive in our school as a service project. Starting projects such as a clothes drive or asking for donations not only shows you are able to supervise, but it also shows that you care about and contribute to your community.
If you have not yet gotten involved in any of your school’s extracurricular activities, now would be a good time to start because it is one determining factor in acceptance to a college. Volunteer at local hospitals or tutor your peers. If you find something you enjoy, you are more likely to stick to it. By participating in extracurricular activities, you will gain valuable skills and experience that you might need later in life.