Extracurricular activities are a significant part of college applications, and having the right ones can boost your chance of getting into your dream program and university. Your extracurriculars showcase your skills and talents. It also reflects your best strengths and inclination to different areas of knowledge. These factors help admission officers to analyze if you’re a good fit for their program.
Good grades may give you an edge, but colleges are seeking students who are passionate and proactive in learning, even outside of the classroom. They are interested to know what you can bring to their institution. So, here are some of the most impressive extracurricular activities that can help you demonstrate the best qualities colleges are looking for.
1. Obtain Internships and Work Experience
Many people assume internships are only done during college. However, you can participate in an internship program even as a high school student, and it would be a substantial addition to your university application.
Being accepted for an internship itself sends a positive signal already since it shows that you are proactive in searching for opportunities. In addition, getting into the internship position shows that you are capable and mature enough to be trusted with important tasks as part of the workforce. Internships suggest you are responsible enough to handle the challenging loads of college.
By completing an internship, it demonstrates that you can effectively cooperate in a professional scenario. Furthermore, it also shows that you are willing to try new experiences for the sake of pursuing your goals. You are also showing admission officers that you are highly interested in a particular field of knowledge that you had to start exploring real-life applications at a young age.
Similarly, job experiences will help you with your college applications. Colleges are aware that some students need to prioritize financial matters and therefore have less time for school activities. But skills you learn from jobs will be handy especially in the rigorous demands of college.
2. Participate in Academic Clubs
Academic clubs of different subject areas enrich students’ learning. So whether it’s the chess club, the math league, or the science team, taking part in one or more of them would be a wonderful addition to your college application. Don’t hesitate to mention your affiliated clubs that tie-up with the degree you’re pursuing.
Being part of academic teams and clubs shows that you engage in healthy competition and are genuinely interested in learning. While maintaining good grades, you know that education goes beyond it. You don’t mind a challenge, but rather, make the most of the learning experience. It will showcase your ability to work under pressure, cooperate with a team, and be passionate about your interests.
Furthermore, it demonstrates that your academic skills do not stop at the four corners of a classroom. You are willing to get involved with your academic community and will likely continue in college, something that many universities encourage their students to do. In addition, you can apply for these awesome scholarships for international students when preparing your admissions application.
3. Get Involved in Sports, Arts, and Culture
Extracurricular activities related to academic interests are indeed valuable assets to your university applications. Creative activities, on the other hand, add more depth to your personality and show you are a well-rounded individual with diverse interests.
Activities in arts and culture, such as the theatre club, art club, music and dance, and other artistic activities are especially helpful for art majors. Similarly, athletic activities may get you a chance to play for the university sports team. But whether you’re pursuing a degree in the humanities or not, engaging in these activities shows that you are disciplined, passionate, and open to new experiences.
Artistic pursuits demonstrate your curiosity and ability to think outside the box. Playing team sports conveys that you can effectively work with a lot of people, while individual sports show you are introspective and focused. These kinds of interests also show you are dedicated to developing your skills. Patience and discipline are essential for creative and athletic pursuits; and similarly, are much needed in college where it can sometimes be rigorous and challenging.
4. Be Part of the Student Government
Students with experience in leadership positions often impress colleges, and the sure way to demonstrate this skill is through being part of your high school’s student government. In addition, you can add a degree of quality to your college application by attending several activities. For example, you can start by attending youth leadership conferences, heading volunteer campaigns, and holding authority at work or internships.
Students in leadership positions have a better understanding of other people, and therefore become better communicators and problem solvers. You have the initiative to do what is right and to encourage people to do the same. These traits are extremely useful for college students as they will be responsible individuals and a positive influence on their peers.
Leadership skills are helpful to any college program, even if you don’t really wish to get involved in politics in the future. You can be a leader in your program’s student organization, a club president for extracurricular activities, or a sports team captain. Moreover, it shows you have the potential to be a leader in the workplace and your industry.
5. Show off innovative skills
One of the best ways to stand out in college applications is to showcase your unique and innovative skills. In today’s fast-moving world, thinking differently than the rest comes with so many advantages. Aside from traditional extracurricular activities, colleges will be impressed to see technological experiences on your application. All universities strive to be progressive and innovative, and having the same mindset sends a message that you’re a good fit for their institution.
Colleges expect basic technological skills among their students, such as knowledge of online etiquette, research skills, and basic software programs. But you can further impress them with your expertise in lesser-known technological skills, such as computer programming and coding. Even if you’re not exactly pursuing a degree in this area, knowledge in technology is useful in all fields of knowledge nowadays.
Including technological skills in your applications, especially if you are self-learned, shows that you have the patience to learn something challenging. It tells colleges that you’re dedicated to learning new skills, which is something most admission offices look for in candidates.
Conclusion: Prepare Early and Stay Focused!
As a high school student, it is really important to set goals for yourself and follow through with your actions. Even if you don’t really know what you want to do in the future, standing around doing nothing will not solve the problems for you. If you are really lost in what you want to pursue after high school, attend an internship program or participate in a volunteer organization that provides you with real-life work experience.
In order to enhance your application to any college or university, you need to prepare early and research all the opportunities that are available to you. Take advantage of those opportunities and try to learn all that you can from them. Please remember that you don’t have to stick with your preferred choice of major since the final decision is always up to you!