Extra Curriculum Activities
- Extracurricular is a combination of the Latin prefix extra meaning “on the outside” and the word curriculum, meaning “a running, course, career.” Something that is extracurricular is on the outside of your course or career. When you get involved in an extracurricular activity, you are going outside of what’s expected.
- Something extracurricular takes place in addition to your regular school or work duties. Being involved in extracurricular activities in high school — like sports or journalism — can help you get accepted to the college of your choice.
BENEFITS OF EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
- Colleges are impressed by students with leadership skills. What better way to demonstrate such skills than holding a position in student government? It’s a great way to participate in school matters, show you’re both capable and responsible and that other students look up to you.
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 but, rather, embrace a challenge. Whether your subject preference is math, science or any other focus, demonstrating your love for learning is always in your favor.
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. Also, students that participate on debate teams are often outspoken within class, leading classmates into thoughtful discussions.
- 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 work force. 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. Such clubs demonstrate your willingness to learn about and accept others, while creating awareness for those who may be different from you. It also reveals that you have compassion for others and the strength of character to speak up for what you believe in.
VOLUNTEER WORK AND COMMUNITY SERVICE
- Most colleges consider some form of volunteer work or community service a must have for all applicants. The best way to gain volunteer experience is to consider the activities you enjoy and find a way to apply them into your service hours. For example, if you enjoy art, volunteer at a local children’s center to help kids with their creative processes.
- If you love to play music, volunteer to play 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. There are so many easy ways to apply whatever you love to helping out in your community – just think creatively!
THE STUDENT NEWSPAPER
- Being published in any form – whether it’s the student newspaper or another 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 actually good at it. Mastering this critical college skill 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 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 that you place an emphasis on athletics and physical fitness. While athletics are 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 very important to keep in mind. It’s ideal to try to choose activities from different categories, both social and academic, so that colleges are able to see your wide range of talents and strong character traits.
DESCRIBE AN EXAMPLE OF YOUR LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE IN WHICH YOU HAVE POSITIVELY INFLUENCED OTHERS, HELPED RESOLVE DISPUTES OR CONTRIBUTED TO GROUP EFFORTS OVER TIME
- Things to consider: A leadership role can mean more than just a title. It can mean being a mentor to others, acting as the person in charge of a specific task, or taking the lead role in organizing an event or project. Think about what you accomplished and what you learned from the experience. What were your responsibilities?
- Did you lead a team? How did your experience change your perspective on leading others? Did you help to resolve an important dispute at your school, church, in your community or an organization? And your leadership role doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to school activities. For example, do you help out or take care of your family?
EVERY PERSON HAS A CREATIVE SIDE, AND IT CAN BE EXPRESSED IN MANY WAYS: PROBLEM SOLVING, ORIGINAL AND INNOVATIVE THINKING, AND ARTISTICALLY, TO NAME A FEW. DESCRIBE HOW YOU EXPRESS YOUR CREATIVE SIDE.
- Things to consider: What does creativity mean to you? Do you have a creative skill that is important to you? What have you been able to do with that skill? If you used creativity to solve a problem, what was your solution? What are the steps you took to solve the problem?
- How does your creativity influence your decisions inside or outside the classroom? Does your creativity relate to your major or a future career?
DESCRIBE THE MOST SIGNIFICANT CHALLENGE YOU HAVE FACED AND THE STEPS YOU HAVE TAKEN TO OVERCOME THIS CHALLENGE. HOW HAS THIS CHALLENGE AFFECTED OUR ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT?
- Things to consider: A challenge could be personal, or something you have faced in your community or school. Why was the challenge significant to you? This is a good opportunity to talk about any obstacles you’ve faced and what you’ve learned from the experience. Did you have support from someone else or did you handle it alone?
- u If you’re currently working your way through a challenge, what are you doing now, and does that affect different aspects of your life? For example, ask yourself, “How has my life changed at home, at my school, with my friends or with my family?
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MAKE YOUR SCHOOL OR YOUR COMMUNITY A BETTER PLACE?
- Things to consider: Think of community as a term that can encompass a group, team or a place — like your high school, hometown or home. You can define community as you see fit, just make sure you talk about your role in that community. Was there a problem that you wanted to fix in your community?
- Why were you inspired to act? What did you learn from your effort? How did your actions benefit others, the wider community or both? Did you work alone or with others to initiate change in your community