What Should Your Extracurriculars Say About You?
Every high school student knows that having extracurricular activities on their college application is crucial. After all, that’s ingrained in our heads from the first day of freshman year (and often even before that). It can be tempting to grab every flyer and join as many random clubs as possible, but is that really the best game plan for choosing extracurriculars? Today, we’re discussing what your extracurricular activities say about you. More importantly, we’re telling you what they should be saying to admissions officers – the people who matter most!
Your extracurricular activities should say…
The extracurricular activities you’re involved in should highlight a passion or interest you have outside of the classroom. If you love politics and potentially want to study them in college, join the student government or Young Democrats/Republicans. If you’re passionate about your community, join organizations that give back. In other words, clubs and organizations should tell admissions counselors that you have a passion for something – and that passion should not simply be padding your application. Hunt for things you genuinely care about!
I can make a difference.
Your involvement in extracurricular activities should benefit something besides your college application. Did you revamp the activity from the inside out to make it better? Did you make tangible differences in your community through the work you did in the organization? Did you carry your weight, help others, and leave the organization better than you found it? Use your extracurricular activities to show admissions officers that you’re a difference-maker. Choose extracurricular activities where you know you can make positive changes.
I have excellent time management.
Let’s face it, it’s harder to get straight A’s when you’re also playing a sport, volunteering, organizing events, attending meetings, and so on. Admissions counselors are impressed when they see students who are busy, yet keep up their grades. On that note, it’s important to prioritize. It’s much better to join a few extracurricular activities you’re genuinely interested in and maintain great grades than to join a dozen clubs just for the sake of it, letting your grades drop in the process.
I am a leader.
Anyone can join a million clubs and sit through weekly meetings, but it takes extra dedication and effort to gain a leadership position in those activities. If you want admissions counselors to think you’re a leader, you need to show that! If you love writing, become an editor on the paper. If you’re ultra-organized, become the secretary of a club. Step up and become a leader, in some way, shape, or form, in whatever organization you’re passionate about!
I am the total package!
Your extracurricular involvement tells college counselors so much more about the kind of person you are. Your grades tell them what kind of student you are, but the ways you spend your time after the final bell rings tells them what you care about. Use your extracurriculars to paint a picture of who you are: what you enjoy, what you excel at, and what you’ll go the extra mile for.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that college counselors aren’t new to this rodeo. They are smart people, and they can tell who pursues things that they’re passionate about, and who just signs up for things just to list on their application. Your extracurriculars will speak for you – make sure you’re sending the right message!