Activities are one of the most important parts of a college application. They show colleges that students are well-rounded and don’t only focus on grades. Not sure which ones you should list? Read on for some ideas.
Include any groups you are involved with in high school. You can list larger organizations such as student government or the student newspaper. You can also put down any smaller clubs you are involved that are based around shared hobbies or culture. Another great thing to add is involvement in competitive academic teams such as debate, MUN, or mock trial.
Involvement in sports teams shows both leadership and teamwork skills. You can list sports whether you play on a team inside or outside of school. You can also list if you train privately in an individual sport such as tennis. Solo sports still show that you are committed and hardworking.
Do you read to kids at the library or volunteer at a homeless shelter? These are great activities to include in a college application. If you show that you were a productive, generous member of your home community, colleges will believe that you will also be able to contribute in the same way to their school community.
You should definitely list activities like theater, dance, orchestra, music lessons, and visual arts, whether you do them inside or outside of school. Even if you don’t plan on majoring in an artistic field, you will still be able to contribute to the cultural community of any college you attend. Every school wants their campus to be an artistically vibrant place, so show them that you can help create that atmosphere.
Start practicing resume building now. No matter where you work, it will look good on a college application. This includes jobs in retail and fast food. Babysitting can also count if it’s something you’re committed to and do very frequently.
Don’t list any chores as activities on your application. Colleges don’t care if you wash the dishes every night. However, if you spend a substantial amount of time caring for an older relative or helping your family out in a significant way, then definitely put it in your application. You’ll show that you are responsible, organized and mature.
Remember: quality over quantity
It’s better to have a few impressive activities on your application than a dozen random clubs that you didn’t really contribute to. Try to think about how you spent most of your time in high school, what you care about the most, and what you love the most. These activities will show admissions officers who you truly are.
Worried about how you’ll balance all of those applications with your homework and extracurriculars? Read this post for some tips.
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About Nadira Berman
As a Summer Marketing Intern, Nadira is excited to help high schoolers prepare for the SAT and ACT. As a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, she is considering studying economics. In her free time, she reports for the school newspaper and styles photo shoots for the school's fashion magazine. Besides fashion and journalism, her passions include bagels, smoothies and Netflix.
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