Like it or not, community service is a vital part of your college application. Although it might not sound fun at first, you can help your community in a way that is personal to your own preferences and talents. Who knows, you may end up having the time of your life!
If tutoring makes you picture teaching bratty little kids how to add and subtract, change your perception! You can teach any subject to people of any age. You don’t have to tutor math (or history or literature or a language) if you absolutely hate it. And you might be surprised at how much you enjoy getting to know your tutees. I tutored at a middle school, and realized that 12 and 13 year olds can actually be pretty fun to hang out with.
Figure out what kinds of subjects and age groups you like tutoring, then search for opportunities that will allow you to do that. See? Community service personalized to your preferences and skills.
Here’s an idea for an extremely fun, social community service activity that will look great on a college application. Every few weeks, get together with a big group of friends and cook a large meal. Maybe you could make pasta and salad and bake cookies. Do whatever you want/whatever is the most delicious. Then, bring all this food to a local homeless shelter (of course, call and coordinate with the shelter first). You may even be able to spend time eating with and talking to the inhabitants of the shelter, in which case you will meet some incredible people and hear some amazing stories. All the while, you’re hanging out and making memories with your friends. What could be better?
Do you love dancing? Or playing in your school band? Or doing magic tricks?
You may be unsure how to turn these activities into community service. Never fear! You can perform at a nursing home or elementary school. You never know whose day you might brighten by simply doing what you love to do. Bringing smiles, laughter and happiness to numerous faces in your community through entertainment is clearly a great service.
Start a non-profit
Starting a non-profit is the best way to help a cause close to your own heart. Plus, colleges love seeing this kind of leadership.
Did a family member or a close friend suffer from a disease? Fundraise to support research to end it. Do you notice a problem with litter in your community that makes your daily commute unpleasant? Form groups of people willing to pick up the trash and brainstorm ways to discourage others from littering. If it affects your community and you’re passionate about fixing it, get to work.
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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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