However, which activities are best for you are ultimately going to depend on your interests and goals. The most important part of choosing extracurricular activities is to find those you are genuinely passionate about, and through which you will be motivated to demonstrate true leadership and accomplishment. It is not necessary to find the most prestigious-sounding activities, or scramble to list as many on your application as possible.
Whatever extracurriculars you choose, they will demonstrate to college admissions officers that you’re capable of time management, self-motivation, taking responsibility, teamwork and other qualities that are desirable in a potential college candidate. If you’re not sure what you like there are plenty of ways to explore and find what interests you.
If you’re a freshman or sophomore in high school, you still have time to explore and find what options are available. Look into which clubs and afterschool activities are offered at your school. Many schools offer a clubs and activities fair at the start of the school year. You can often get involved in volunteer opportunities at your house of worship, or local community centers and civic programs such as the Police Explorers Club or EMS. There are other local and national organizations special interest programs such as Odyssey of the Mind, International Mathematical Olympiad, Model U.N. and local Youth Film Festivals or Art Fairs that are among many options available. Don’t be afraid to try different things.
Remember, quality and accomplishment are more important than quantity. One or two extracurricular activities through which you truly show commitment and leadership will be far more valuable on a college application than ten activities for which you did little more than show up for attendance. It’s also important not to overburden yourself. There are only so many hours in a day, and it’s already hard enough for any high school student to juggle course work, family and social lives, and a regular sleep schedule. Do what you love, but don’t bite off more than you can chew.
If you’re interested in receiving custom, one-on-one guidance through every step of the college application process, the admissions consultants at College Docs offer Personalized College Action Plans including help with essays, applications, SATs and ACTs, extracurricular choices, and more. With over 25 years working with high school students and professional membership in groups like IECA (Independent Educational Consultants Association) and the New England Association for College Admission Counseling (NEACAC), the team at College Docs help you find the right college and path for you. Contact College Docs today to learn more.