Selecting Extracurricular Activities

Posted on December 11, 2009. Filed under: admissions advice, college admissions, College Advice, college applications, college counseling, college news, college resume, education, extracurricular activities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Activities outside the classroom can reveal a lot about your personal interests and choices you make. It is best to demonstrate continuity in a few activities rather than list many activities that you did for a short period of time.

Some tips that can help:

1. Make an impression

You may start out as just a member of a club or organization in your high school and later become elected as an officer, or initiate a fundraiser that contributes to a worthy cause. Find something within your organization that you are passionate about and make a difference

2. Stick with activities you like

Even though you may not initially succeed in a sport or on an art project, don’t give up. A sense of permanence is important and demonstrates fortitude and focus

3. Don’t fake it

Do what you like. There is no reason to stick with an activity just so it “looks good” on an application. You need to be enjoying things you do over a longer period of time.  Your sincerity will come through when you write about your involvements on your applications

4. Connect the dots

If you are a member of the photography club at your school, then perhaps you would like to organize an exhibit and sell photos to raise money for a favorite charity. This is better than listing a lot of isolated activities.  Your interests can tie together. Making a commitment in a specific area is impressive

5. Start early

Begin athletics, join clubs you like, develop a creative hobby, study music and/or art near the start of  your high school years. This will help you determine what areas you would like to continue.

Remember to have fun with whatever you decide to do!

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