Extracurricular activities provide authentic opportunities to learn new skills, demonstrate leadership, broaden social skills, increase academic performance and have fun! Involvement in extracurricular activities is encouraged and valued throughout the entire U.S. education system (even in the workplace) and universities will definitely consider your extracurriculars as part of your college application. We can't stress enough the importance of extracurricular activities!
Why are colleges looking for extracurricular activities?
Participating in extracurricular activities can show a college how you have developed skills and talents, given back to your community, and gained leadership skills. Involvement in extracurricular activities displays a strong sense of time management and shows that you can balance the demands of academic achievement with your life and engagement outside of the classroom.
Just as important for your application, extracurricular activities serve as important evidence of your academic and professional interests.
What are extracurricular activities?
Simple: Activities that you do outside of the classroom. These can include sports, volunteer services, jobs, visual arts projects/clubs, performing arts, music learning/performance, hobbies, or even academic groups like math clubs or computer science clubs.
An important rule is to do what you love and stick with it. Showing an admissions director that you have been involved in a computer science club for three years (whether as a leader or a participant) when you're applying to study Computer Science can be as important or even more important than being valedictorian of your class (although that would be an amazing accomplishment). It’s that important!
What are the benefits of extracurricular activities?
While participating in extracurricular activities you learn the value of teamwork, demonstrate discipline and responsibility, and you give your passions and talents a chance to blossom and grow. You can valuable skills that help you succeed beyond the academic world.
Here are 8 reasons ways extracurricular activity helps you:
Master a New Skill
Boost Leadership Skills
Improve Time Management
Increase Academic Achievement
Expand Social Network
Achieve Higher Self-Esteem
Gain Life Skills
Ace University Applications
Tips for choosing an extracurricular activity
Colleges want to hear about the activities that you are involved in. You don’t need to participate in lots and lots of activities. Choose activities that you are really interested in and that are meaningful to you.
Here is a short list to help you better determine an extracurricular activity that might interests you:
Determine your areas of interest...not just what you are “supposed” to do
Research activities that fit your interests
Choose an activity that you’re really passionate about
Don’t be afraid to try an activity that is out of your comfort zone
Remember not to attempt too much at one time
Select your option!
Types of Extracurricular Activities:
Academic Societies and Competitions
Arts and Drama
Community and Volunteer Work
Government, Politics, and Social Activism
Writing and Media
How can I find and get involved in extracurricular activities?
Your school and local community are great places to start. There are opportunities readily available in your area; you just have to find them! If you aren't able to find something of interest, don’t be afraid to start something of your own. You never know, you may find others with similar interests in your area. The most important thing when seeking an extracurricular activity is to find an outlet for your interests, leadership, creativity, and passion!
Also, don’t be shy to reach out to organizations that interest you. If you show a sincere interest in an activity, there will almost always be experts who are willing to help you explore that interest.
At EdAgree, we are here to help you identify your path to academic success at a U.S. university. We want to help you put your best foot forward during the admissions process, additional support throughout your study abroad journey and beyond! That includes helping you brainstorm activities that will enrich your life and demonstrate your talents.
Create your free EdAgree profile today to start your path to the right university for you and your future!