By: Penny S.
What are they?
Extra-curricular activities are activities that indicate to the university admissions what are your interests and passions. These activities provide an insight to admissions officers who are you as a person and your character’s qualities. These are activities that take up of your time and demonstrate your dedication, commitment, and ability to balance your time among your interests.
Importance of extra-curricular activities
These activities are of great importance as through them the admission officers can get a good idea about your leadership skills, your interest about a certain field of study, your impact on your community towards its betterment, and ultimately your worldview. The more time you have devoted to an activity the more important it becomes not only to you and who you have grown to be but also to the admissions officers so to understand what takes up most of your time and what your talents are. However, you should not list all the extra-curricular activities you have participated over the last years. If you tried an activity for a short period of time and did not actually learn something or had a significant achievement/impact or if it was a one-off activity then it is not important for the admissions to know.
The Best extra-curricular activities for a resume/common application
Activities that you have devoted most of your time. These can be:
- Sports (your position, achievements, awards)
- Competitions (national, international, and distinctions)
- Volunteering (did you take initiative, did you tutor kids/classmates? have you been committed to a certain cause and did you take action to promote and raise funds for that cause?)
- Research Projects
- Internships (for how long, the position you had and what you learned through this experience)
- School Clubs (did you create one, were you an integral member)
- Student Government Engagement (did you bring any change to your school, did you propose ideas for its improvement, did you promote activities such as fundraisers, excursions, field trips?)
- Online Courses
- Creative –Art related activities (showcase your openmindedness).
- Travelling (did you learn any new language, was your worldview affected by a new culture)
- Technical Knowledge (programming languages, building robots, having your own YouTube channel, social media activity that has an impact)
- Activism (political or not shows you are aware of the challenges the world around you faces)
All the aforementioned categories of activities can indicate team-working skills, leadership skills, whether or not you are able to take initiatives, if you are a hard-worker, if you take action towards improving the world around you, if you are compassionate, a risk-taker, a leader, and how interested you are in a certain field and how deep you have delved into it.
At CLC we know exactly what admission officers look for in an applicant’s resume/activity list and we help our students showcase their uniqueness through their talents, community engagement, leadership positions, work experience, and dedication to a field. We also help our students build upon their stronger characteristics through guiding them and including them in unique projects that will make their applications stand out among thousands of others.
Extra-curricular activities that won’t help your college application.
As mentioned before, students need not to show they are involved in a ton of activities. What matters the most is how long they have been involved in certain activities, what impact they had, what they have achieved, and how these activities developed their leadership, team-working, professional and other skills.
Do not include activities that are one-off and did not led you to an achievement or had an impact on someone. Short-term activities that are insignificant also should be left out.
We at CLC are always willing to help our students sort their activities and list them appropriately in term of importance, impact, and what they meant for the students’ mental and academic growth. We do not encourage our students to be jacks of all trades but rather work on one pillar that will make them ideal candidates for a place among the best USA Universities!