College Activities Prep

Colleges are interested in what you do in addition to studying and going to class — they would like to know that you’ll have a life outside the books as well. Being involved in extracurricular activities lets colleges know that you can handle multiple responsibilities at once and still be successful. It’s also a way for them to get a sneak peek into the kind of person you are. What are your hobbies and talents? What interests you? Are you a leader, a performer, an athlete? Do you work or help with family responsibilities? All of these things help colleges get a better idea of who you are and what you will bring to the campus community.

  • Volunteer in your community. Some scholarships are based entirely upon community service. There are a wide variety of ways you can get involved in community service. Talk to your school counselor, community center, or local religious organization to find them.
  • Seek out activities and clubs that interest you. Choose activities that are meaningful and important to you. There is no one perfect activity that everyone should do — it depends on the individual. If you love a good argument, join the debate team; if you love the theater, try out for the school play or help out behind the scenes. The most important thing is to find activities that interest you and allow you to learn new skills. Don’t neglect your own individualism — continue to nurture your own special talents and interests. These things may set you apart from others when it comes down to an admissions decision!
  • It’s not the quantity, it’s the quality. Don’t try to join every club under the sun. Pick a few activities you really enjoy and focus on those. In almost all situations, being committed and taking on responsibility in a few select activities is more important than the being a member of 50 clubs.
  • Take on leadership roles. Whether you run for president of student council or volunteer to be the school dance chairman, challenge yourself to take on a leadership role in your activities. Not only does this demonstrate your responsibility, it can be a great learning experience.
  • Organize your activities. Keep a record of your involvements beginning your freshman year of high school. Be sure to note leadership roles, the number of hours spent on each community service activity, jobs you have held, etc. All of these things will be important when it comes time to apply for college and scholarships!

It is a good idea to keep descriptions of each of your activities along with the amount of time you dedicated to each one. This will help you stay organized before completing college applications, so that you can tweak them, and put your best foot forward for the college.

Keep a copy of ALL community service forms you submit to guidance for your records.