Extracurricular Activities for College Application

If you are here reading this article then you might have understood the there is some importance of extracurricular activities in college application. After all, no college wants its students to be dumb. Even after understanding the importance of extracurriculars, you might have had confusions about what types of extracurricular activities colleges look for. As a high school student what you must be clear on what sort of extracurricular activities can impress the admissions committees of the colleges of your choice. You can develop a portfolio of extracurriculars based on three categories:

  • Academic Activities
  • Community Service Activities
  • Personality Activities

Colleges generally look for students with a level of maturity and sense of aims and purposes alongside a good understanding of self. They are the same students who are good at identifying their passions and interests and work from their level in order to do the best in extracurricular activities of their choice.

You can build your own combination of extracurricular activities; the combination above is not a hard and fast rule. However, the characteristic feature of this combination of activities is that these activities help you showcase your personality and abilities along with a display of your awareness and concern for others.  

Let’s have a look at each of these activities in detail in order to understand what impact the combination can have on the admissions committee examining your college application.

Academic Activities

Academic activities are those that can be directly or indirectly related to what you are going to study in college. They are not the normal activities that are conducted in your class.

Some Examples

For example, if you want to get a degree in mass communication, you could be working for your school newspaper. A student who has participated in Math Hunt can be a probable candidate for studying mathematics in the college. A future medical student may have volunteered at the local hospital. 

Why are academic activities important?

Having an interest in a field that you have adopted to your daily life indicates your passion for that field. Admission officers are sure to understand about your attachment to a certain field if you can present a coherence in your activities in that field of study apart from your grades or percentage. After all, you are not doing and activity if you are not loving it. Extracurricular activities related to your studies can build an image of you as a student who knows what direction he/she wants to go.

Also Read: A Guide to IELTS Preparation

Why do colleges love such activities?

Passion, hard-work, and innovativeness are a few qualities that most of the colleges look for in their prospective students. Colleges consider such students to be dedicated to their goals and likely to be successful in their career. Academic activities are the places to show that your study is your major passion. Students who are actively and passionately involved in their studies through an extracurricular are much more likely to make a difference in the field and potentially change the world.

Community Service Activities

Serving the community is a characteristic of a responsible human. These are the extracurricular activities that allow you to volunteer your time to work with people or for a cause in your community.

Some examples

There is not a single way to serve the community. It is important that you do such activities based on valid causes that you seriously care about and that you’ll be able to commit to long enough to make an impact. Doing just for the sake of doing is not good. Examples range from volunteering at an orphanage house, to tutoring students after school, to working in a public library. Many things are possible here, but everything does not fit to you. Pursue the community activities that fit your interest, personality, and thinking. 

Why are community service activities important?

Contribution of time and effort to the community can never go wasted.  Community service is a way for you to apply the ideas about the society that you have studied in a classroom. Such activities help you develop skills necessary to attend a college like critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Students experience personal development and become more responsible and empathetic which can help them a lot in their academic and professional career ahead. Studies have also shown that people who volunteer reap health benefits because they feel better about themselves. 

Also Read: An Introduction to the Australian Education System

Why do colleges love such activities?

Colleges always want to check your concern for others and how good or bad you are as a community member. Colleges can also learn about your leadership qualities from such activities. Keep in mind that colleges are always looking for students who are going to be making a difference in the world. Community service shows that you have already taken the first step to do that.

When you realize that your community needs some sort of demonstrated support and then you take charge for a change by putting your time and effort, you are showing initiative, dedication, and perseverance. These are all traits that will help you be a successful student in college and an impactful human being well after you graduate, so the colleges are sure to seek student who can contribute to their community.

Personality Activity

Personality activities are those which showcase your specialty and interests. What makes you tick? What’s your secret passion? 

Some Examples

Personality extracurricular is any activity that you do because you love it. This is the opportunity for you to show the colleges how passionate you are on something. You may have a question in mind that what have these activities to do with your academic or personal career.

While an aspiring engineer may list her love of building robots as her personality activity, it’s equally true that an aspiring astronomy major may have a passion for working backstage in theater productions. As long as it’s an extracurricular you love doing, it can be used as a personality activity.

Why are personality activities important?

Personality activities are a chance for you to do something that’s important to you and that you really love. There’s more to you than just what you intend to study. Everyone is moved by different things, and it’s important to pursue these passions. These activities allow you to develop a sense of self that you might not get in other activities. 

Why do colleges love such activities?

What could colleges do to look the person behind the application? The best way is to check the applicant’s personality. Colleges want to create diverse campus communities, so they like to have students with different personalities and interests. Diversity is important because it allows students to participate and contribute to areas beyond just what they’re studying while learning from each other at the same time. They will appreciate that you have taken the time to develop these side passions and see you as a motivated and interesting person.


Keep in mind that any combination of activities is just as valid as long as you remember to make a commitment, show leadership, and have an impact.


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