Sports, clubs, academic competitions, music, work, social activism? Why do colleges care about how you spend your time outside of class? Your extracurricular activities are a reflection of your interests, your attitude, your work ethic, etc. Admission officers can learn a lot about you by your activity list – but they care less about what you do and more about how you do it. Colleges are looking for three basic qualities in your activities – longevity, leadership, and lasting impact.
- Longevity. Colleges would rather see you be deeply involved in a few activities over several years, than just show up to one meeting for every group, club, or sport at your school. Choosing a few activities and sticking with them over time gives you a chance to improve your skills, take on leadership roles, and make an impact.
- Leadership. Being a leader demonstrates that you are a committed member of the group – someone who is ready for a challenge and willing to take responsibility for creating a successful team. Whether in an elected/appointed role, or as the founder or creator of a group, or even as a mentor or role model to younger students, colleges are looking for leaders.
- Lasting Impact. This is area is where your passion shines through. If you love what you do you are more likely to leave your mark on the group. In addition, admission officers want to learn how the organization has changed you. What have you learned and how have you grown by being involved?
The ultimate activity list is all about quality over quantity. By focusing on the 3 L’s – longevity, leadership, and lasting impact – your activity list will not only impress college admission officers but will be a meaningful part of your high school career.
Organizing your activity list now will help you be prepared to complete you college applications and request recommendation letters. Use Guidepath to update or start your activity list in Surveys.