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Are Extracurriculars Important to Colleges


It can be fun and educational to get involved in various hobbies, clubs, work and sports outside of the classroom. This is a great chance to learn about yourself and develop new skills.

Extracurriculars can play a big part when you are filling out college applications. The majority of colleges inquire about your activities. The things you choose to do in your free time can reveal a lot about your personality. This gives institutions insight into who you are beyond your grade point average. Including your external classroom accomplishments can showcase a variety of qualities. Sharing about what you are passionate about gives a lot of information that colleges value. Be sure to include things like:

  • Any leadership skills or student government experience.
  • Sports such as being on the high school track team.
  • Any part-time job experience during your studies showcases time management, balance and responsibility.
  • Working at a hospital or volunteer work shows that you are a dedicated member of the community.

Colleges are interested in finding out who you are and what you aspire to do with your life. Including your extracurriculars offers a lot of information. It goes well beyond your grades.

Different Kinds of Activities

Extracurricular activities come in all shapes and sizes. Here are some popular things to include on your college application:

School Related

Include any special-interest clubs, volunteer work, sports teams, student government, musical band experience and writing or taking photographs for the school newspaper.

Work Related

Include babysitting, house or pet sitting, summer jobs, delivering newspapers, internships, or any part-time work that you have. From handling cash to customer service, it all adds up.

If you help out at your local animal shelter, extended care home, food bank or tutor kids with reading or math, or participate in fundraising endeavors, these are important things to add.

Getting Started

If you need to beef up your extracurriculars, there are tons of places to start. Learn more about what interests you from cooking to art or public speaking or politics. There are many different ways you can choose an activity to get started. Here are some helpful tips to help you brainstorm:

  • Speak to your parents, teachers, or school counselor about activities.
  • Ask your friends if they are involved in certain groups.
  • Start your own group or club.
  • Explore national organizations including YMCA, Junior Achievement, YWCA, Boy or Girl Scouts, etc.
  • Review your school’s website or bulletin board to look for opportunities.
  • If you attend church, see what events they are organizing or supporting.