Which Extracurricular Looks Best for College?

Community service trip, end of blog post.

Just kidding, but wouldn’t it be easy if we just said one simple activity, you did it, and that was it? Sorry to disappoint.  Extracurriculars are an extremely important component in the application process and the answer is, choosing the right one really depends on you.

Be X-Men, Not Y-Men

These days, young people have a bad rap of being experts in nothing. We have a lot of random knowledge from surfing the internet (I bet you knew that cats are afraid of cucumbers) but perhaps have spread ourselves thin in the expertise department. Your job is to combat that stereotype.

Universities are not just looking for well-rounded students, they are looking for well-rounded classes. Think of the X-Men. If everyone sort of had a little bit of every superpower, would they really be the X-Men? No. They would each be able to shoot a few icicles, have some claws between them, and kind of fly, and we’d wonder why they couldn’t really do anything memorable. We’d call them the Y-Men. Universities want X-Men. They want classes comprised of one really great pyrotechnic, one person with super strength, one who can jump great distances, one who can walk through walls, and all of whom, when together, are unstoppable. Be X-Men.  

We recommend picking something you really love--perhaps something you could see yourself pursuing as a major or in the long term--and then, really dive into it.

Choose a Group of Activities

Pick a theme and explore it through a group of activities. For example, say you like engineering, you shouldn’t just be in engineering club at school, but you should also have an internship at an architecture firm, take a course on engineering online, and a summer program on engineering, as well. Between two and four activities related to your theme is appropriate. Also, don’t just join the club, become the president. If you only have two to four activities in your arsenal, you should really have room to go for it with all of them. It’s not about quantity over quality, it’s about balancing both and cultivating a refined list of extracurriculars in an area about which you are passionate.           

But What Am I Passionate About???

It doesn’t have to be hard. When honing in on a theme or a group of activities, just be yourself. Start to think about what you would do on a Saturday if no one was paying attention to you.  Do you love history? Become an expert in it. Are you an avid reader? Become president of the book club, intern at a publishing house, read over 100 books this year, and put all of that on your resume.  Remember, every other X-Men is already taken. Find your unique superpower and become an expert in it.

If you need help figuring out what group of extracurriculars is perfect for you, reach out to use here. Advising kids about the college process is our superpower.