Expanding Your Horizons: The Benefits of Extracurricular Activities

College Track and Field As a high school student you may wonder, “What are extracurricular activities I should be involved in?” The answer to that question varies as the extracurricular activities list is quite extensive. The best way for choosing your after-school programs is by focusing on what your interests are and also, seeing if there is a way for you to incorporate what you ultimately want to study in college. For instance, if you want to be a veterinarian, volunteer at an animal shelter or if you want to study journalism, join your school newspaper.

So what are extracurricular activities
that colleges most want to see on applications?

Any activities; really. When it comes to extracurricular activities, there isn’t so much a “right” and “wrong” one to commit to. The key to impressing colleges and universities is to show true involvement and dedication. For instance, let’s say that you are an athlete and have been involved in basketball and track all your life. Because of this commitment, don’t feel the need to add more to your plate and add stress to your life. Sure, if you can also get involved in an academic extracurricular that would only make your application for college that much better. However, if you never thought to get involved in one or you didn’t have the time because you also had to have a job, showing that you played basketball and ran track for four years, two of which you were captain, team leader, etc. still shows a tremendous amount of positive attributes. Being a part of a high school sports team shows teamwork and dedication as well as the ability to manage time wisely since you are showing your ability to balance school work with your daily practice and competitions. By showing longevity with your teams, it shows commitment and colleges want to know that their future students will be able to commit to and stick through graduation.

Why should I even consider doing any extracurricular?

The benefit of extracurricular activities is two-fold really. On the one hand, you are provided the opportunity to make friends with people that have the same interests as you. You are also given the chance to learn about working in certain fields or what it means to work together as a team unit rather than an individual. And finally, you are able to strengthen your resume/application for college. The good extracurricular activities for colleges are the ones that you love and that help you shine. Whether your passion is photography, writing, running, skiing, eating, whatever, as long as you can show leadership, dedication and a love for what you are doing, colleges will think you have found the perfect extracurricular activity for you and that is what matters most. So get out there and get involved in something you love

Sierra Martinez is a Marine Corps wife, mother of one and a writer. She graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelors in Journalism and Mass Communications and a focus in Public Relations.