Are You Participating In Meaningful Extracurricular Activities?
Colleges want to see what students are doing outside of the classroom, so high school students should seek out extracurricular opportunities that they’re passionate about and match their interests. For high school freshmen and sophomores, it can be hard to figure out exactly what their interests are and the activities that best suit those passions. Luckily, there are a number of resources for high school freshmen and sophomores to help them identify their core interests and find activities that support them.
Why Activities Matter
Colleges don't just want to admit great academic students. They want to admit students who will also be involved on campus and, ultimately, make an impact. Colleges also want to build well-rounded classes made up of specialists, and how students spend their time outside of the classroom can give admissions officers a great look into not just students’ specialties, but how they might contribute to the campus if admitted. This is why it’s important for students to identify their interests early on (it’s ok if they change or evolve!) and find activities where students can better explore those interests.
What to Keep In Mind
As you think about your extracurricular activities and whether or not they’re working for you – or if it’s time to change your focus – it’s important to keep a few things in mind.
- It’s ok for your interests to change! This happens all the time. Maybe you really enjoyed debate team freshman year, but you find yourself more drawn to drama or the school newspaper now. While colleges like to see sustained interest in a few activities over all for years, it’s not in your best interest to keep doing something just to keep it on your activity list. Don’t be afraid to drop some activities that you’re just not that passionate about anymore.
- Activities don’t have to be just at school. If there’s something you’re interested in, but your school doesn’t offer a club or activity that relates to it, don’t be afraid to seek it out somewhere else. Or, create the club yourself! Create opportunities for yourself.
- Keep an open mind. Freshman and sophomore year is the time to try on a few different activities and see what you like. Try new things and don’t hesitate to give up an activity if it’s just not working for you.
Below are some additional extracurricular activity resources to help high school freshmen and sophomores identify their interests and find extracurricular activities that will help them become specialists and stand out when it comes time to apply to college.
- How to Identify and Focus Your Interests
- Planning for 2018: Winter College Prep Goals For Freshmen and Sophomores
- The Four-Year Plan for High School Freshmen
- Freshmen: Plant the Seeds for College Prep Now
- The Truth About Extracurricular Activities: Going the Extra Mile
- How to Start Your Own Student Club
- How Can Students Craft an Extracurricular Project Plan?
- Developing Your Interests: Kickstarting Your Own Blog
- The Value of Community Service in Your College Application
- Summer Program and Activity Ideas For Performing Arts Students
- Tips For Students Interested In STEM Programs
- Should I Drop Some of My Extracurricular Activities?
At IvyWise we work with students throughout high school to help them identify and focus their interests, as well as find activities that match those passions where they can make an impact. Contact us today for more information on our college counseling services and how we can help you craft the optimal extracurricular activity plan.