Are Extracurricular Activities Worth It?
One key point that must be made about extracurricular activities is that the sooner you begin doing them the better off you will be. If admissions counselors feel that you got involved at “the last second,” your activities will be seen much differently than they would have been if you’ve been involved for years. In this article, we will look at why extracurricular activities can be very worthwhile when it comes to getting into college.
College Admissions Can Be Quite Competitive
It can be difficult to truly understand how competitive college admissions can be without first understanding the number of students that are applying right along with you. For example, in 2010 Harvard received more than 30,000 applications! This amount is particularly alarming when you take into account that the school only accepts 1,600 freshmen each year. These statistics can be a bit scary, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on getting into the school of your choice. Instead you need to focus on finding different ways to help yourself stand out from the crowd and a great way of doing so is to take part in extracurricular activities.
What Kind of Extracurricular Activities are the Best?
Deciding what kind of extracurricular activities are the best for you can be quite tricky. In part, the answer lies in what you feel the most like doing. You don’t want your extracurricular activities to feel like a burden and nothing but extra work. If you take this path, you may not get the results you ultimately want.
It is an easy trap to pick the extracurricular activities that you feel admissions counselors will want to see, but there is a problem with this approach. For example, if you don’t like the extracurricular activities that you pick and are only becoming involved in them because you think these activities will “look good” on your application, you may not stay involved. If you don’t stay involved for a substantial amount of time, the end result will be that your extracurricular involvement was of no real help in the long run.
The Three Ways Extracurricular Activities Help
A good aspect of extracurricular activities is that by participating, teachers will have an opportunity to get to know you better. This factor can translate into a great letter of recommendation. A second way that extracurricular activities can help your efforts to get into your college of choice is that those activities will give you something additional to discuss during your college interviews and on your applications. Finally, extracurricular activities will help you demonstrate to admissions counselors that you got involved in your school community and did not just “drift through.”
Three Ways Extracurricular Involvement Scores You Points
1) Teachers get to know you better and that means better letters of recommendation
2) You will have more to discuss in interviews and on applications
3) Extracurricular activities show that you get involved
Are There Times You Should Not Participate in Extracurricular Activities?
Usually participating in extracurricular activities is a good idea, but there are exceptions. If you think your grades will suffer as a result, you should skip the extracurricular activities. Additionally, if you are working a part-time job after school, you likely shouldn’t stretch yourself so thin. Ultimately, extracurricular involvement should boost your chances of getting into one of your top picks.