Extracurricular activities as the name suggests is anything you do beyond the boundaries of your academic curriculum. E.g., if you take time out to even read to a blind student from the same class, it will still fall in the category of extracurricular activities.

Importance of Extracurricular Activities

Extracurricular activities are a reflection of how gainfully you utilize your spare time and it will play a key role in your college applications. What extracurricular activities you have participated in, is more crucial than the number of activities you have been a part of.

The extracurricular activities you wish to pursue should be something that:

  • You love to do 
  • Will also help you benefit from the experience 
  • Enhance your application
  • Impress colleges

Best extracurricular activities in a college application

Listed below are some of the extracurricular activities that universities look for in applications and which you should consider pursuing so that it positively enhances your university applications.

1. Student Government

Students who stand for elections and are elected form the Student Government on campus. Typically, the student government’s functions can include: 

  • Coordinating events and activities for students
  • Being the voice of students 
  • Allocating funds to other student organizations on campus
  • Providing forums for discussions of students’ problems
  • Strengthening the student community on campus

Everything listed in the extracurricular activities of the Student Government aims to hone the leadership skill in a student. By being part of Student Government, you will become:

  • More articulate 
  • Enhance your interpersonal skills, as you will be interacting with different people
  • Adept at handling activities beyond academics at school 

The most salient takeaway of being part of the Student Government is that it infuses you with leadership skills. Extracurricular activities at colleges where Student Government is an option have additional functions like being part of the honor council that is responsible for the university’s honor code as well as being on the judiciary board to hear and pass verdicts in disciplinary cases.You can participate in extracurricular activities at colleges such as Student Government only if you have done so in the past and exhibited leadership qualities.

Watch this video about the merits of extracurricular activities in Student Government:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgKGk9R8E_M

Watch this video of extracurricular activities at colleges:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4rVtUrHeHw

2.Athletics

By participating in extracurricular activities pertaining to sports, there are many qualities that you will refine. Sports will display your

  • Leadership skills
  • Teamwork
  • Dedication
  • Obligation to practice
  • Competitive spirit

All colleges look for such qualities in applicants so when you have demonstrated these qualities in extracurricular activities, colleges are bound to be interested in your application. There are many universities in the US like Stanford University, University of Florida, and the University of California, Los Angeles, – to name a few, who are reputed for athletics. By choosing athletics as one of your extracurricular activities, and studying at a university that further hones your talent, it could well pave the way for you to become a professional athlete. An added incentive in choosing sports is the possibility of getting financial aid to pursue your studies while participating in the university’s sports/athletics team.

For more information about getting financial aid for extracurricular activities in sports:

https://educationusa.state.gov/athletic-scholarships

Watch this video of Stanford University’s extracurricular activities at colleges:

https://www.youtube.com/user/stanfordathletics

3. The Debate Team

If you love conversations and putting forth your point of view about current matters, become a part of the debate team. All extracurricular activities are meant to challenge you but this one does so from the moment you decide to participate in a debate.
By participating in debates you will be:

  • Up to date in current affairs
  • Fearless to speak your mind
  • Think on your feet
  • Analytical in your thinking
  • Confident in your beliefs

With such qualities in extracurricular activities that are demonstrated and not simply mentioned in your personal statement, your college application will be high up in the pile of applications. If you have the qualities of being good at debating, it can well present you with career options – you could become a lawyer, politician, broadcast analyst, etc.

For information on extracurricular activities in debates at Indian schools:

http://indianschoolsdebatingsociety.com/

Watch this video of extracurricular activities at colleges:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-2m75o414c

4.Internships

When you choose to intern as one of your extracurricular activities, it immediately signals that you are focused and intent on achieving your academic and career goals. By doing an internship, you are willing to work for free if necessary to gain experience.

What an internship says about you when mentioned under extracurricular activities is that:

  • You are dedicated to your goals
  • You are efficient
  • You are competent and mature to begin working
  • You are willing to work hard
  • You will go that extra mile if necessary

All colleges look for such qualities in applicants and the college will be further assured that you will be willing to take on tough study programs and challenge yourself.
While choosing an internship, ensure that it is related to the major that you wish to pursue at college. In doing so, your efforts in enhancing your extracurricular activities will have direction and purpose.

For information on extracurricular activities in an internship in India: 

http://www.makeintern.com/

https://internshala.com/internships

5.Volunteer Work and Community Service

By choosing to do volunteer work and community service, you demonstrate your desire to do what you can to make a difference to your community or the larger world. By becoming involved in local groups or international organizations, you can participate in such extracurricular activities.

Volunteer Work and Community Service will make you:

  • More sensitive to the needs of others
  • Resilient
  • Committed to giving back to society
  • Willing to work beyond the call of duty

When Volunteer Work and Community Service is mentioned under extracurricular activities in your application, every college admissions office will place you a few notches higher than other applicants. The experience you gain with such extracurricular activities is what colleges look for in students to make their college a better place.

When you initially choose to volunteer or offer community service in an area that you love, e.g., something related to the environment, helping stricken animals, etc., it may influence the study program you choose and may even lead to various career options. An added advantage of volunteering can be in getting selected for a job because you already have working experience.

Watch this video about extracurricular activities:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4LCe9uiGj0

Watch this video about how volunteering can help in finding employment:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBLIuDTvrxs

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