Using Extracurricular Activities To Your Benefit

I’ve mentioned before that colleges are looking for aspiration, not so much academic skills. Colleges want to see that you’re diligent in what you love to do and this is best shown through the activities that you involve yourself with. Now I’ve explained why this is important, though I never really outlined what you can do to show colleges that you’re serious about whatever it is that you’re majoring in.

On Answers.com, I managed to find an article that lists some of these activities that will help prepare you for college and with getting admitted into one. These activities also provide you with life skills that you valuable not only in college, but in the work force as well. Here they are:

Clubs. Clubs are often all-encompassing, so you usually have quite a variety to choose from. Some are more impressive to colleges than others, so try to focus on ones that pertain to your goals and offer skills that are valuable in college.

Arts. Music, painting, drama, literature. These are often activities that are set up for review and require you to learn constructive criticism.

Sports. If you’re an athlete, this one is for you. Teamwork is a an important life skill and is one that you will be relying on here.

Volunteer Activities. Possibly one skill that is valued more than anything is the ability to serve others. I’m not speaking for colleges here, but it’s a good thing to do. This doesn’t show so much what you enjoy doing, but it does show maturity, and it does this by showing that you’re not always focused on yourself.

Student Government. You may be surprised to hear that it is possible to get involved with student government as a homeschooler. Organizations like ASGA and TRIUMPH offer tools for homeschool groups to form their own government body in their community. Student government is essentially community service, but it gives you as a student a leading role in those efforts. It’s a great way to learn responsibility, and if you’re someone who’s ¬†interested in civics, it’s definitely something you should look into.

Some of these I’ve already mentioned in another post, which mainly involves getting involved in the community. The important thing is to have a focus and move forward with it. “But Justin, I don’t know what I want to do!” you may say with utter defeat. Well, my best advice is to try different things, that way you’ll have a better idea as to what you’re interests are. If you do happen to find your niche, focus on presenting just those activities or projects you’ve done when enrolling in your college of choice. Throwing everything else that you’ve done out there shows colleges that you have no focus and shows their admissions officers you’re just a waste of their time. If still don’t know what it is that you truly aspire to do, then honestly, you have no reason for going into a four-year college. Instead, go to community college, get your A.A., and continue to pursue other interests.