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What are good extra curricular's to join in high school, that look good for college?

I would like to be able to go to college, and hopefully this will help to achieve my goal. #college #student

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Ken’s Answer

Hi Ian!


You asked a very important question.


One of the most important things that you can do is try to become involved with a coop or internship or shadowing program (or a job) through which you can get practical exposure to the field in which you think that you might want to study. Your school counselor can help, as can your favorite teachers. Also, connect with the Alumni Relations person at your school, so that you can connect with graduates of your school who are doing what you think that you want to do. This can be beneficial as a way of gaining exposure and also might lead to job possibilities both during high school and beyond. You have a great connection - graduating from the same school!


The important thing is not how it looks to others, it is that you have taken the time to find out what you might be interested in doing with your life.


Best of luck! Please keep me posted.

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Atul’s Answer

Those I know and have done extracurricular activities and have succeeded in a good college/univ have done the following:
1) Help the homeless people - look for the charity that supports this activity.
2) Assist Habitat for Humanity organization.
3) Work in a food kitchen.
4) Travel to a developing country like Haiti and assist the organization that is helping the people.
5) Go to a neighborhood and help clean up - city/twp advertises.
6) Get involved in a green initiative.
7) Help immobile senior citizens by doing their chores.
8) Mentor children in a poor neighborhood where parents are working and do not have time to help their kids with the homework.
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Meighan’s Answer

There is no one fit solution of the "right" set of extracurriculars to make yourself competitive to college. Choosing what extracurricular activities is a personal decision. However, you may want to think about the following tips when planning your extracurriculars.

In general, Admissions Officers look for depth over breadth of extracurricular activities. Rather than joining many clubs and teams and being a member, I would recommend picking your top choices and showing a deeper level of commitment to them. For example, rather than joining Model UN, the Student Newspaper, and the Robotics Team, pick your top choice and strive to hold a leadership position there, such as Editor in the Student Newspaper or a Team Lead on the Robotics Team.

Your extracurriculars should also match your desired major. If you are interested in majoring in Science or Engineering, the Robotics Team might be a better fit rather than Model UN. Conversely, if you are interested in majoring in Political Science, Model UN shows you are committed to learning more about this field.

In the summers, match your summer activities to your extracurriculars and desired major. If you are interested in pursuing Political Science and doing Model UN during the school year, maybe you can intern with a local government official in your hometown. Or, take some introductory Political Science classes or foreign language classes at your Community College.

I (and other College Admissions Officials) also recognize that many students are restricted what extracurriculars they can pursue by their personal financial situation. If you have to go straight home after school to take care of your siblings, or work a part time job on evenings and weekends to help out with family finances, make sure you document that time on your college application just as you would talk about a school-based extracurricular activity. For example, you could say that from 3-6 pm on weeknights you help your siblings with homework and prepare family dinner, and you could even talk about the responsibility you learned from doing that in your personal statement. Or you can say how you were promoted to a Shift Manager at Chick-Fil-A and learned how to lead your peers, as well as take on more management responsibilities. These types of extracurriculars do not negatively impact your chances of admission, but you do need to 'show' the Admissions Officials where and how you are spending your time in college application so they are not left guessing.

Bottom line-you want your extracurriculars to tell a story about who you are and show your interests to the colleges you apply to.
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