Extracurriculars, in their real sense, seem like hobbies and interests that you pursue, but as you advance in your education, you realise the importance that extracurricular activities hold. They are skills that can set you apart from the application pool when you apply to universities. These activities give you an edge and highlight your uniqueness, making your application stand out.
Apart from the uniqueness factor that extracurricular activities add, they also give colleges insight into your personality and how you choose to spend your time to the best ability. While applying to universities, you will always notice a section wherein you enter your hobbies and extracurriculars, so here’s a list of some extracurriculars that can boost your college application:
Spent a lot of time in the field or on the court? This can be very beneficial to you! A background in sports exhibits a sense of commitment, a focus on physical activity, and health and discipline, which are great qualities and soft skills colleges look for. Playing team sports like football, basketball or cricket also exhibits an ability to work with a team and collaborate to achieve a common goal. If you have participated on a national or state level or have been a team captain, mention it in your application to earn brownie points for leadership.
Participating in volunteering and social activities shows initiative and willingness to help groups and organizations in need. Volunteering connects you to the community and helps expand your knowledge and network while creating a positive impact. Universities look out for students who possess social and communication skills, which can give an edge to students who might not be academically inclined.
Students who participate in art forms like dancing, singing, painting, or theatre show the admissions team their creative skills and side, which helps with college applications. A knack for creative activities shows curiosity and openness to new experiences that may not be directly correlated with your college modules but help enhance your application. A willingness to develop your talents so that you end up creating art is an excellent quality.
Digitalisation has helped promote the need for technological skills among students. A background in research, coding, ethical hacking, and development sets students apart. As a student, highlight the skills and tools you have previously worked with and the certifications and licenses you may have earned over the years. Technological experience also helps in securing a job in a related field.
These skills show your ability to grasp complex ideas and learn from scratch. Also, technological skills can be used in any field, which will benefit any course or degree you choose.
Academic Clubs such as olympiads, science clubs, mock trials, model UN and debate clubs are fantastic to add to your college application, as it shows your interest in extracurricular activities and your confidence in a subject and subject matter expertise. Academic clubs help improve your chances when you apply for courses and degrees that are very specific and niche. For example, if you have shown active participation in Model UN and your school mock trial team, and you apply for a degree in Law, your chances of acceptance will be higher, given that you have firsthand experience
Having work experience in a relevant field of your study will give you an edge and might help with your application more than your grades will. Internships and first-hand jobs show that you have participated in a position of responsibility and understand the importance of hard work and dedication.
So, the next time you spend time painting, coding, or playing sports, understand the importance it holds in your future, and remember to highlight your expertise in your college application.
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Madhura Ballal plays many roles- a cat person, a food lover, an avid marketer, and a postgraduate from the National University of Singapore. You can find her painting, doing yoga, and spending time with her friends when she’s not playing one of the most critical roles that she has taken on- writing.