As a Kenyon College freshman, I recently completed and endured the college application process. Extracurriculars is an area where people aren’t sure what they should do. They become confused with what they should write about extracurriculars. Although it can seem daunting it can be done and can be made much easier with the following advice.
Extracurriculars are an important part of a college application but they are not the only part. Furthermore, colleges wish to see applications that show what a student is passionate about and truly loves. If you don’t like baseball, then don’t join the baseball team as one of your extracurriculars. If you are on the team, don’t return for next season. Find two to three extracurriculars that highlight what you are passionate about or at least are things that you definitely enjoy doing. It is better to be involved (very involved with hopefully one leadership position in at least one club) with two to three organizations/clubs/teams than five or six organizations/clubs/teams that you are somewhat involved in.
Another aspect of extracurriculars is jobs. It shows a certain amount of dedication, hard work and responsibility to hold a job. Colleges do not look down on students whose extracurriculars include jobs. When I applied I had dozens of extracurriculars but I come from a small rural town with one little school and nearly thirty students in my graduating class. This created an atmosphere where everyone did everything. However, if you attend a larger school doing what I did will look like you are just padding your college application and you are not actually passionate about the organization/club/team.
When I applied to colleges, I also had two jobs. Both were small however both contributed to my college application in different ways. These were not only jobs but things I felt passionately about. As an aspiring veterinarian, on Saturdays I worked at a veterinarian’s clinic. As an enthusiast of the Japanese language, I taught English as a Second Language to a six year old Japanese kindergarten student.
Lastly, I would just like to mention that none of your activities or extracurriculars should seem like they are padding your application. They should all have a purpose and should be something you care about. When and if (you should if they are offered) go to college interviews, the alumini, admissions officers, or students will ask a multitude of questions. One will be about your various extracurriculars and why you chose them. Be prepared. Besides, it is much more fun to volunteer, work, and participate in things that you truly enjoy. Good luck with your college application!