Prospective college students and their parents frequently ask me what extracurricular activities will most impress college admissions officers, and my answer is always the same: the activity that shows your passion and dedication.
As you think about your extracurricular involvement, keep these points in mind:
- Colleges would rather see depth of involvement in one or two activities than a large number of extracurricular activities that reflect superficial involvement.
- If you are doing what you love to do, doing it well, and taking the lead in the activity at your school, then you have found the perfect extracurricular activity.
- No one activity is better than another. Drama, music, sports, yearbook, dance, community service... Any one of these can be a winner on a college application if you reveal dedication, leadership, and passion.
- Do your research so that you know what extracurricular activities are offered at the schools to which you apply. If you are a virtuoso on the violin and your college application discusses your desire to continue violin in college, you'd better make sure the college actually offers opportunities for playing violin (or make sure the college has opportunities for you to start your own string ensemble).
- Leadership in extracurricular activities can take many forms: designing the set of a play, being section leader in the band, organizing a fund raiser, starting a club related to the activity, designing a groups website, or, of course, serving as an officer for a student organization.