School counselors and teachers have long emphasized the importance of involvement in school activities. From entering high school to senior year, the extracurricular activities students join play a pivotal role in the college application process, now more than ever.
Extracurricular activities provide high school students the opportunity to develop skills beyond or outside those acquired through traditional class curriculum. Colleges and universities consider valuable activity to include: community service, sports, student leadership, art, music, drama, and participation in competitive or service-based clubs. Engagement in these types of activities often lead students to higher academic achievement, healthy lifestyle habits, and social/emotional skill development.
Colleges and university acceptance boards seek students who will find success in their programs and go on to become productive and contributing members of society. Extracurricular engagement is overwhelmingly considered to be a constructive use of students’ time by college and university review boards. Here are a few examples of why:
- As a member of a sports team, college applicants demonstrate self-confidence, the ability to work with others, take instruction, attain goals, lead a group, and contribute to a larger objective
- Student government members exhibit the ability to listen, lead, and make positive decisions
- A student with a strong service resumé demonstrates a variety of positive traits, including a commitment to the improvement of their community
A common mistake for young people and their families is to become involved in too many activities. Generally, admissions counselors prefer to see students who are committed and can demonstrate success in a few activities, rather than casually involved in numerous ventures. By overextending themselves, students involved in too many activities also run the risk of not allowing themselves enough time to study, keep up good grades, and maintain a physically and emotionally healthy lifestyle.
At OFL, we encourage students to get involved. Whether you’re college-bound or career-bound, we believe it’s important to try new things, discover your passion, and develop yourself socially and emotionally. You may be surprised at what you find!