Do you want to go to a good College?
Most people want to go to a good school, but there is so much competition to get into college today. A student needs some way to edge out everyone else and earn that coveted spot. So what is the secret to getting into a good college? Besides performing well in school, extra curricular activities are the determining factor for college admissions. A school might have two very smart and qualified applicants; one who plays computer games during his free time and another who volunteers at the local animal shelter. Who do you think that the school will admit most of the time? In most cases the answer is clear. Pretty simple secret right?
The way a student chooses to spent his or her free time leaves a very powerful impression on a college. Activities outside of school are very important to all universities. These activities can be almost anything, as long as they are something. Colleges love to ask about extra curricular activities, so have something good to say. Some of the most notable questions that a college tries to answer before admitting a student are: What will this student bring to our school? Will admitting this student make our school a better place? and What can this student add to our community that the other student (who plays video games) cannot? Extra curricular activities are the best way to show colleges what a student is interested in and how he or she expands on that interest. Because most of admissions are tests and grades, activities outside of school are the best way to show a student's personal self. They put a human face on an application.
It is important, however, not to overwork oneself with activities outside of school. It is better to have 2 or 3 particular hobbies or activities to spend time on than to have 6 or 7. Participating in just 2 or 3 means that the student can dedicate more time to these activities and become better at them. Schools like to see dedication, not sheer numbers. Colleges also realize that a student cannot do everything and do not expect him or her to. For this reason, less is more, regarding extra curricular activities. However, at the same time, it is important to make sure to do SOMETHING. I understand that it is difficult for many, if not most teens to sleep, let alone dedicate time to other activities, but it must be done. There is no choice. Sure you could do nothing other than focus on school, but such a limited view will not get anyone far in college. Make time for extra curricular activities- that is one of the biggest secrets to college admission.
Most importantly however, is not to abandon living a normal life. It is very easy to get lost in the bubble known as school and forget about everything other than the test on Monday, or the SAT a few weeks from now. It happens to everyone so do not fret. Although school and applications are important, it is only one part of life. Colleges want students who enjoy living life, because these people make life worth living. Living and experiencing life is the best extra curricular that any student can participate in. Try and work hard, but never give up living life to its fullest.
For much more on this same topic please read my article Using Extra Curricular Activities for College. It goes into much more depth about extra curricular activities and how to use them for college admissions.