I'm a junior in high school and the main issue with my college application is that my extracurriculars aren't very strong. As of right now, I have 1 year of spirit club, 1 year of varsity soccer, 2 years as a member of a non-profit political organization, member of NHS, 2 years of competitive dance, along with about 130 volunteer hours. Although this may seem like a good list, I didn't stay in many of these extracurriculars for long and I didn't have a leadership role in any of these. Do you guys have any recommendations as to how to amp up this list? I am not completely sure of what I want to major in, but I am considering political science or something in humanities. I figure my application will look stronger if I have an educational spike and do extracurriculars related to my intended major.
To explain what @McKellarr listed (which are great suggestions), you essentially are looking to add extracurriculars that either highlight your INTERESTS or who you are as a PERSON. What you have already seems to do that well enough, but coming down at the end of Junior year, you’ll definitely want to look for something over the summer if you’re hoping to add it to application status.
The “shadowing of a local politician” is a great suggestion in that you can more than likely do this over the summer. “Shadowing” is basically the act of actively studying a career or of an individual’s work-day. From this, you’ll want to know your local political figures—what they do and what their long-term/short-term tasks are—so that, when shadowing, you can ask accurate and helpful questions. You start by searching “city council members [city, state]” or “mayor” or “local political figures” of your area. And of course, the higher you go the better the learning-experience. This extracurricular altogether can be sometimes looked at as more than “school leadership” experience as it shows you took initiative in boosting yourself into your career field early. It definitely carries a maturity factor that college’s love.
Starting a club/group/etc. is great and also expresses initiative and that you did the “extracurricular” out of own interest and for the benefit of your peers/community/etc. Though a little tougher to get going, holding these acts of community recreation can not only boost your light in college’s, but in your home city.
The commonality amongst all EC’s, anyway, is that you are looking to do them out of interest and exploration. These qualities will shine through the EC you so choose and can create an impact on college’s when they review the initiative you took. You also don’t always have to do things entitled to your “major of interest” (politics I suppose that is), but you can choose accordingly to what expresses the best you.
Hope this helps!
I highly recommend finding your nearest Youth and Government delegation! I'm a junior and this year was my first year in the program. There plenty of facets to it and even in my small delegation they offered a lot of cool stuff. If you're a "Legislator" like most juniors/seniors are then you get to draft a bill, and the year ends in a mock legislation session with everyone from your state presenting their bill. Also, the 2 seniors in the program both got into college majoring in political science. It's a really great program and looks great on applications.
Girl, don't get me started on extracurriculars! My list is as scarce as yours! I'm in my school's choir, and that's about it. My life outside of school is way too busy to join any after-school clubs. So, next year (my senior year), I am going to start my own in-school club for those who cannot attend after school. When in doubt, @briannasharpe, start your own club! Use your aspirations and inspire your peers. I don't know if you live in Ohio (I do) or not, but OhioMeansJobs.com is a resourceful site to find internships you can pursue over the summer. I hope this helps, and let me know what you decide to do!
It's okay not to have an "official" leadership role in activities, you can absolutely demonstrate leadership in other ways! I'd suggest building off your current extracurriculars as much as you can rather than joining new clubs (unless you're really interested in them regardless of college apps--then go for it). Some examples of showing leadership:
- organize a food drive/volunteer event with NHS
- email a local kids organization to see if they're interested in a virtual dance lesson (that you could design and lead via Zoom)
- found a club (related to political activism/awareness or any of your humanities interests)
- propose an initiative in your non-profit political org (eg. social media campaign)
- propose and organize a school spirit event
Above all, do extracurriculars you enjoy, and don't sweat about official leadership positions. Good luck on your applications!
To keep this community safe and supportive: