What kinds of extracurriculars actually impress colleges? What kind of awards do too universities actually care about?
ECs that don’t impact:
So Cliche activities such as mission trips don’t.
No personal impact such as non recruited athlete for Football but your an English major not sports management.
Dime a dozen awards like x is a good person. He helped in the community. Here’s a cheaply award. Any sort of award by a national/state organization is good and local ones if it competitive.
Now I may be in the minority but volunteering needs to be very niche to make a sizeable positive impact. If it is hopscotch y like a week with org x then another with org y. That isn’t impressive. If you volunteer with a local organization and provide free tutoring for elementary school kids for 3 hr/week for most of the year that is a positive one especially if you are looking at education. It is also impactful if it achieved prominence especially if quantifiable like for cause x we raised 50k. One of my ECs is organizing and helping run the largest food drive city wide in a top 50 city. That’s quantifiable in like lbs raised cans donated etc and prominent as it is largest city wide. It’s just an example but it should be impactful. This video influenced me and I’d recomend you watch it.
ECs that schools care about are semi tricky but it is a good EC if it is most of the following: major related, significant accolades/achievement, impactful/non cliche, unique. The video I linked to covers most of these but if it impacts you in a positive way and is an actual EC instead of a 30 min meeting once a month (exagrated but you should get my point)
Hope this helps please comment if you need clarification as I’d be happy to clarify!