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Extracurricular activities demonstrate that you have interests outside of academics, which can set you apart from applicants with a similar academic profile. So the earlier you find your interests, the better.
Leadership isn't a necessity, but it can help your college application. Do what you enjoy doing; extracurricular activities are meant as an outlet for your passions.
Here's a good post about extracurricular activities.
I hope this helped!
You should definitely get involved in extracurriculars freshman year, not only for college, but also because they are things that you (hopefully) enjoy. At some point getting involved in a leadership capacity is great, but honestly I don't think it's something you need to worry about freshman year. At this point just pick up things that you are interested in, and then go from there.