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Extracurricular activities: why should you be involved?

November 14th, 2018

The world of college admissions can be overwhelming, leaving many to wonder how they can stand out as college applicants.  Of course having a strong academic record (transcript and test scores) is top priority, but showing that you are invested in something outside the classroom has major advantages.  

Boarding schools figured out this secret to success generations ago; by requiring significant involvement in sports or arts and encouraging engagement in other extracurriculars, they help students become their best selves … and better college applicants. 

Many students have heard me say that becoming a great person, an accomplished person, leads to becoming a great applicant.  And it’s important to hold the priorities in that order.  Extracurricular activities provide many opportunities for growth.  Learning how to balance a school schedule with the demands of activities gives students structure and a sense of responsibility. Filling your time with things you are passionate about teaches many life lessons, including leadership and a sense of teamwork. 

Simply put, if you are involved in meaningful ways and can demonstrate that you’re having an impact on your school and community, you’ll be a stronger college applicant and a richer, more interesting individual.

If you want a great read on this topic, writer Linda Morgan for the Seattle Times breaks down what colleges are really looking for in an applicant. 

Article referenced below published on March 23, 2018 by The Seattle Times, written by Linda Morgan.

Remember when high school kids could count on their dazzling grades and brilliant scores to secure a spot at a respectable, if not top-notch college? Those days may be over. Schools now look beyond academic prowess when deciding whether to admit students, and attach sizable weight to the scope and breadth of an applicant’s extracurricular activities.

That’s why Roosevelt High School senior Tim Yeh considers the hours he spends engaged in after-school projects as time well spent. Yeh, who attends Shoreline Community College as part of Washington state’s Running Start program (students earn college credits along with their high school degrees), feels that committing to outside activities are a “big part” of getting into college.

Read more at The Seattle Times >>

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