Helping your teen to put together the best possible college application can be years in the making. With many students fighting for a place at the most prestigious colleges in the country, helping your teen boost their application with stand-out extracurricular activities will help their application and give them experience in the world outside of school and studying.
If your child has held a particular college in mind for a while, you can prepare early. But remember, it is important not to overstretch your teen with too many commitments that they lose the focus on their studies because all the extracurricular activities on paper won’t make up for lower grades than is desired.
So, what type of extracurricular activities should your teen be looking at? College admissions will be looking at how your child’s activities fit in relation to themselves and their interests. Simply partaking in something that has no relevance to your child’s potential career path will stick out like a sore thumb. Instead, focus on the following qualities to help back up your child’s application.
What Shows Your Passion?
College admissions will be looking to find out more about what your teen is passionate about and who they are. Students who take on responsibilities and activities are passionate about showing those in charge of accepting your child that they are more likely to succeed and have the drive needed to make their college years a success.
Those looking at education and teaching training can look for community projects to help other people get the best education possible, or organizations such as Age of Learning work to improve education in poor to lower-income countries. Choose an activity that resonates with your teen – coaching little league or children’s soccer for sports-minded individuals, snd makes sense for them to be doing based on their desired future learning and career path.
How Has It Impacted You?
You shouldn’t be encouraging your teen to partake in extracurricular activities for college that doesn’t offer ways to improve who they are and give them a more rounded education. That is to say; admissions will be looking at how the activity they do can help them to improve. Are they learning anything, has it shown them something they had no previous experience of, and how can they apply what they have learned to their life in the future into adulthood.
To get the most from college, all students are expected to approach this continued learning in a way that will help them transition to adult, working life and evolve and shape them.
Can You Demonstrate Responsibility and Leadership?
This doesn’t always mean you need the team captain or leader of the club. But by taking on responsibilities, decision making, being confident in your abilities or utilizing organization skills, you can demonstrate that you can provide a positive impact and input into other people’s lives and indeed their own.
Showing leadership qualities is high on the desired skills wishlist due to showing the potential for incoming students.
One main takeaway is to remember it is your job as a parent to help your child find something they can get involved in in a way that benefits themselves and looks good on college applications.