Hobbies That Look Good on College Applications

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Female students talking outdoors on the sidewalk

Hobbies That Look Good on College Applications

The process of applying for college is much more than just grades and test scores. One component that often flies under the radar, but can play a significant role in the decision-making process, is a student’s extra-curricular activities or hobbies. Hobbies can offer a glimpse into a student’s personality, illustrate their commitment and dedication, demonstrate their skills beyond academics, and make them stand out from a sea of applicants. Let’s dive into some hobbies that look good on your college applications!

Understanding the Importance of Hobbies in College Applications

Before we delve into specific hobbies, it’s crucial to understand why looking into hobbies is so important in college applications. In essence, colleges look for well-rounded students who can seamlessly contribute a gamut of skills to their student body.

Male And Female Secondary Or High School Students Outdoors At School Looking At Mobile Phone

When it comes to college applications, grades and test scores are not the only factors that colleges consider. Admissions officers are also interested in getting to know the applicant as a person and understanding their interests and passions outside of the classroom. This is where hobbies come into play.

How Hobbies Reflect Your Personality

Carving time out for hobbies amidst a hectic academic schedule showcases time-management abilities, a desirable trait in any student. Furthermore, the variety of hobbies also mirrors the diversity of one’s interests and temperament.

For example, if a student is involved in playing a musical instrument, it shows dedication, discipline, and a love for the arts. On the other hand, if a student is passionate about community service and volunteers regularly, it demonstrates compassion, empathy, and a commitment to positively impacting society.

Colleges value these qualities because they indicate that the student is not only academically inclined but also possesses a well-rounded personality that can contribute positively to the college community.

The Role of Hobbies in Demonstrating Skills

Hobbies often showcase a student’s transferable skills, which might not be evident in an academic setting alone. These could range from teambuilding and leadership in sports to problem-solving and analytical skills in tech-related hobbies. They serve as tangible evidence of a student’s diverse abilities.

For instance, a student who participates in competitive debate tournaments demonstrates excellent public speaking skills and demonstrates critical thinking, research abilities, and the ability to articulate arguments effectively. These skills are highly valued in college and beyond.

Similarly, a student who engages in coding as a hobby shows a passion for technology and develops logical thinking, problem-solving, and attention to detail. These skills are highly sought in fields such as computer science and engineering.

By highlighting these skills through hobbies, students can provide admissions officers with a more comprehensive picture of their abilities and potential contributions to the college community.

Hobbies play a significant role in college applications. They not only reflect a student’s personality and interests but also demonstrate valuable skills that go beyond the academic realm. So, when filling out your college application, don’t forget to showcase your hobbies and look at the unique qualities these hobbies bring to the table.

Hobby 1: Volunteering

One hobby that admissions officers look for in your college application is volunteering. Volunteering demonstrates a student’s commitment to community service and indicates empathy and responsibility.

The Benefits of Volunteering

Not only does volunteering build character, but it also hones interpersonal skills as you interact with diverse groups of people. In addition, it also imbues students with a sense of gratitude and civic responsibility.

Volunteering offers numerous benefits that extend beyond personal growth. For instance, it provides an opportunity to positively impact the community by addressing various social issues. Whether you volunteer at a local shelter, assist in environmental conservation efforts, or contribute to educational programs, your actions can improve society.

Group of people working in charitable foundation.

Moreover, volunteering allows individuals to develop a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by different communities. You can gain valuable insights into their lives, cultures, and perspectives by actively engaging with people from diverse backgrounds. This exposure fosters empathy and compassion, enabling you to become a more understanding and inclusive member of society.

How to Showcase Volunteering on Your Application

Avoid simply listing the organizations or places where you’ve provided your services. Instead, draw attention to specific projects or roles you undertook and what you learned from those experiences.

When highlighting your volunteering experiences, it is important to emphasize the skills and qualities you have developed through your involvement. For example, if you volunteered at a local hospital, you can discuss how you improved your communication skills by interacting with patients and medical staff. Additionally, you can mention the leadership skills you acquired by organizing fundraising events or coordinating volunteer activities.

Furthermore, consider discussing your volunteering efforts’ impact on the community or individuals you served. Share stories of how your contributions made a difference, whether mentoring a struggling student, organizing a food drive for the homeless, or participating in environmental clean-up initiatives. By showcasing the tangible outcomes of your volunteer work, you demonstrate your ability to create positive change and contribute meaningfully to society.

Hobby 2: Sports

Sports are a critical aspect of many college applications, highlighting physical fitness and the capacity to manage academics with demanding schedules.

Engaging in sports promotes physical well-being and fosters personal growth and development. Through participation in various sports activities, individuals can acquire a range of valuable skills and qualities that extend beyond the playing field.

The Value of Teamwork in Sports

Team sports, in particular, highlight one’s ability to work in a group, carry peers along, and resolve conflicts, all of which are crucial skills in higher education.

Individuals learn the importance of collaboration and effective communication in team sports. They understand the significance of working together towards a common goal, supporting and relying on their teammates. This experience cultivates a sense of camaraderie and fosters a spirit of unity, which can greatly contribute to a positive and inclusive campus environment.

sports teams and facilities

Moreover, team sports provide individuals with the opportunity to develop leadership skills. As team members, individuals may be entrusted with leadership roles such as team captain or coach, responsible for guiding and motivating their teammates. These leadership positions showcase one’s ability to take charge and demonstrate their capacity to inspire and empower others.

Highlighting Leadership in Sports

If you held a position such as a captain or a coach, make sure to highlight it. Such roles are evidence of leadership skills, highly valued across campuses.

Leadership in sports extends beyond the field of play. It involves making critical decisions, managing conflicts, and fostering a positive team culture. Individuals who have taken on leadership roles in sports have demonstrated their ability to lead by example, inspire their teammates, and navigate challenges with resilience and determination.

Colleges and universities recognize the value of leadership skills developed through sports. They understand that individuals who have excelled in sports and assumed leadership positions are likely to bring the same level of commitment, dedication, and teamwork to their academic pursuits and campus involvement.

Hobby 3: Music and Arts

For those with a creative streak, your works of art or your musical talents can truly make you stand out in your college application.

Engaging in music and arts as a hobby allows you to express your creativity and helps you develop essential skills that can be applied to various aspects of life. Whether you are a painter, a musician, or a dancer, the arts require discipline, precision, and dedication to practice. These qualities are not only valuable in artistic pursuits but are also readily transferable to academic endeavors.

Creativity and Discipline in the Arts

When it comes to the arts, creativity is undoubtedly a crucial aspect. However, it is equally important to understand that creativity alone is not enough to excel in this field. The discipline required to practice and refine your skills consistently sets apart truly exceptional artists.

By immersing yourself in the arts, you learn the importance of perseverance and the value of hard work. Whether it’s spending hours perfecting a musical piece, experimenting with different brush strokes to capture the essence of a subject, or rehearsing a dance routine until every movement is flawless, the arts demand dedication and commitment.

Art director checking the photos on a monitor

Moreover, the arts teach you the significance of attention to detail. A musician must pay attention to every note, rhythm, and dynamic, while a visual artist must carefully consider every stroke, color, and composition. These skills enhance your artistic abilities and cultivate a meticulous approach to problem-solving, a skill that is highly sought after in academic and professional settings.

Presenting Your Artistic Achievements

A comprehensive understanding of your creative process is essential when showcasing your artistic achievements in your college application. Describe the inspiration behind your work, the techniques you employ, and the emotions you aim to evoke. By delving into the depths of your artistic journey, you demonstrate your artistic skills and reveal your ability to reflect and articulate your thoughts.

Furthermore, don’t shy away from discussing the challenges you have encountered. Whether it’s struggling to find the right melody, grappling with self-doubt, or facing criticism, these obstacles showcase your resilience and determination. Admissions committees appreciate individuals who can navigate through difficulties and emerge stronger.

Consider discussing the materials and mediums you utilize in your artistic endeavors. Whether experimenting with different types of paint, exploring various musical instruments, or pushing the boundaries of digital art, showcasing your versatility and willingness to explore different avenues of creativity can make your application stand out.

Ultimately, engaging in music and arts as a hobby allows you to express your creativity and helps you develop discipline, precision, and resilience. By showcasing your artistic achievements and providing insights into your creative process, you can demonstrate your ability to think critically, persevere in the face of challenges, and contribute to the vibrant artistic community on campus.

Hobby 4: Coding and Technology

With the peak surge of digitization, possessing coding skills or a passion for technology can go a long way in boosting your application’s strength.

The Relevance of Tech Skills Today

The relevance of these skills goes beyond the tech industry, as every sector, from education to healthcare, is increasingly reliant on technology.

Coding and technology have become integral to our daily lives in today’s fast-paced and interconnected world. Technology surrounds us from when we wake up and check our smartphones to when we go to bed and set our alarms. It has transformed how we communicate, work, and entertain ourselves. As a result, having a strong foundation in coding and technology is beneficial and necessary to thrive in this digital age.

Moreover, the demand for individuals with coding and technology skills is on the rise. Companies across various industries are seeking professionals who can develop innovative solutions, streamline processes, and enhance efficiency through technology. Whether creating websites, developing mobile applications, or analyzing big data, the ability to code and understand technology is highly sought in today’s job market.

Emphasizing Problem-Solving in Coding

While listing your coding languages and projects, please focus on the problems you solved using your technical acumen, which displays your analytical and problem-solving skills.

Coding is not just about writing lines of code; it’s about solving problems. When you encounter a coding challenge, you need to think critically, break down the problem into smaller components, and come up with an efficient solution. This process requires logical reasoning, attention to detail, and the ability to think outside the box.

By emphasizing the problems you have solved through coding, you showcase your ability to tackle complex issues and find creative solutions. Whether it’s developing an algorithm to optimize a website’s performance or debugging a software program to fix a critical error, these experiences demonstrate your analytical thinking and problem-solving skills.

a male student sitting at a computer chair and looking at the camera

Furthermore, coding and technology provide endless opportunities for personal growth and learning. The field is constantly evolving, with new programming languages, frameworks, and tools emerging regularly. As a coder, you need to stay updated with the latest trends and continuously expand your knowledge. This commitment to lifelong learning and adaptability is highly valued by employers and educational institutions alike.

Remember, the best hobbies to include in your application are the ones that allow you to shine and demonstrate transferable skills. Authenticity and passion for your hobbies significantly impact the admission committee and set you apart. The key to a successful college application is highlighting how these hobbies make you a perfect fit for the institution.

Final Thoughts

As you embark on your journey to college, remember that your hobbies and extracurriculars are not just checkboxes on an application; they are a testament to your character, values, and aspirations. Choose your passions wisely, pursue them with determination, and let them illuminate the path to your dream college. Ultimately, the hobbies that look good on college applications reflect your authentic self and your commitment to positively impacting the world. So, go forth and let your passions shine!

If you need help putting the finishing touches on your college applications,  at AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process.

AdmissionSight can help you put your best foot forward when applying to college this fall. Contact us today for more information on our services.



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