The Best Extracurricular Activities For College Applications

November 29, 2022
By AdmissionSight

The Best Extracurricular Activities For College Applications

Extracurricular Activities

Any activity that does not count toward academic credit is considered extracurricular. These include extracurricular activities like the arts, sports, personal obligations, and so forth that students engage in.

When applying for postsecondary education, extracurricular activities are helpful because universities and colleges check to see if students have honed their leadership abilities and become more involved in their communities. They can also give students abilities that they can use in most workplaces, like teamwork or critical thinking.

Even though the description of an extracurricular activity may sound ambiguous, it actually is. The value and relevance of an extracurricular activity are frequently wholly dependent on the future career goals of a student. But that doesn’t mean they can’t also be a good way to pass the time and a way to develop important life skills.

Extracurricular activities examples

AdmissionSight has prepared some extracurricular activities examples and types of extracurricular activities that high school students might consider to better understand:

  • Community-based service activities, such as local or global volunteer work – whether through an organized group or otherwise; Formal employment, such as an internship or a paying role.
  • Personal interests and pastimes, such as hiking, film club, cosplay, blogging, artistic pursuits, or anything else not classified as an extracurricular activity of the academic kind.
  • Academic activities like chess, math, science clubs, journalism, or roles in the class leadership.

There is no one right way to participate in extracurricular activities, particularly for students who are interested in pursuing a particular field of study. Any activity, in general, is preferable to none and appears much better on college and job applications than a blank space. The most beneficial extracurricular activity for your students to participate in, however, depends on a number of different factors.

What counts as extracurricular activities?

The importance of extracurricular activities in the lives of high school students cannot be overstated. They encourage and foster interpersonal skills because they involve interacting with and communicating with new people.

More importantly, extracurricular activities give high school students’ college applications a more exciting and appealing appearance to college admissions officers. In other words, being a part of extracurricular activities enables a student to have a successful and fulfilling high school career. Additionally, it improved his or her chances of being accepted into a college.

Male student using a camera during a sunset.

What counts as extracurricular activities? Simply put, an extracurricular activity is any activity you actively and productively engage in outside of class. It might be connected to your high school through something like the student government, an athletic team, or an academic club.

Additionally, it may be unrelated to your high school, like volunteer work or an internship. However, this does not imply that anything you do, whether or not it is related to your high school, can be classified as an extracurricular activity.

Even though this activity is just a hobby, it might appear to be an EA. Many hobbies are mistaken for extracurricular activities by some high school students. The ability to meet people is one of the characteristics that sets extracurricular activities apart from hobbies. They frequently give you the chance to influence others.

The advantages and outcomes of hobbies, on the other hand, are more personal. However, it’s important to remember that some pastimes can also be categorized as extracurricular activities.

You may learn some of the most crucial information about extracurricular activities by continuing to read. This is particularly true if you have acquaintances from high school who intend to get into the institutions where they want to earn their degrees.

The best extracurricular activities for college applications

You might be wondering what the best extracurricular activities are that look good on college applications. Don’t worry, AdmissionSight got you covered. We have listed out the activities below that would serve as options for extracurricular activities that assist students in showcasing the talents and attributes that college admissions officers look for in applicants.

Admissions officers at colleges are looking for candidates who are enthusiastic, engaged, and proactive learners both inside and beyond the classroom. Colleges and universities will not be impressed if a student chooses not to participate in extracurricular activities in favor of hanging out with friends or watching television during the summer and after school hours.


Students with debate expertise frequently look appealing on college applications because high school debate teams are challenged to stay current with news articles, government regulations, and social issues.

The debate team will teach you how to speak in front of others, generate informed ideas, think critically, and relate international events to the culture you interact with on a daily basis.

Leadership projects

Colleges are drawn to extracurricular activities that call for leadership, such as student government, youth leadership conferences or intensives, and volunteer opportunities for regional campaigns. Even if you don’t intend to participate in politics in the future, leadership abilities are beneficial for any college major and will be beneficial to you in your adult life.

Group of people talking in a table.

Being a leader will challenge you to inspire others with your own ideas and will help you better understand other individuals and their abilities.

Teams and clubs in the classroom

Colleges and universities can see that you are competitive, enthusiastic, and insightful through your involvement in extracurricular activities like Odyssey of the Mind, Quiz Bowl, Chess Club, and math competitions. Academic teams and organizations are another way to demonstrate your enthusiasm for learning beyond the classroom, which will be more important in college than in high school.

By taking part in an academic team or club, you can exhibit your capacity to work hard, cooperate with a group of individuals, and execute challenging tasks under pressure. Your application will demonstrate that you are a diligent student.

Creative activities

Your creativity and uniqueness are displayed through artistic extracurricular activities, including art groups, theater, music, and dance. However, extracurricular arts activities can demonstrate to colleges and universities that you are well-rounded and understand the importance of the arts in society. These are particularly important for kids who intend to pursue an art major.

Another reason to think about participating in a creative activity if you have an interest in the arts is that they may be quite fulfilling and even stress-relieving during high school.


Playing sports beyond high school is not a prerequisite for your athletic history to matter, though universities may take notice of kids who are good athletes. Your perseverance, fervor, and fortitude—all qualities you’ll need to succeed in life’s endeavors—will be on display when you engage in any sort of exercise. Your ability to cooperate and assist one another in a group setting is demonstrated by participating in a team sport on your college application.


Despite the misconception among many high school students that internships are just for college, completing one while still in high school would be a great addition to your resume. By doing an internship, you can show college admissions officers that you can work well under pressure and communicate in a professional context. Furthermore, internships demonstrate your initiative and willingness to try out new, perhaps difficult experiences in the service of your long-term goals.

Community service and volunteering

Despite how cliche it may seem to mention volunteer experiences on your college application after being advised by every counselor to start volunteering more, giving back to the community will never go out of style. Whether you have the opportunity to serve abroad or are only interested in helping locally, community service is a terrific way to emphasize the best qualities on your college application. Pick a cause that matters to you deeply and start volunteering if you want to change the world.

Group of people sitting on the floor while reading.

Volunteering is a win-win situation since you can improve the world, feel good about how you spend your time, and showcase advantageous qualities on your college application.

Work routines

Unbelievably, college admissions officers are also aware that high school students occasionally juggle full-time schoolwork with part-time employment due to their tight schedules. You might not have a lot of spare time due to a part-time job to participate in extracurricular activities, but know that your college applications will consider the skills and attributes you are honing at work. Keep a journal of the lessons you feel you have learned while working, and lead whenever you can. Your experiences throughout your life have had a significant impact on who you are and will later serve as intriguing essay subjects for college applications.

To differentiate your college application, pick any of these extracurricular activity areas. However, keep in mind that you should give everything you have to everything you do. College admissions officers choose candidates with a strong sense of commitment and love for their profession. Choose one or two activities that you enjoy and give them your all, rather than feeling pressured to take part in them all.

If you are having a hard time figuring out the best extracurricular activities, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. AdmissionSight will make sure that your extracurricular activities show that you have participated in a wide variety of activities that demonstrate both depth and breadth of involvement. Feel free to set up an appointment today to book your initial consultation at AdmissionSight.



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