Extra-Curricular Activities

"What did you do with your time?" --Harvard University web page

That's what colleges--especially the most selective colleges--want to know:

  • How did you go above and beyond what your were required to do in your classes?
  • How do your extra-curricular activities demonstrate intellectual vitality and curiosity?
  • How did you pursue your passions and what levels did you reach?
  • How did you collaborate with others and demonstrate leadership?
    Extra-curricular activities, including community service, give students an opportunity to explore and pursue their passions. These activities can be formal and structured or informal. However, starting in high school, students should begin logging their involvement for their senior portfolio and for college and job applications.  

    Colleges want to see depth of involvement (not just attending meetings) and length of involvement, at least two years or more. A couple of activities that deep involvement and passion are better than a handful of superficial activities used to impress college admissions officers.
      In addition, students should know that the Common App will ask at what level they have been recognized (local, regional/state, national or international) for their involvement.

    For an excellent video on passion, see 
    Larry Smith's Ted Talk below: "Why you will fail to have a great career":

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