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Your Activities Matter

Published on March 11, 2021

by Rachna Grewal

It’s almost summertime, and everyone is looking forward to putting their feet up. But kids as young as Grade 9 are thinking ahead, using this time to explore their interests and planning for life after high school – in other words, COLLEGE.

College is more than just about attending classes; it is also about becoming part of a larger community. To make that community vibrant, admissions officers are looking to recruit students who are multidimensional and bring more than just their academic acumen to campus. The holistic application review process considers what you do outside of the classroom and how you have developed other defining facets of your personality. 

Extra Curricular Activities 

Most middle and high schoolers have calendars packed with after-school programs to boost their profile. While a list of these activities will fill up the resume, remember that colleges are looking for depth instead of breadth. Participating in a multitude of activities may not necessarily add value to your application. It is always better to demonstrate your ability to go deep by showing sustained engagement in one or two areas of interest. 

A student of Visual Art went beyond the usual skill-building classes and signed up for an apprenticeship with a local artist. She also made the most of any opportunities to exhibit her art. Taking her talent forward as a tool to give back to society, this young girl developed a “Feelings Through Art” module. She implemented this module while volunteering at an orphanage, where the activity was followed by discussions about the emotions underlying their art. 

Beyond grades and talent, your interactions with the world reflects who you are as an individual. Caring for the environment or creating opportunities for the differently-abled are examples of activities that communicate values that guide your actions. Those who contribute to their “community” – a term that can be interpreted in many different ways, through time and effort showcase their ability to respect diversity, be empathetic, and be motivated.

Super Curricular Activities

On the other end of the spectrum are the “super curricular” activities, which include any effort to build on school-based learning and taking forward one’s academic interests outside of the classroom. 

A high schooler engaging in independent or guided research communicates a willingness to take initiative and apply knowledge in a new setting which can be a differentiating factor. Such exploration helps nurture one’s innate curiosity and teach critical skills of sifting through and organizing information. The word “research” sounds daunting to most, but there is help for those seeking it. Reach out to organizations like Lumiere Education and  Inomi Prep Labs  who provide guidance through their high school mentorship program.

Internships, online courses (especially those that give college credit) are excellent opportunities to gain valuable experience and show interest in an academic area. Check out summer programs at leading universities in the US and UK and further your subject knowledge.

While all higher education institutes globally are looking for academically-inclined students, such pursuits are crucial especially for applicants to the UK.

The UCAS personal statement or the “Why Major” supplemental essay for universities globally becomes compelling when supported by evidence of super curricular activities, indicating one’s commitment to the course of study indicated. 

Planning your extra – and super curricular activities well is a chance to make what you enjoy count on the college application. So, get going – on the sports field or the stage, in the lab or the design studio, working with the youth or the elderly, or finding innovative solutions to make the world a better place. Develop your activities in an all-encompassing way and add another dimension to your story.

Find those breaks in your calendar and fill them with activities that excite you, and provide a mirror into who you really are!

Need some guidance on how to plan your activities? Look no further,  connect  with us and get ON PO!NT.