Enhancing your experience outside the classroom
By now, with freshman year behind you, you’ve likely experienced a lot of different extracurricular activities, such as school and/or personal activities, work experiences, and family responsibilities.
We think it’s great that you’ve tried lots of different ways to spend your time outside of school. And while it’s fun to be involved, it’s also important to focus on a few select activities that are meaningful to you. (Plus, you don’t want to overschedule yourself. Trying to do too much can be stressful instead of helpful.)
Now’s the time to become consistent, persistent, and reflective when it comes to your activities. So what does that mean?
Consistent: This means staying involved in an activity over a period of time. For example, you join the band in ninth grade and continue to participate throughout high school. This shows your commitment.
Persistent: This means challenging yourself to be your best – or sticking with something even when it’s hard. Back to the band example: You’ve not only stayed with this activity for several years, but you’ve also worked hard to earn a solo or the coveted first chair for your instrument. This shows your dedication.
Reflective: This means identifying the activities that are most important to you. You’ll want to choose ones that help you be the best you — and help you achieve your goal of getting into college. This shows your personal development.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- What did I like or enjoy the most? If you look forward to an activity, then it’s worth your time. If you look for excuses to miss an activity, then it’s probably not the right fit for you.
- What activities best reflect who I am? Whether it’s athletics, arts, or academics — or all three! — make sure you’re focusing on activities that showcase your skills.
- What academic subjects — or electives — do I find most interesting, and which of my activities build on that interest? If you know what you want to study in college, now’s the time to show colleges how serious you are about that topic, field, or subject.
- Do I want to participate in this activity in college — and beyond? If you want to continue with an activity (such as marching band, soccer, or student newspaper), be sure your list includes colleges that offer it.
And, by being consistent, persistent, and reflective, you’re laying the foundation for what you might participate in – or even major in – in college!
No matter what activities you decide to focus on — football, flute, or French Club — make sure they’re meaningful to you and bring out the best in you. And make sure you keep a detailed record of what you do and how often you do it in your MyCoalition Locker. Colleges — and you! — will be glad you did.