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Extra Curriculars aren’t really extra

Updated: Sep 10, 2022

Colleges have positioned themselves to be the ultimate nightclub bouncer like we’ve seen in the movies. They control who gets in and who does not. There is no shortage of students waiting outside in the cold hoping to be chosen. How do you get their attention and get picked instead of the person standing next to you?

Academic achievements are important, make no mistake about it. They are the starting place for sorting applicants into the 'Worthy' and 'Unworthy' piles. The challenge is that there are more applicants who meet the academic requirements than there are spots. Just meeting the requirements is often not enough to get you into a competitive university. You need to stand out.

Colleges want to fill their seats with students who have shown achievement in the classroom AND with students that will make their campus an interesting, dynamic and inspiring place. The extracurriculars are all the things you do outside of the classroom. They are what make you an individual. An individual that will make their campus a more interesting, dynamic and inspiring place.

Unfortunately, the fall of your Senior year is too late to quickly become interesting. The best extra curricular is one that is one that you are authentically passionate about. Learning an instrument in hopes of a scholarship is an empty pursuit that probably won't bring you much joy. Playing in a band and writing music with your friends will be a rewarding experience no matter what the outcome.

Some extracurriculars to consider include: sports, music, community service, camps, internships, work experiences, political activism, religious study, academic teams, technological skills, travel or anything else that you are passionate about. Do you like thrifting? River rafting? Playing MahJong? Ultimate Frisbee? Reading murder mysteries? Creating TikTok videos? Any combination of your interests help tell the story of who you are and what is important to you, and THAT is what universities want to know.

At Next Level College Application we can help you figure out what activities make you happy and make you stand out to your prospective universities. We take the time to get to know you and what you are all about in order to help you show your potential universities who you are. Meet with a counselor today and see how we can help you.

Or email us at to see how might be able to help you make your application the best it can be.

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