Written By Amanda Jameson, People Person Tutor For Enhanced Prep
When it comes to developing extracurriculars for college applications, it can seem like folks who are into more “traditional” activities often have the upper-hand. We’ve all heard inspiring narratives around sports, volunteering, and traveling abroad, and it can seem like those are the only types of personal stories that colleges want to hear about. For those of us interested in more inward-facing activities—reading, writing, watching movies, roleplaying, or playing games of the video- or even board- varieties—developing one of those traditional extracurricular activities just to satisfy a college can seem unsatisfying, to say the least. But you don’t have to try to fit in just to get in. Colleges absolutely like folks who are interested in more inward-facing activities –and they’ll like those qualities even more when you share them with the world.
One of the traits colleges are looking for is the ability to look beyond yourself and participate in your community at large. An easy way? Find a local non-profit organization that you support, and find a way to raise money for it by doing something you love. Into video games? Fundraise for an organization while you do your Twitch livestreams. Don’t want to be limited to just video games? Participate in Extra Life, a yearly gaming-of-all-sorts marathon that helps you raise money for your local Children’s Miracle Network hospital. Like to read? Find adults in your life willing to pledge a dollar for every book you read in a year, then give the money to charity. Whatever you love to do, you can find a way to make it financially benefit your community.
That said, colleges aren’t only looking for you to give back monetarily. Contributing to the sum of human knowledge is important, too. If you like writing, you can keep a blog about a subject you’re interested in, fact or fiction, and add to it every other week. More interested in journalism? Research topics that are frequently in the news, then submit opinion pieces to your local paper. If you’re a film buff, start releasing YouTube or audio reviews of the films you love or hate the most, then discuss in depth why you feel that way. If you’re a reader with a radio-worthy voice, consider contributing to public domain audiobook repositories such as LibriVox. As long as you demonstrate that you’re dedicated by making consistent contributions, colleges will love to see what you’re passionate about.
So whether it’s playing sports yourself or scoring in NBA 2K; volunteering in person with an organization or volunteering your writing; traveling to another country for a week or to Westeros for five books, you’ve got what it takes to get a college’s attention. Colleges are looking for applicants with passion who can also follow-through—and that includes those of us with inward-facing hobbies, too.
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