For a high schooler thinking about going to college, the process of applying to colleges, visiting those colleges, getting the last SAT or ACT test under their belt, and writing those essays to send to prospective colleges can be daunting, especially if this is the first time for them and their parents.
To attend some colleges and/or universities, the SAT or ACT scores matter. School grades do matter as well. The scores they get reflect whether they are capable students, able to meet deadlines and able to work with other peers. The extracurricular activities show the college admissions office who they are and what they are interested in pursuing. That’s why it is so important to choose extracurricular activities that really speak to them.
If you are thinking about signing your freshmen son or daughter in every extracurricular activity you can think of, think again. An undergraduate admissions officer at Yale University, warns parents that your son and daughter should do the extracurricular activities they enjoy, NOT what they think looks good on paper.
Five factors to consider when signing up for an extracurricular activity at their school or in their community:
- Do an extracurricular activity they enjoy
- Do NOT choose an activity because everyone else is doing it
- Do an activity that they can be good at or have a talent to do
- Do NOT try to outguessed the college admissions office to see what activities they are looking for
- Sign for an activity that will teach them about the person they are, or at least try to find out what it is they are good at
If your son or daughter enjoys volunteering, this Christmas season is a great time to start. Volunteering at your church, at a homeless shelter, or volunteering for the Red Cross is a great first step.
Volunteering at their local animal shelter can bring them many enjoyable surprises. Working with animals can teach them responsibility, and hopefully a work ethic they may not get anywhere else.
How can you get started? Depending on what kind of activities you prefer, the school bulletin board or announcements board at your school can be a great start. Check your local Girl or Boy Scouts of America, your local community theatre, animal shelter, Red Cross or YMCA.
Some local libraries can use the help of young volunteers for after-school reading programs to help small kids, check with them and find out if they are in need of more volunteers.
How about volunteering in retirement homes? There are many senior citizens that enjoy having a young person help them with their electronics or just enjoy a conversation. Talk about the latest book you read or what you did at school. Conversation is sometimes all they need to have a good day.
Need any more ideas? Why don’t you check this link to find out whether you want to do some volunteering this year? I hope you think about it and decide you do have the time and willingness to do something.