Universities do not look for “all-rounders” per se, but people who have great passion and have the ability to make a change with that passion. On that account, it is best to participate in the activities that you love. This will help you benefit from the experience and stay on it for a long time.
When taking in students, universities want students who have something to offer to the college as well, who can add value to their name, be it with their opinions, initiatives, or their passion. They do not necessarily look for people who can do “everything”, but they look for people who have the ability to take initiative, lead and have the passion to make a change.
This is why your profile building is one of the most important factors that have an impact on your selection into a college. There are various ways of building an impressive profile, and participating in extracurricular activities may just be the best one. In fact, they are so important that there is a separate section for activities in the Common App. They don’t just fill up your resume, but being a part of various activities can teach you a number of lessons for life.
One thing that you need to keep in mind is that the number of activities and high school projects does not matter as much as the depth and your reason for doing them does. Another important point you need to keep in mind is that it is not the activity that matters to them, but what your role in it was and what you learned from it. Here is a list of some extracurricular activities that will help you develop a good profile and an assertive personality.
One of the most important qualities that colleges look for is the ability to lead. Being a part of the student body or student council of your school is one of the best ways to demonstrate your leadership skills. Important roles that you play in school help you develop a sense of responsibility from a young age. Being the head boy or girl, the captain of a house or the president of a club really gives you an experience that can prove to be useful in life, especially when it comes to leading your own team for a project or initiative.
Courses and workshops outside of your syllabus
Thirst for knowledge and experience is what makes people grow. Doing courses outside of your syllabus represents your curiosity and want to learn more. Other than that, they help you know about things outside of your knowledge, grow your perspective, and become more creative. Seeing different things from different points of view can help you form informed opinions and let others gain the same knowledge. The type of courses you take up also to some extent represents the type of person you are and what kind of things interest you.
Being a part of the debate club or even regularly participating in various debate-related competitions or activities shows that you are constantly in touch with current affairs. They improve oracy and make you confident enough to speak out. Debates help you gain knowledge from people with different opinions, on topics other than your academic syllabus. So, they also make you open to listening to and understanding other people’s opinions. If all of these weren’t enough, participating in debates also enhances your analytical skills, way of presenting your points, ability to take the conversation forward, and the presence of your mind.
Any form of art
A quality that can never be limited is creativity. Every field, every project, and every assignment need some creativity to be better, different, and efficient. If you are involved with or trained in any form of art, like creative arts, music, dance, writing, or performing art, chances are that you have a really creative mind and can put forward interesting ideas and approach mundane tasks differently. Art forms tend to enhance your creativity, open your minds, and help you look at things in a different way. These qualities will further enhance life on campus, which is a plus for the college. Other than that, students good at any art can represent the college in various intercollegiate and even national level competitions and add value to the college.
As mentioned earlier, universities look for people who can make a change. Only people who truly care are capable of making such a change for the better. Any type of community service or volunteer work shows that you care. Most colleges think it is a must-have for the students they select. Community service does not just mean working for an NGO, but volunteering for any programs, or even using any of your talents to help someone in need gives you an edge.
Your participation and achievement in sports represent your teamwork, leadership skills, and fitness. Your performance in sports can also help represent the college in competitions and tournaments and adds value to the college. Sports achievements can also help you get scholarships and get aided by various programs.