Life outside the classroomSure, life in school is pretty darn interesting. You've got algebraic equations, bunson burners, sentence diagrams... But chances are, you've got pursuits beyond school, too. Maybe you play in a band, are on a sports team, or do volunteer work.
Colleges careThe good news is that colleges pay attention to your life inside and outside the classroom. Yes, your academics probably come first, but your activities reveal a great deal about you, such as:
- What your non-academic interests are.
- Whether you can manage your time and priorities.
- Whether you can maintain a long-term commitment.
- What diversity you'd bring to the student body.
- How you've made a meaningful contribution to something.
Haven't gotten involved yet?Lots of school, community, and religious organizations give you chances to explore your interests and talents. If you haven't felt drawn into something yet, there's no shortage of opportunities. For example:
School activitiesIt's pretty easy to find out about activities available at school. Sometimes the challenge is figuring out how much to do. Here are some quick tips:
- Most importantly, find something you like to do, and stick with it. Quality is more important than quantity.
- If you can handle it, try to excel in more than one area. For example, write for the paper and do volunteer work.
- Don't worry about being president, or captain. The key is whether you've done something significant, center stage or behind the scenes.
Work experienceWork experience -- paid or volunteer, year-round or summer -- can help you identify career interests and goals, gain work experience, and apply classroom learning to the real world. It's also a great way to earn money for college, of course. Consider arranging for an internship or to shadow someone at his or her job.
Community serviceYou can also gain skills and experience through volunteer work, such as by tutoring elementary school kids or spending time at a local hospital. Some schools even offer academic credit for volunteer work.
Reference: The College Board
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