Extracurricular activities tend to take the backseat when it comes to determining what could impress the local college you’re applying for. To most people, it’s all about the numbers-the GPA on your final year of high school, the test scores and how well you did in them, the SAT and AP exams, the matter of applying to a university consists of just flashing those numbers at them and hoping that yours is the highest.

Sure, extracurricular activities may not be as sought after as some of the other factors mentioned above, but they are more than capable of giving you a competitive edge in the application process-something which any potential university could use. You could do so much with extracurricular activities

  • Showcase your achievements to a university. Enhance your high grades with awards from quiz bowls, debates MUN and so on. Show them you have a fitness side with trophies won at sports clubs. Prove to them you’re committed to learning beyond the classroom.
  • Show them the value you provide to your community. Tell them of the food banks and the family shelters you worked in. Show them you care about others and contribute to your community.
  • Tell them more about yourself. These activities can tell the university who you are beyond your grades. The death sentence of any application is coming off as an average person.

With that in mind, here are some potential extracurricular activities you can pick up while still in high school to improve your university application. If you’re reading this while in university already, don’t worry-extracurricular activities on your CV gives you an edge on the job market and might impress the employers you submit it to, so engaging in these activities is still relevant to you.

Leadership Work and Positions

If there’s one thing that universities and employers alike at up, it’s leadership positions. The praise it gives out to them is evident-commitment to your interests and passions, ability to make a difference in your campus/workplace, great people skills and so on. In truth, the leadership position itself doesn’t matter. Eagle Scouts, Gold Award at the quiz bowl, captain of the football team, student council leader, editor of the local school newspaper, all of these say the same thing to the people you’re trying to impress-that you can take the lead and that you’re damn good at it.

Part-Time Job/Internship


High school, university, graduate programs, you’re in all of these institutions for one reason-so you can end up with a decent paying job. Showing whatever group of people you’re applying for that you already have prior experience in the workplace can go a long way to convince them of your usefulness-you’ve already had a taste of the working life and know what you’re doing. There’s two flavors to this:

  • Part-Time Job: This is for the high schoolers, the university students with free time on their hands, the graduates who still don’t know exactly what field they want to work in. It doesn’t really matter what type of job it is, just that you hold it down for a respectable amount of time.
  • Internships: This is for those who know what they want to study in and are dead-set on the path. They might be more intensive and not have the pay the part-time job promises, but the relevant internship can boost your chances of being applied to your dream program to the moon.

Academic Clubs and Teams

This is an obvious choice-you want to boast of your academic prowess to your university, then the academic clubs can help you with that. Activities like debate, chess club, model United Nations, and mock trial will go a long in showing that your interest in learning and knowledge is much more than just sitting at a desk and memorizing a bunch of factoids. You enter those activities, you’ll be proving to admission and the potential employers that you don’t see all the academic work as a chore or snorefest and that you genuinely enjoy your work-a good trait to show off.

Sports and Athletic Groups

This is the not so obvious choice-being the quarterback of your high school football team or scoring the slamdunk that won you the state basketball championship for your school may make for some cool stories but most people aren’t going to say that it’ll help you in a career as an accountant.

And yeah it won’t but think of all the other skills you’ll be showcasing by putting it on your application or CV-teamwork skills, working with others towards a collective goal and, if you managed to be captain of the team, leadership skills on top of all that. This is particularly useful for the high school student since most universities will be offering intramural, club, and varsity sports, so athletes are often able to keep pursuing what they enjoy at some level once they get to campus.

Volunteering and Community Service

The final item on this list, these kinds of activities showcase a vital point to your university or employer-that you have empathy and care about people. After all, what good are the skills you earnt and the job you work if you aren’t going to put them to use bettering your community? Showing that you partook in volunteering and community services, regardless of type, shows them that they can trust you to put your skills to benefitting your community and not just lining your own pockets with paper.

And there you have it-reasons why you should do extracurricular activities as well a few examples. And if some of you high schoolers reading this have already graduated and are on the lookout for more university related advice then be sure to check out Udrus.