Extracurricular Activities That Look Good For University

Extracurricular Activities That Look Good For University
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Sometimes, the journey to university can feel like an all-academic maze with no clear path. But the good news is that there’s a fun option to explore: extracurricular activities that look good for university.

These aren’t just any hobbies. They’re your ticket to standing out in the crowded admissions space. Extracurricular activities showcase your ability to manage time effectively, pursue your interests, and contribute to your community.

So, in this article, we’ll explore these activities, guiding you toward extracurricular activities to achieve your academic dreams.

Extracurricular Activities

Extracurricular activities are activities that students participate in outside of their regular academic coursework. These activities can encompass a wide range of interests and pursuits, including sports, clubs, volunteer work, arts and culture, leadership roles, and more.

The key characteristic of extracurricular activities is that they are typically voluntary and are not part of the formal curriculum. Students engage in these activities because they have a genuine interest in them or to enhance their skills, personal development, and social interactions.

Extracurricular activities play a crucial role in shaping a well-rounded individual and are often considered when applying to universities or pursuing future career opportunities.

Read also: 10 Reasons & Benefits of Volunteer Work for Students

Is It Extra Curricular or Extracurricular?

The correct term is “extracurricular,” not “extra curricular.” The distinction lies in the word’s origin and its application in the educational context.

“Extracurricular” combines the Latin prefix “extra” (meaning “outside of”) with “curriculum” (referring to the formal academic course of study). When combined, it signifies activities that occur outside the regular academic curriculum. These activities are voluntary, providing students with opportunities to explore their interests, develop new skills, and engage in various social and personal development experiences.

Using “extracurricular” instead of “extra curricular” is essential for precision and clarity in communication, aligning with the established terminology used in educational institutions worldwide. It helps distinguish activities that are supplementary to formal education from those that are part of the core curriculum.

What Extracurricular Activities Do I Need?

The specific extracurricular activities you need can vary depending on your personal interests, goals, and the universities or colleges you’re applying to. However, there are some general categories and qualities to consider:

  • Academic Activities: Participate in clubs or competitions related to your academic interests. This demonstrates dedication to your field of study.
  • Leadership Roles: Assume leadership positions in clubs or organizations. This showcases your ability to take initiative and work collaboratively.
  • Community Service: Engage in volunteer work to show your commitment to making a positive impact on your community.
  • Sports and Athletics: Participating in sports highlights your teamwork, discipline, and dedication to physical fitness.
  • Arts and Creative Pursuits: Join art, music, drama, or writing clubs to showcase your creative talents and express your unique personality.
  • Internships and Work Experience: Gain practical experience in your desired field through internships or part-time jobs.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: Be part of clubs or activities that promote diversity and inclusion, demonstrating your commitment to these values.

Also, read: What is Work Placement, and How Can it Help Your Career?

Do I Get Extra Credits for Extracurricular Activities?

Participating in extracurricular activities typically doesn’t result in extra credits toward your academic courses or grades in the traditional sense. These activities are separate from your formal academic curriculum and are not directly tied to your GPA or transcript.

However, extracurricular activities can have a significant impact on your overall profile when applying to universities. Admissions committees often value them because they demonstrate a well-rounded individual with diverse interests, leadership skills, and a commitment to personal growth and community engagement.

While they don’t earn you academic credits, they can help you stand out in the competitive admissions process and potentially qualify you for scholarships, grants, or special programs based on your achievements and involvement outside the classroom.

Why Engage in Extracurricular Activities?

Engaging in extracurricular activities offers a multitude of benefits that extend beyond the classroom. Firstly, they provide opportunities for personal growth and skill development. By participating in clubs, sports, or organizations, individuals can cultivate leadership, teamwork, time management, and communication skills. These real-world experiences contribute to a well-rounded skill set that is invaluable in both academic and professional settings.

Moreover, extracurricular activities allow individuals to explore their passions and interests. Whether it’s joining a science club, a debate team, or an art class, these activities provide a platform to pursue what genuinely excites and motivates you. This exploration can lead to a deeper understanding of one’s interests and potentially influence future career choices.

Furthermore, extracurricular involvement fosters social connections and a sense of belonging. It provides an opportunity to meet like-minded peers, make friends, and build a supportive community. These social connections can enhance one’s overall well-being and mental health.

Finally, and importantly, participation in extracurricular activities can positively impact college and job applications. Admissions committees and employers often value a well-rounded applicant who demonstrates commitment, leadership, and a willingness to go beyond academic requirements.

These activities can be a distinguishing factor in competitive selection processes, opening doors to scholarships, internships, and career opportunities.

Which Extracurricular Activities Look Good For University?

Several extracurricular activities can significantly enhance your university application. Here are seven types of extracurricular activities that look good for university:

Academic Clubs and Competitions:

Joining clubs related to your academic interests, such as science, math, or debate teams, not only demonstrates your passion for learning but also your ability to think critically, work in a team, and solve complex problems. Competing in academic competitions showcases your dedication to excelling in your chosen field.

Leadership Roles:

Holding leadership positions in clubs, student government, or other organizations highlights your capacity to take charge, motivate others, and manage projects effectively. These experiences provide tangible evidence of your leadership skills, which can be invaluable in a university setting.

Community Service and Volunteering:

Universities highly value students who are actively engaged in their communities. Volunteering shows your commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of others and the broader society, demonstrating empathy, civic responsibility, and a sense of social awareness.

Sports and Athletics:

Participating in sports or physical fitness activities not only promotes a healthy lifestyle but also teaches teamwork, discipline, time management, and resilience. These attributes are valuable in university life, where collaboration and balance are crucial.

Arts and Creative Pursuits:

Involvement in art, music, theater, or writing clubs allows you to showcase your creative talents and express your unique perspective. These activities reveal your ability to think creatively, work collaboratively on projects, and communicate effectively through various artistic mediums.

Internships and Work Experience:

Practical experience gained through internships, part-time jobs, or research positions in your chosen field provides a real-world perspective that can enrich your academic pursuits. It also demonstrates your readiness for the professional world and your understanding of the practical applications of your studies.

Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives:

In an increasingly diverse world, universities appreciate students who actively engage with and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. Participation in clubs, organizations, or projects focused on these issues demonstrates your commitment to fostering a more inclusive community and your capacity for empathy and social responsibility.

Read Also: Do Universities Know If They Are Your Firm Choice?

What Colleges Value Extracurricular Activities the Most?

Colleges and universities vary in their emphasis on extracurricular activities in the admissions process, but some institutions are well-known for placing a significant value on these experiences. Here are five colleges that are generally recognized for valuing extracurricular activities:

Stanford University:

Stanford is renowned for its holistic admissions process, where extracurricular involvement plays a crucial role. They seek students who not only excel academically but also actively engage in their communities and demonstrate a commitment to making a positive impact.

Harvard University:

Harvard looks for well-rounded individuals who have excelled not only in academics but also in extracurricular activities. They appreciate applicants who have made meaningful contributions to their school or community.

Princeton University:

Princeton is known for its interest in students who demonstrate a passion for learning both inside and outside the classroom. They value applicants who have participated in extracurricular activities that align with their interests and talents.

Yale University:

Yale places a strong emphasis on character and engagement with the broader community. They seek students who are not only academically strong but also actively involved in leadership, service, and cultural pursuits.

Dartmouth College:

Dartmouth College values applicants who are not only intellectually curious but also actively engaged in extracurricular activities that align with their interests. They look for students who will contribute to the vibrant campus community.

FAQs – Extracurricular Activities That Look Good For University

What sports look best on a college application?

Sports that demonstrate leadership, teamwork, dedication, and excellence tend to look best on a college application. These may include varsity or club sports, particularly if you’ve earned awards or held leadership positions.

Which extracurricular activities look best for Ivy League?

Ivy League schools value a diverse range of extracurricular activities, with an emphasis on leadership, community service, research, and academic pursuits. Quality of involvement and personal passion are key factors.

What extracurricular activities should I do for Oxford?

Oxford University, prioritizes academic excellence and intellectual pursuits. Engage in research, academic clubs, debates, or international competitions. Demonstrate a deep passion for your field of study and qualities like critical thinking and curiosity.


Extracurricular activities are more than just resume boosters; they are transformative experiences that shape character, skills, and a sense of purpose. Whether you aim for prestigious universities or personal growth, the commitment, passion, and leadership you invest in these activities can open doors to a brighter future.



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