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Last updated March 5, 2023

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How to Organically Find your Extracurricular Interests

Key Takeaway

Your extracurriculars have the ability to make or break your application. It may seem like you need to sign up for all the extracurriculars you can, but there's a better approachfinding authentic extracurriculars that build upon your overall application narrative. In this post, we show you how to do just that. 

If you’re a first-year or sophomore, you might be getting anxious about building a resume.

You might be looking around and saying, “What gives—these people seem to have such a sense of purpose and direction, but I don’t have any.”

If that sounds like you—if you feel like you barely know how to start thinking about “doing stuff to impress colleges,” take a breath.

Truth is, no one had a crystal-clear sense of their interests when they were in their first year of high school. Honestly, most of the seniors we talk to, even the ones with the sparkly resumes, don’t know how long they’re going to stick with most of the stuff they’ve been doing the past four years.

So it’s OK to not know how you’re going to impress schools in 2-3 years. Our advice? Start with your most basic interests.

Like music? Great, start there. Pick up an instrument, or start blogging about your favorite bands, join the school orchestra.

Like making money? Sell lemonade! OK, maybe that’s more of a middle-school vibe. Have a go at building a simple product and selling it through a Squarespace site.

Start anywhere, and don’t worry if your idea is “impressive enough.”

And, of course, there are so many different things that “count” in both life and college admissions. Teach kids how to rock climb, help refugees learn English, build a website for your local library.

Start with your interests. Treat high school as a time to organically discover and grow into things you like doing.

When you’re ready, you can start thinking about how to “level up” your extracurriculars. But for now, take a breath and get interested.

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