Colleges are looking for interesting students who have passion and are accomplished. Authenticity is key. Do what you love and take it in many directions. Of course, if you can win competitions, solo in concerts, and get elected to leadership positions, that all counts. However, there are even more ways you can “deepen your hook,” by looking for opportunities to apply your expertise.
For example, the horseback rider who not only competes but also finds paid work in a barn caring for horses, volunteers at a horse rescue program and organizes “pony birthday parties,” has a more impressive story to tell. The possibilities are endless – shadow a horse veterinarian, work in a horse apparel store and groom at a horseshow.
Keep in mind the “two I’s” – initiative and impact. Take the initiative to seek out opportunities, such as writing and submitting a piece to the town newspaper on “Finding the Best Riding Lessons.” Activities that have impact provide a positive effect to many people, and are highly valued by college admissions officers. For instance, our equestrian could start a therapeutic riding program for handicapped children in her local area. With such a complete resume, demonstrating her dedication, this horseback rider would be very credible applying to college as a pre-veterinary student who plans to join the college equestrian team, assuming she has the academic profile.
So, what is your passion and where will you take it? Don’t do activities “just for college;” choose what you enjoy, pursue it on many levels, and have a great time!