Involvement: The 1st Step to College Admission

As a freshman in high school you don’t want to be thinking about college yet. You want to focus on getting accustomed to the layout of the school, making friends, getting homework done, and having a social life. While that’s really what you want to do, you can do those things and improve your chances of college admission in one fell swoop. I know, it sounds crazy, but what you do in high school does affect how you look on a college application.

Your first step: Involvement.

You’ve heard it once, you’ll hear it until you finally stop going to school, and you’ll probably even hear it after that, getting involved is extremely important. By joining a club, choir, sport, organization, society, or anything that’s extracurricular you’re adding more to your college application. It never looks bad to have one, two, three, or even more activities listed beside your GPA. While grades are important (some schools have minimums to be accepted), it can boost your image to have these activities listed alongside whatever that ends up being.

You’re also giving yourself experience and events in your high school career to talk about. A college application sounds much more interesting when mentioning overcoming your fear of going on stage, or making the final play to help your team win the game, than just an essay about going to class and taking notes. Even if you don’t get to write about those exciting things on the essays, you’ll be able to talk about them for the rest of your life. In job interviews I still love talking about all the fun, inspirational things I did in high school.

Now, not even thinking about college applications, you’ll get to do a lot more when you get involved in high school. You’ll meet more people, you’ll make more plans, and you’ll probably go on more outings. I went to four Illinois State Theatre Festivals, one international festival in Nebraska, and three leadership conferences just by being involved in my theatre troupe. We even had a chance to go to Scotland. Marching bands and choirs make trips for competitions as well, so even if you aren’t a super athlete, you can still go places. A lot of my friends were in language honor societies and went to other countries to study the language and culture. These activities will get you involved in not only a high school environment, but the world as a whole.

By doing these activities you’ll gain more experience in life and skills to list. There’s a lot more to get out of high school than just some friends and a grade point average. These activities you will remember for the rest of your life and you’ll be much more impressive on paper. Who knows, you might even find a new passion that you never thought you had before.

While it might be intimidating, check out those introductory meetings to clubs, join one or two, go to some of them, and don’t feel like they’ll force you to commit for four years. See what you like and find the one, two, or three to really get involved in. Then you can have fun, make friends, and be involved at school all while making yourself look better on a future college application.

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Mollie Diedrich

Mollie Diedrich

Mollie Diedrich is a senior creative writing major at DePaul University. She is minoring in journalism and aspires to be the next big food writer. Her love of writing propels all she does from her food blog to online magazine articles. When she isn’t writing, she’s probably baking. She has a ferocious sweet tooth and adores cupcakes of all shapes and sizes.