16 DEC 2020
University admissions have changed a lot in the past couple of years. It used to be the case that students with top grades and good standardized test scores would get admitted to the top universities. However, now universities look for well-rounded students who demonstrate interests and skills outside the classroom as well. This is where extracurricular activities and leadership positions come into play. These activities help demonstrate who you are outside the classroom and in your community.
By definition, extracurricular activities are activities that are “pursued in addition to the normal course of study”. When it comes to your college applications, though, extracurriculars are a bit more complex than this — they require a consistent time commitment, a degree of responsibility and initiative, and in the best cases, a level of leadership not demonstrated in the classroom.
Examples can include things like taking an online course in coding, starting a podcast, or even starting a business! It does not matter how big or small your activity is – it is important that it shows your dedication to the interest you are pursuing and how it impacts the wider community.
Learning at CGA
An extracurricular activity helps you pursue your interests or passions outside the classroom. Maybe you love art or music, then joining a club can help you meet other people with similar interests and help widen your understanding of the subject matter.
Some studies suggest that pursuing an activity outside the classroom can help your brain function and in turn, improve your grades in school. Sports can also help you stay physically fit and improve your overall health.
Participating in an activity outside your classroom or school can help you meet people from different backgrounds with similar interests. At CGA we have students from over 25 countries and our clubs have a wide variety of perspectives thanks to this diversity.
Most extracurricular activities are not structured like classroom material. That means students have to set their own path to understanding and maximizing their time with clubs. This provides you with essential real world skills like time management, team work, problem solving and communication. These are vital when you enter college!
It is virtually impossible to get into a top US or UK university without a good set of extracurriculars. Most universities want to see consistent involvement in your activity and a progressive build in your responsibilities within clubs. So it is important to start early and plan your activities in advance.
Crimson Global Academy offers a wide range of activities for our students to participate in outside the classroom and display their leadership and community skills.
There are two types of extracurricular activities – school-led clubs and student-led clubs. School-led clubs are more like classes and are taught by a teacher with a course plan for the duration of the year. At the moment we offer six school-led clubs that students can join for a nominal monthly fee. These clubs can help students learn more about a skill while participating in projects that can be included on their high school resumes.
Learn more about our school-led clubs:
If you are interested in learning more about any of these issues while developing a project or product, then the school-led clubs are for you. For example, students in the Investment Club work on a portfolio, while they develop video games in the 3D Game Development Club.
A student-led club is a place where students with similar interests come together. These clubs are free for CGA students to join or propose and provide a great place to meet your peers from around the world. We have everything from a school newspaper to an Economics Society as well as a Dance club. If you have a particular area of interest, but there is no club for it, you can even propose and set one up.
For those students looking for a more real-world experience, CGA also offers online internships. Students work with companies like HSBC, Uber, PwC, Dentons Law and KPMG to understand what a career pathway looks like. These internships provide a great opportunity for students to explore a particular field while working with mentors and building their networks for future success. Further, being online, the internships are available to students anywhere in the world.
And finally, for those students who are interested in computer science and want to advance their coding knowledge, CGA offers a variety of coding classes. Built by Duke and Stanford graduates, Crimson Code offers short, live, project-based coding courses. These courses instill a passion for technology, preparing students for university and employment in the tech industry.
Extracurricular activities are an integral part of your high school experience. Besides boosting your admissions profile, they help you pursue your interests while discovering things not covered in a classroom. They are extremely vital to your university applications and it is important to build them up over time to show consistency. It is important to start early and invest your time in a shorter list of activities that demonstrate progressive responsibility, rather than dabbling in too many clubs for short periods of time.