The College Application – The Activity List
Think long and hard about your passions outside of school. Some examples of hobbies that should definitely be included are mountain climbing, sport fishing, collecting (stamps, coins, or anything else), stargazing, hiking, cooking, baking, or anything else that brings out a different side of you. Listing (with a brief explanation of the depth of your involvement) your hobbies and side pursuits is a good way to round out your activity list as well as shed some light on what you are really interested in besides school.
The activity list is one of the most crucial parts of the whole application because it establishes the student’s talents, passions, interest level, and impact on his or her local community. The key is depth and breadth, not length. It is far better to have a few passionate interests than scores of low-level “joiner” activities. It should be a forum for briefly explaining any nontraditional or unusual activities, interests, hobbies, work experience, or anything else that takes place outside of the school day. Admissions officers are looking for high-impact students, students who will become very involved in their future college’s campus life and who will be able to influence and lead those around them. They are also looking for extraordinary talent. Think of the activity list as your chance to have a twenty-minute conversation directly with an admissions officer to explain everything you do that is important to you. For those activities that are unusual, you’ll need to give detailed explanations to make clear what your involvement was. The activity list is crucial for students who have significant activities that take place outside of their immediate school environment.