College Transfer Q&A: What Extracurricular Activities Should I Do? – Part 2

This is part two of an article by Vince Lauer.  Here, Vince gives advice on selecting and engaging in extracurricular activities in a way that makes the most sense for students looking to transfer to another college. In Part 1, he left off with discussing the first step, which is to start early.  Now, to continue with the other steps.

2. Follow through:

Once you have engaged in your first activity, run with it and look for similar activities to participate in. As you advance in your studies, try to also move up to leadership positions in the same clubs. Transfer admission committees like to see that you have stuck with an activity throughout your first (and second) year of college and have moved up the ranks to higher, more senior positions. Again, consistency is key.

3. Minimize distractions:

Your time is precious. While maintaining great grades that will be imperative to your transfer applications, you will not have time to participate in every extracurricular activity on campus. Once you have decided on a theme, it will be important not to get caught up in activities that do not fit in with the rest. Resist the temptation to participate in activities that your friends are in or those that are simply for fun.

4. Connect your theme with the rest of your transfer application:

You’ve put in the effort to create a theme that is consistent with your passion. Now make sure your hard work pays off and your theme shines through in your application.

Your theme should be obvious from your personal statement—in your Common App main “why transfer” essay, in your college-specific essay, or both depending on how you’re organizing your information within your application. Discuss why you are passionate about the topic and how it has made you grow. Most importantly, discuss how you plan to bring your passion to the college you will transfer to. For example, if your theme is writing, mention that you plan to create a newsletter at the university (only if you truly intend to). Given your strong history and experience at your current institution, you will have a lot to contribute to your new college, and the personal statement is the place to tell the admissions committee how you plan to do it.

To recap, now is the time to think about what your application theme will be. Select your extracurriculars carefully to continuously build on your theme and avoid distractions. Admissions committees like to see that applicants have a strong and consistent strand of achievements and interests they can bring to their institution. It will give you the push you need to stand out in the transfer applicant pool. Good luck!

What questions do you have about extracurricular activities?

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