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Unique Extracurricular Activities You Can Do in High School

This post is from a student, parent, or professional contributor. The opinions expressed by the author are their own and do not necessarily reflect the positions, viewpoints, or policies of Niche.

Woman standing on a ladder in a yellow and red shirt. She paints a black and white mural.

In need of a resume-booster, money-maker, or boredom-curer? These extracurriculars are for you!

I’m not talking about your typical sports club, drama society, or debate club. The following activities are as unique as you are, and they are sure to give you something to talk about while leaving a good impression on admissions counselors.

Do you excel in a particular subject? Peer tutoring is a great resume-builder!

You can help your fellow students understand the subject better while building key skills that will add to any resume and translate to your collegiate experience.

Tutoring can typically be done through your school or through hire if you choose. You can set your own hours and help someone in return. 

Are you a humanitarian? Great!

Volunteering is a great route for you to make a difference while boosting your experience. See if there are local clubs you can participate in (Rotary, Key Club, Habitat for Humanity, etc. are all fantastic options) or offer to help out around your local community.

If you know what field you want to work in after college, offer to shadow or work as an assistant to someone in the field! This can be done either virtually or in-person, and it gives you valuable insight into the area and direct work experience. This is major for someone going into college.

You can also offer to help out with a company or organization in the industry and take whatever experience is available to you.

For my music business majors: help at local venues, reach out to merchandise teams/bands and managers, and start applying for online programs like street teams (I highly recommend Fan to Band and Jonas Group Media!) and college music programs (all of the majors have them as well as UTA, Culture Fusion Agency, and many more!). 

Have a few free hours a week? This is the route for you!

Enroll in MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) or a mentorship program. These programs give you direct connections to people you need to know who may be able to help you further down the line, provide you with resources, and inform you on what you need to know to be successful.

Top companies and universities have these available online, with many being offered at a low cost or completely free for students (such as Google’s certificate programs).

How To Make Your Extracurriculars Stand Out

Social media savvy? Start your own business or run social media accounts for small businesses near you!

You can negotiate a starting rate or offer your services for free, or start an Instagram or Etsy shop. Another route would be to market yourself as a micro-influencer and start doing paid campaigns while earning free products.

There are tons of TikToks on how to get started, but a first step is to create a media kit, followed by sending pitches to brands (the brands that DM you to collaborate for free shipping are scams – you should never have to pay for anything to collaborate with a reputable company!).

These skills can directly translate to future employment opportunities as they show you’re an entrepreneur, social media manager, and know how to run a successful business and use social media platforms and tools. Familiarize yourself with SEO and hashtag optimization (bonus if you have a certificate in the field)!

There are incredible opportunities for growing your online presence from Snapchat Spotlight to LinkedIn. If Instagram isn’t for you, try TikTok, YouTube, or even Pinterest. If you run any sort of update account or fan page as well (any platform you’ve amassed followers on), be sure to include it.

Aspiring journalist or blogger? Start writing for an online publication!

I started writing for HerCampus.com my sophomore year of high school and have continued with them ever since. There are so many opportunities to get involved in journalism communities, and you have the freedom to write about whatever you want!

HerCampus has millions of readers every month, so it’s a great space to have your articles be seen and put your voice out there. Starting an ongoing blog about whatever you’re passionate about is a definite resume boost.

If you’re more interested in audio, join a radio club or start a podcast! Another up-and-coming option would be to host a weekly room on Clubhouse. You can have special guests join you for conversations and build a following. 

Thinking of going into the arts? Apply to summer intensive programs!

I attended the California State Summer School for the Arts (CSSSA) at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in Southern California and it provided me with connections and opportunities that I’m incredibly grateful for to this day. While the program primarily admits California residents, there are spots for students from other states or countries.

Check with art schools near you on what programs are available, or attend one virtually. These programs have everything from design and fine art to visual art, theatre, creative writing, and 2-D/3-D animation.

Love sports?  Try something new!

I know, I know, I said I wouldn’t include sports, but here are some less common options you could consider joining: rowing (it’s what I did throughout high school!), ping pong, badminton, skateboarding, yoga, Quidditch, frisbee, pickleball, cricket, flag football, bowling, and archery.

If these aren’t available near you, consider making your own club with a few friends.

 

If you don’t know what you want to do in the future, learn programs with translatable skills, such as editing softwares like Adobe Creative Suite, coding programs, or data tools like Tableau! People with these skills are always in demand for jobs, and it will help set you apart and make you an ideal candidate.

You can learn how to create marketing campaigns, build a company or brand, and learn both digital and technical skills that will put you ahead.

 

I hope these activities gave you some inspiration for activities you can do outside of  traditional ones we may be more familiar with. Don’t choose activities because you think they’ll impress admissions officers; participate in what you enjoy! Colleges love to see passion and commitment to activities that you find meaningful.

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Author: Sierra Warshawsky

Cece is a college student pursuing a degree in social media management, public relations, marketing, and branding. She hopes to one day work in the entertainment industry in the field and she enjoys spending time with friends, traveling, cooking, and listening to true crime podcasts.