Students have a variety of options to complement their college application in the area of extra curricular activities. They can find a hobby, start a business or volunteer. Some states require high school students to complete a number of community service hours to graduate. Volunteering has its benefits even when it's not required. High school students can give back to their communities and diversify their resume for college applications. They also get an inside look into potential career paths through service learning. As the holiday season approaches there are many opportunities to donate time and goods for the less fortunate families. These experiences benefit the community and make students appear to be well-rounded applicants.
Student should be able to use their academics and extracurricular community service to create a clear, picture for their admissions officers about who they are and what they want out of life. Volunteering can also give students a reality perspective of working day-to-day in a specific job. That exposure helps students determine if they're going the right direction and narrow their focus if they are considering multiple careers. If you want to be a doctor go work in a hospital. If you want to be a teacher try being a camp counselor.
Career focused community service also prevents students from wasting time and money in college preparing for a career they won't enjoy. Better to find out early. Volunteering as a junior and senior in high school can help one choose a career. If you're considering becoming a teacher, working as a camp counselor and providing the social and emotional support for youngsters will give you the experience working with children that can determine if this field is for you.
The website DoSomething.org can help students find fun and engaging community service options. If that doesn't work a student can pick up the phone or email local entities such as museums, law offices, businesses, hospitals, sport facilities, music stations, zoos and vet clinics for volunteer opportunities. Schools may also have information on local businesses that need help. Students can also answer guidance counselors for advice on finding opportunities that match their interests.
The best advice is to do one heavy community service for at least 2 to 3 years. It doesn't look good if a student hops between unrelated short-term opportunities, as it looks immature and superficial. Volunteering at a business may not seem as altruistic as feeding the poor or working at a shelter, but experts say that focusing on career interests can encourage students to give back even after college applications are submitted.