If you’re a freshman or sophomore in high school, it’s important to think ahead to what your extracurricular involvements might be like by senior year. Colleges like to see that you’ve been consistently involved in extracurricular activities, and that you can demonstrate progressive leadership experience.
This doesn’t mean that you have to be President or Secretary of a club or organization. That isn’t always possible. However, leadership comes in many forms, and the more interested you are in what you’re involved in, the more likely you’ll be able to take on a leadership role within that group.
For starters, taking on a leadership role shows that you’re, well…a leader. And that’s a good thing! Being a leader enables you to show that your peers look to you for guidance, that you can take on significant responsibility, that you can conceive and implement ideas, and that you can take on a task or assignment and bring it to fruition. These kinds of qualities are precisely what college admissions officers are looking for as they select potential students.
In order to set yourself up for a leadership position by the time you get to junior or senior year, it’s important to start planning now. If you’re involved in any clubs or organizations, you’re most likely to get a leadership position by junior or senior year if you stick with some of your current involvements. You don’t have to continue with all of your activities, just the ones that you enjoy the most and are most fulfilling for you. Besides, the more you enjoy your extracurricular activities, the more likely it is that you’ll want a leadership position later on.
Remember…leadership positions are usually given to those students who have proven themselves through their involvement with a group or organization over time. The longer you stay with something, the more knowledgeable, skilled, and visible you will become in the group. These qualities will help you gain the trust of other members and advisors, which, in turn, will make them more likely to elect or appoint you to a leadership position.
Leadership in high school is important not only because of the benefits in the college application process, but also because it will help you become a better student and community member in college. In order to set yourself up for leadership by the time you get to senior year, start thinking about your extracurricular involvements now.