College application tips: the importance of extracurricular activities

Watch this video for more information about college application tips and the importance of extracurricular activities from Upper School Director and educator Robert K. Cooke, MEd.
College application tips: the importance of extracurricular activities | Kids in the House
KidsInTheHouse the Ultimate Parenting Resource
Kids in the House Tour

College application tips: the importance of extracurricular activities

Comment
19
Like
19
Transcription: 
The question of what extracurricular activities kids should be involved in is an interesting one, because there are really sort of a couple of ways to look at it. One of those is from the college admissions perspectives. Colleges 20 years ago talked a lot about wanting to admit well-rounded students. Colleges don't talk about that nearly as much anymore. Colleges much more now are talking about well-rounded classes of students. So what they're looking for are once they have the entire class built of all 400 or 4K incoming freshmen, that that group has a wide diversity of interests, of abilities, so that as a whole it's going to make college a really interesting and fulfilling place for kids. When you're looking therefore at your own child, it's not as important that they be doing 20 activities and that they be doing them all extraordinarily well. What I think is important is that your child have 1-2 things that they do and that they do passionately. That they find a niche and that they really follow that. So they do 3, maybe 4 years at the high school level. And it can be community service. It can be a sport. Or it can be working a job. On and on. It's not a bad idea to have some service component in that, because colleges do like to see that our children care about others. But beyond that, it's not so important what it is that they're doing as long as they're doing things. Colleges love to see kids who are involved in the life of their high school because then they're confident that those students when they come to college will be involved in the life of the college as well. And that's really what they want. They want a vibrant student body that is going to make the 4 years there really exciting and interesting and enjoyable for kids. The other thing to remember about extracurricular activities is that you're helping your child find things that they love to do. So if they love to play a sport or they love to sing or they love to do service or they love to work, we want to encourage those things in our kids. High school should be a time of joy and exploration. It shouldn't just be about building a resume for college. Find a few things. Help your kid find a few things that they love to do. And hopefully they can do those for the rest of their lives.

Watch this video for more information about college application tips and the importance of extracurricular activities from Upper School Director and educator Robert K. Cooke, MEd.

Transcript

Expert Bio

More from Expert

Robert K. Cooke, MEd

Upper School Director

Robert has been in K-12 education for thirty years; for sixteen years he was a high school history and social studies teacher, teaching subjects such as AP US History, Western Civilization, World History, Economics, and Anthropology. His school administrative career has been equally varied, serving as Director of Activities at a large public high school, and a Middle School Director and Upper School Director at independent (private) schools in the Midwest and California. Robert earned his Bachelor's Degree in History from Carleton College, and his Master's in Education from Claremont Graduate University. He is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS), and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD). Robert has served on school accreditation teams in the Midwest and California. He has two children, one of whom is an acting and English Literature double major at a large urban university on the East Coast, while the other is a high school junior in Los Angeles.

 

More Parenting Videos from Robert K. Cooke, MEd >
Enter your email to
download & subscribe
to our newsletter