Compiling an Activities List

Most colleges and universities are extremely interested in how students spend their time outside of the classroom. Applications generally include sections asking students to describe some or all of the following:

  • Honors and Distinction
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Community Service
  • Work Experience/Internships

Students should focus on activities and honors that occur during the high school years.  Some students are very active in school sponsored activities. Others are more involved in organizations outside of school. Personal hobbies such as equestrian pursuits, martial arts, or competitive chess may also be included.

Some schools may require a resume. Here are some additional guidelines that students should keep in mind:

  • Lists should be neatly presented and easy to read.
  • Features that students are most proud should generally be placed at the top of the page.
  • Items within a category may be listed chronologically or in order of importance.
  • Students should include approximate hours of participation and the grade level during which they participated.
  • Most activities lists should only be one page. Two page lists are only recommended for students who have a substantial number of meaningful items to include.
  • Students should avoid using acronyms; however, if they cannot be avoided, make sure to explain what the letters mean.
  • Local awards and organizations are not likely to known by the reader, so students should be sure to provide a description.
  • Creativity is fine, but students should avoid “cute”-ness.