50 Awesome Extracurricular Activities You Can Do At Home

As the coronavirus pandemic requires many schools to shut down for the remainder of the school year, students may be wondering how they can keep up with their extracurricular activities. Not only are extracurriculars important for demonstrating your passions and talents, but they also help you stay busy—which can be hard to do when you’re home all day. 


Luckily, you can still participate in extracurriculars while you’re at home—you just need to be more creative. To give you some ideas, we’ve rounded up 50 self-driven activities you can do from the comfort of your own home. Many are even ones you can continue once you return to school!


What Are Self-Driven Activities?


Essentially, any activity you take the initiative to do outside of an organized activity qualifies as a self-driven activity. For every organized activity, there’s almost certainly a self-driven counterpart. Take cross country and track for instance, which are organized sports. As a self-driven alternative, you could train for local 5ks on your own, or even longer distances like half-marathons (or, you could do both the organized and self-driven versions!). 


These self-motivated extracurriculars are especially valuable from a college admission standpoint, because they show initiative and independence on your part. Self-driven activities also allow you to pursue an interest however deeply you wish, since you’re the one deciding what to do next. 


50 Awesome Extracurricular Activities You Can Do At Home




1. Continue your school clubs and extracurriculars virtually (if possible) via Skype or Zoom meetings.

2. Create or revise club materials, such as a training handbook.

3. Take an online course.

4. Connect with a native language speaker virtually and learn a new language.

5. Start a small business.

6. Create a proposal for a new club.

7. Prepare for an academic competition.

8. Apply to part-time jobs or internships.




9. Tutor or teach a class via Skype or Zoom.

10. Start a YouTube channel to teach specific academic concepts, like math, science, or foreign languages.

11. Peer edit essays on Google Docs, or through CollegeVine’s Peer Essay review.

12. Start a language discussion group.

13. Create and share study materials like flashcards or exam review sheets.




14. Build a computer.

15. Learn a programming language (teach yourself or take a course via Coursera, Codeacademy, or another platform).

16. Teach yourself a program like Adobe Creative Cloud.

17. Create your own website.

18. Teach a family member how to use a technological device.


Digital Media/Literature


19. Self-publish a book.

20. Start a blog.

21. Write a story, essay, or article and submit it for publication.

22. Continue writing for your school newspaper or literary journal.

23. Start a YouTube channel.

24. Start a virtual workshop.

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Visual and Performing Arts


25. Work on an animation project.

26. Create a painting, sculpture, or other work of art.

27. Sell products on Etsy.

28. Practice monologues or scripts with a buddy via Skype.

29. Write a short play.

30. Learn how to play an instrument.

31. Start a virtual art feedback group.


Community Service


32. Mentor a younger student virtually.

33. Start an online fundraiser for a charitable cause. 

34. Create marketing materials for a charitable organization.

35. Write a proposal for a community garden or other initiative.

36. Volunteer virtually using apps like Be My Eyes, which connects blind people with those who can see to help them do daily tasks like go grocery shopping, find the right remote button, or pick the right color shirt.




37. Raise money for a local candidate.

38. Phonebank for a campaign.

39. Creating marketing materials for a campaign.

40. Create a virtual campaign to run for student office.

41. Write and circulate a petition to change a school policy.




42. Conduct independent research through surveys, interviews, and experiments you can do from home.

43. Build solar panels for your home.

44. Create your own compost area in your backyard, or plant a garden.

45. Look into remote volunteering opportunities at a local hospital or nursing home, such as video chatting with patients and residents.

46. Assist a local clinic virtually (e.g. with paperwork, scheduling, document translation etc.).




47. Train for a marathon or half-marathon (and run an official one when it’s safe to do so).

48. Start a virtual run/walk for a charitable cause.

49. Devise sports team bonding activities you can do virtually, like core or cardio workouts via Zoom.

50. Create a newsletter or YouTube channel with healthy eating tips or home workouts.


How Will Admissions Officers Evaluate Self-Driven Activities?


Try to make your self-driven activities as quantifiable as possible to help admissions officers evaluate them. For example, if you start a blog or website, track metrics like click-through rates (CTR) and unique visitors. Or, if you teach a class virtually, note the number of participants and scores you received on course evaluations.


Your activities are also more likely to impress the admissions committee if they have an intellectual lens. That doesn’t mean your club needs to focus on Russian literature (although if that’s your cup of tea, go for it!); it just means you should try to take an intellectual angle on something you already enjoy. For instance, if you’re planning on starting a blog with beauty tips, you might include posts on the history of makeup or beauty trends in different cultures.


Typically, admissions officers break down extracurricular activities into four tiers, with Tier 1 representing the most unique activities that demonstrate exceptional achievement (usually at the national level), and Tier 4 representing the most common or frequently-seen activities (at the local level). It’s somewhat difficult to “rank” self-driven activities according to this model, but ultimately, the more unique an activity is, the more likely you are to stand out. 


Just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean you can’t continue to pursue your passions and boost your college admissions profile. This list is only a starting point—if you come up with another idea where you can flex your creative and intellectual muscles, by all means, go for it!


Other posts that might be helpful:

How is Coronavirus Impacting High School Extracurriculars?

How to Improve Your Extracurriculars Junior and Senior Year


How do your extracurricular activities and academic profile measure up? Using CollegeVine’s admissions calculator, you’ll find out your chances of getting into your dream school and how to improve your odds. The best part? It’s completely free! Sign up for your CollegeVine account today to get a boost on your college journey.

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine
Senior Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she majored in Creative Writing and minored in History. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She dreams of having a dog.