How Teachers Can Help You Strengthen Your Extracurriculars
This article was written based on the information and opinions presented by Sophie Alina in a CollegeVine livestream. You can watch the full livestream for more info.
- Finding Extracurricular Activities
- Strengthening Your Extracurricular Activities
- Find a Club Sponsor
Finding Extracurricular Activities
When you apply to college, after your GPA and ACT or SAT score, your extracurriculars are the next part of your application. Your high school teachers can be incredibly helpful in developing your extracurriculars. As a student, you might not be aware of all the extracurricular activities that exist at your school, but your teachers who sponsor activities and connect with other teachers will have a strong sense of the opportunities available to you.
For example, if you are a student interested in engineering, a teacher might suggest that you connect with another faculty member who sponsors the engineering club at your school. Through that conversation, you can gain access to an opportunity to develop your engineering interests and become the strongest applicant possible to the engineering schools that you plan to apply to.
Strengthening Your Extracurricular Activities
Your teacher can also help you strengthen your extracurricular involvement. For example, Sophie shared an anecdote in which her former student approached her for advice about an environmental sustainability club that she was involved in. The student was interested in taking more of a leadership role in this club but she didn’t know how to do that given that all the board member positions were already filled.
Sophie suggested that the student take initiative and create a speaker series for the club, and she connected the student with her friend who had studied sustainability in college. After this conversation, the student connected with Sophie’s friend and was able to take more of a leadership role in that club by successfully launching a speaker series. Sophie also noted that this was a great topic to have included in a letter of recommendation as it shows the student’s initiative even though their club leadership position was not official.
Find a Club Sponsor
As you consider extracurricular activity options at your school, keep in mind that you can also create a new club and find a teacher to sponsor it. Some of your teachers, especially those that are new, may not be involved with a club yet but might be interested in sponsoring one. If you are considering starting a club and finding a sponsor, keep in mind that―like you―your teachers are busy, and it is important for you to be organized and driven when it comes to your club.
Sophie shared an example from her first years of teaching when she sponsored her school’s mock trial club. She was interested in developing a mock trial team because she wanted her students to develop a stronger sense of advocacy and learn how to speak publicly. With her help, her students put on a mock murder trial, connected lawyers from her network, and even made it to the state mock trial competition. Ultimately, her students were able to share their experience with mock trials on their college applications, highlighting their interest in law and policy.