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  • Writer's pictureDina

Meaningful Extracurricular Activities & 50+ Examples

by Meilin Obinata


Many extracurricular activities can be “meaningful” if you can honestly say that you pursued the activity with a sense of purpose. As you choose what you will spend your time doing, think about what is motivating you to do what you do?


  • PASSION: The activity is about doing something that relates to what I already like to do

  • HELPING: I can offer my skills / resources or even teach/lead others

  • CONNECTING: I want to meet new people

  • LEARNING: I can develop new skills or knowledge


  • IMAGE: Choose it because of “looks good for college”

  • CONFORMITY: All my friends are doing it

The better the reasons you are choosing what you are doing, the more likely you will commit to the activity and grow as a person.


Family-Related - you might not consider these “extra” because your family might be asking you to take on these responsibilities. I am including these in here because colleges recognize the leadership characteristics inherent to these activities.

  • Caregiving for an Elderly / Unwell Relative

  • Caregiving for Younger Siblings

  • Working in the Family Business

School Service - these are some activities that you can carry out to help your school or fellow students.

  • Student Government

  • Teaching Assistant

  • Peer Tutor

  • AVID Tutor


  • Science Olympiad

  • AIME

  • AMC

  • VEX Robotics

  • First Robotics

  • Zero Robotics

  • School / Local Science Fair (participant, judge, etc.)

  • Synopsys Science Fair (preparation for)

  • Hackathons


  • Local Youth Orchestra

  • School Choir

  • School Marching Band

  • DIY Music Group

Public Speaking

  • Competing in DECA

  • Competing in FBLA

  • YMCA Youth in Government


Humanities & Culture

Many of the ones in this category are great candidates for starting up your own club, if one of these does not exist in your high school already, since they combine a personal passion / interest that your peers might share

  • Political Campaigning

  • Yearbook

  • School Newspaper

  • K-Drama Club

  • Bollywood Dance

  • Hip Hop Dance

  • Film Club

  • Local Community TV Channel

  • Book Club

  • Gender & Sexualities Alliance

Community Service & Causes

  • Local Youth Committee

  • Church Youth Group Leader

  • Habitat for Humanity

  • Amnesty International

  • Local homeless shelter

  • Local soup kitchen

  • Local animal shelter

  • Local battered womens’ shelter

  • Red Cross

  • Local hospital volunteering

  • Second Harvest

  • Leo Club

  • Boys & Girls Club

  • YMCA

  • Key Club


- these are especially great if you are a CAPTAIN or are performing at a very high level

  • School (Junior Varsity, Varsity, etc.)

  • Private League (if competitive)

Personal Wellness

- to counteract some of the pressure students face in high school, I’ve noticed that some students are starting up clubs or joining classes that help them de-stress

  • Yoga

  • Hiking

  • Frisbee

  • Meditation

If you have extra time in high school, that means you can take on an extracurricular activity! My recommendation is that you test them out to seek what you can truly commit to doing on a regular basis for as much of your high school career as possible. The deeper you go, the more you will have an opportunity to build skills, knowledge and maturity - all things that will help you truly grow.

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