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If you’re interested in becoming a writer or an athlete, it’s usually easier to find a school activity to meet your needs and list on your college applications. How about if you want to become a fashion designer or chef? Your options may seem limited, but with a little extra work you can still pursue your passion. Following your interests can also be adjusted to fit any budget. Many of the following options are especially helpful if you attend a high school that doesn’t offer many, or any, after school activities such as an online program.

Here are five ideas to make any passion ready for college applications:

Start An After School Club

If your school is lacking an activity related to interest, starting your own club seems to be the most common option. Creating a club helps you express your passion and show colleges your leadership skills. If you’ve found a staff member to be an advisor and enough students with similar interests, most club ideas are doable. Recruiting club members can be one of the hardest parts of getting a club running, but start by inviting your friends to join. If there’s already a club similar to your interest, such as your school has a newspaper but you want to create a literary magazine, ask if you can celebrate with the existing club.

Create Your Own Website Or Blog

You’re hoping to be accepted to a college’s fashion design program, but your high school has no classes or clubs related to fashion. Creating your own website or blog is an easy way to show off your outfit of the day and have a new activity to list. Nowadays you can create your own website or blog in a matter of minutes. There are free and paid options, so you don’t have to spend a ton of money to get started. Keep your language and images appropriate if you are planning to list your blog on applications. Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want a college admissions counselor or future employers to see. It may seem like everyone has a blog now, but put time and effort into yours to make it college app worthy.

Take A Class

Taking a class will give you a new skill to list on your college applications and resume. Ask local community centers if they offer classes or check if your school district has a community education program where classes are offered during non-school hours. Whether you’re interested in jewelry making, dance, or computer programming there is a class for you. If you’re more interested in dance forms such as ballet or hip hop instead of joining a school sport team, search for local dance studios.

Attend A Summer Program

Contact colleges to see if they offer any summer programs for high school students in your area of interest. Aside from getting a taste of college life, some programs will grant you actual college credit. Don’t turn down this idea just because you think it will be costly. Even if a program appears to not offer financial aid, it doesn’t hurt to inquire if it’s a program you serious about attending. Programs like these can also help you make contacts for when it’s time to apply to college.

Volunteer

Volunteering is also a great way to pursue your passions while also giving back to the community. If you’re eager to gain experience in fundraising or marketing, ask to help with a local charity’s gala. Hope to become a teacher someday? Volunteer with an after school program. Organizations will be grateful for your help, and they will likely be willing to give you tasks related to your interests.

Don’t give up on your passions just because you think they are untraditional. College want to see your authentic self. Your unique interests will help your college application stand out and stick in the mind of admissions counselors.



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the author

Cara Claflin is a senior who attends a public school in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Even though she plans to stay in Minnesota, attending college in a state that doesn’t have snowstorms in May is starting to sound appealing. She hopes to double major in journalism and marketing. Cara loves helping high school students make the most of all the resources available to them. At school, she is an editor for her school’s newspaper and takes part in a leadership group. When she has some free time, she enjoys dancing, listening to music, reading, and watching music and dance competition reality shows.

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