Applying to college is equal parts exciting and nerve-wracking. You’ve worked hard in school, achieved good grades and prepared yourself to take on the challenge of a two- or four-year degree, or perhaps a technical school.
But what about your application will set you apart from other high school seniors applying to college? One answer might be volunteer service.
Volunteering as a high school student can be beneficial in the college application process. Whether you’ve been accepted to college or are in the early phase of filling out paperwork, don’t be afraid to showcase your volunteer work for several reasons.
Volunteerism demonstrates work ethic. Schools don’t want to recruit lazy, unmotivated students. Instead, they want the best and the brightest—those driven to be successful and to represent themselves and their chosen school well.
Volunteerism shows concern for others. College is all about collaboration, learning new ideas from peers and bringing fresh insights to the table as well. If you work well with others, chances are good your volunteer service reflects this fact.
Volunteerism illustrates you can spend time wisely. Going to school full time requires a bit of a juggling act, particularly if you plan to hold a part-time job or participate in extracurricular activities such as a sport, a fraternity or a sorority. Active volunteerism as a high school student shows you successfully helped out in your community while attending your classes and doing your homework.
Volunteerism reveals your attention to detail. Perhaps your volunteer coordinator put you in charge of a special project or relied on you for specialized technical knowledge to operate computer software or equipment. Your skills as a volunteer might be skills you’ll use during college and in your career, so you should be sure to make a special note of these experiences on your application.
Volunteerism highlights your vision. Most volunteers aren’t fair-weather participants. They’re in it for the long haul. If you’ve volunteered for years or plan to continue being active as a volunteer, make sure your college admissions office is aware of this. They can help connect you to organizations at your chosen school that will help you pursue this goal.
There’s no doubt your experience as a volunteer can prove beneficial during the college admissions process. Spotlight your work, stay humble and be prepared to connect and grow with new opportunities as you work toward your degree.