Non-Traditional Extracurriculars: Defy Today’s Standards

By Wiener Douyon, CollegeFindMe intern and freshman at Colby College

You’re not the standard person, so why appear as one?

For those who like to defy and be the oddball, you are the real trendsetters. You are more than what meets the eye. So, let’s make sure that colleges can see that with this list of peculiar extracurriculars (heh, like that rhyme? Try saying it like a mad scientist!)

Think outside the box

Before, I give you examples, think of what you are interested in. Anything qualifies to be an extracurricular as long as you display commitment and it’s something that is rooted in your identity. There is nothing wrong with listing pet-sitting as an extracurricular. If you love pets, put it down on your college app! I can guarantee you that the more non-traditional you get, the more outstanding you make yourself against other candidates.

Here are a few unique activities that may interest you:

Culture Clubs

Now more than ever, colleges value students involved in promoting diversity and culture. Whether it is through traditional dances or games, clubs will build community and demonstrate your passion for learning about other cultures. 

Examples include Anime Club, Cricket Club, Egyptian Mythology Club, Tango Club and others.


Government agencies/ STEM organizations

Working for the government and/or a STEM organization will distinguish you from the average high schooler. Also, these experiences will be beneficial to have while finding employment in the future.

Here are examples of possible agencies and organizations:

  • Nature reserve/ historical site
  • Local aquarium
  • Local zoo
  • A pharmaceutical company
  • A bioengineer company

Girl Scouts or Big Brothers Big Sisters programs

Being involved in an activity that you have devoted many years to will display passion and commitment. These traits will make you seem more qualified to handle an environment where many clubs are in need of committed members.

Dual Enrollment

Taking dual enrollment classes at a local college would be a jewel in your profile. This will demonstrate that you have the skills to juggle multiple activities while excelling in college-level coursework. Also, you can use those credits to get ahead and clear out some of the general education courses. You are telling colleges you are qualified.

A Semester Abroad

While this option is more on the expensive side, to be able to learn in another country is an experience only a few can talk about. If you have the opportunity, I recommend you seize it.

From one oddball to another, make sure you stay true to yourself. If your interests differ from others – that’s a good thing! You will not only stand out to your community, but also to college admissions.