In the competitive world of college admissions, standing out from the crowd is crucial. One effective way for high school students to distinguish themselves is by cultivating a unique hobby or skill. This approach not only showcases their individuality but also highlights their dedication and passion, qualities that colleges highly value.

Developing a unique hobby or skill demonstrates a student’s ability to commit to and excel in an area of interest. It could be anything from mastering a musical instrument, engaging in a less popular sport, exploring an unconventional art form, to programming innovative software. These pursuits reflect a student’s personality and creativity, offering a glimpse into who they are beyond grades and test scores.

Moreover, a unique hobby or skill can be a talking point in college essays and interviews. It provides a narrative that can captivate admissions officers, allowing the student to present a memorable and authentic image of themselves. This personal story can resonate more profoundly than standard extracurriculars, setting the student apart in a pool of applicants.

For parents, supporting your child in their unique pursuits means more than just acknowledging their interests. It involves providing resources, time and encouragement. It’s about nurturing their passion and recognizing the value it adds to their personal and academic growth. Encouraging exploration and celebrating their achievements, no matter how niche the hobby might seem, can have a significant impact.

Cultivating a unique hobby or skill is about leveraging individuality. It allows students to present themselves as well-rounded, passionate individuals to college admissions committees. In a process where every edge counts, a distinctive skill or hobby can be the factor that tips the scales in a student’s favor.

About the author
Marc Zawel

As author of Untangling the Ivy League, Marc literally wrote the book on gaining admission to highly selective colleges. He earned a BA from Cornell University – where he met AcceptU’s co-founder – and an MBA from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Marc chaired the admissions advisory board; he has also conducted alumni interviews for Cornell for more than fifteen years.

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