We hear this question often—many times from students who have come to view the college application process as an exercise in spinning themselves into something they think a college wants, rather than an opportunity to exhibit who they really are and where their interests lie.

The temptation to “amass” a long list of activities won’t help you get into the college of your choice. College admission officers are interested in reading and seeing meaningful engagement from students in what they do outside of school. They are quite capable of distinguishing between the student who does “stuff” just because and the student who does “stuff” because they love what they do.

Here is a short list on how to find an activity that shines a light on what you love.

1. Be yourself. Colleges are looking for students that bring a variety of perspectives to their campus.  If you’re not interested in sports, student council, or some other typical extracurricular activity, don’t worry. Colleges are just as inter...

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