what can count as activities on the commonapp?

for example, our school doesn’t offer a foreign language course, so purely out of curiosity i started learning french by myself, and pretty much stuck through it. I feel like this activity is important to me, and showcases my curiosity and eagerness/drive to learn what interests me, but I feel like its kind of… childish and not meaningful.
same with things like hobbies like reading books and sketching?
so what exactly counts as an activity?

other things im doing: trying to learn html and other stuff on codeacademy, also digital art with krita.

I would not count reading books. That’s more of a hobby and lots of people do it. There’s no skill involved.

Art probably counts, especially if you’ve submitted to any contests or competitions.

what about learning french? @bodangles

It would probably be more interesting if it were woven in with an appreciation some other aspect of French culture - e.g. cooking or cinema. Learning French on its own - ehhh. Bottom line, you’re an international applicant, so the odds are already much worse for you. An activity which basically comes off as an extension of the school day is not that special. Few schools are looking to fill their classes with applicants who want to do little but curl up in a corner by themselves with a book.

So your activities can be anything you spend time on after school. But if all the activities are things you do in your room, you don’t come across as someone who will be active on campus.

Things you do in school (clubs, teams), or in the community (through Y, church or religious organizations, scouts, city, library, etc) should fill a number of spots.

@skieurope i also watch french cinema, but its not like i co-founded some french movie club or sth… The culture actively interests me, that’s all… So i guess its a no then, eh?

@douxrien If learning French is important to you, go ahead and put it down. Be yourself and try not to worry so much about what colleges think. Some people have truly cool hobbies and that stands out a bit, but putting down studying French versus keeping a sketch book or some other hobby is not going to make or break anyone’s application.

As you can see there is a difference of opinion on this issue on CC. IMO things that you do in your room alone are not EC activities but are hobbies. Colleges seek out people who are involved with others in their school and community because they want to admit students who they expect will be involved in campus life. So the trick is using your interests and what you have learned in your room and making it tie into others in your school/community. You can do something like start a French culture club at school or in a retirement community, starting a book club, getting involved in art/drawing activities at school.