Resources › For Students and Parents Can Rubik's Cube and Other Quirky Passions Get You Into College? Learn to Think Broadly and Creatively about Your Extracurricular Activities Share Flipboard Email Print Turn Yourself Into a Strong College Applicant Introduction A Solid Academic Record What's a Good Academic Record? High Grades vs. Challenging Classes Understanding Weighted GPAs Required Courses High School Course Requirements Foreign Language Requirements High School Science Requirements High School Math Requirements Standardized Test Scores What Colleges Consider Good SAT Scores What Colleges Consider Good ACT Scores How to Get Into a Good College With Low SAT Scores How to Get Into a Good College With Low ACT Scores Advanced Placement vs. International Baccalaureate A Comparison of IB and AP What Is an IB School? 6 Reasons to Take AP Classes What's a Good Advanced Placement Test Score? Extracurricular Activities What Counts as an Extracurricular Activity? The Best Extracurricular Activities Unusual Extracurricular Activities Work Experience and College Applications Summer Plans The Best Summer Plans for High School Students Summer Creative Writing Programs for High School Students Summer Engineering Programs for High School Students Summer Music Programs for High School Students Summer Science Programs for High School Students Summer Dance Programs for High School Students Summer Political Science Programs for High School Students Summer Leadership Programs for High School Students Andrew Spencer / Getty Images By Allen Grove College Admissions Expert Ph.D., English, University of Pennsylvania M.A., English, University of Pennsylvania B.S., Materials Science & Engineering and Literature, MIT Dr. Allen Grove is an Alfred University English professor and a college admissions expert with 20 years of experience helping students transition to college. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Allen Grove Updated February 01, 2020 Rubik's Cube may not seem to have much to do with college admissions, but anything an applicant is passionate about can be transformed into a winning piece of a college application. This article explores how Rubik's Cube and other quirky interests can become meaningful extracurricular activities. Key Takeaways: Unusual Extracurricular Activities Extracurricular activities can be almost anything you do outside of the classroom.To give it substance, turn a hobby into a club, an event, or a fundraiser. Whatever you love to do, do it well and become a leader when it comes to that activity. Avoiding Burn-Out in High School A high school student wrote in the college admissions forum that he was worried about his burn-out and his lack of extracurricular activities. He also mentioned his passion for Rubik's Cube. This combination of passion and burn-out gets to the heart of a good college application strategy. Far too many students join clubs, compete in sports, and play instruments because they feel these activities are essential for getting into college, not because they actually have any passion for these extracurricular activities. When you spend a lot of time doing something you don't love, you are likely to experience burn out. It's also likely you'll never excel since you aren't passionate about what you are doing. What Can Count as an Extracurricular Activity? College applicants should think broadly about what can be defined as an extracurricular activity (see What Counts as an Extracurricular Activity?). Not everyone can be or wants to be class president, drum major, or the lead in the school play. And the truth is, unusual extracurricular activities are going to make your application stand out more than membership in Chess Club and Debate Team (mind you, Chess Club and Debate Team are both fine extracurricular activities). So, getting back to the Rubik's Cube—can one's love of the Cube be classified as an extracurricular? If handled correctly, yes. No college will be impressed by the applicant who spends four hours a day sitting alone in a room playing with a puzzle, but consider something like this example: A student is really into cubing and decides to make a Cube Club at his school. He promotes the idea, finds other avid Cubers, and launches the club. Now he has an activity that can shine on his college application. He has taken charge, engaged his peers, and started something that enriches his school community. The applicant demonstrates leadership and organization skills by taking the initiative to transform his passion into something more than a solitary hobby. And note that leadership is key when it comes to the best extracurricular activities. An impressive extracurricular isn't defined by the activity itself, but by what the student accomplishes with the activity. The student could take this club one step further to accomplish the dual goals of getting into college and helping others—how about using the club to fundraise for a charity? Create a Rubik's Cube competition; collect donations; get sponsors; use the club to raise money and awareness for a worthy cause. The main point here isn't just about Rubik's Cube, but about extracurricular activities. The best college applicants remain true to their interests and passions. Think broadly and creatively about extracurriculars to figure out how to transform your passions into something meaningful that will be a pleasure for you, a benefit to others, and an impressive piece of your college application.