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What are Non-Traditional Teen Activities?

Assume a group a college applicants have similar:

  1. GPAs
  2. standardized test scores
  3. and high school course loads

but participate in different "Extracurricular Activities" that could be categorized as Typical or Non-Typical Teen Activities.


TTA (Typical Teen Activities)

  • VP, Spanish Club
  • President, Student Government
  • Corresponding Secretary, Recycling Club
  • Jazz Ensemble member
  • Mathletes Competitor
  • Captain, Soccer Team
  • Chess Club Member
  • Book Club participant
  • School Tour Guide
  • Sales Clerk, Forever 21

NTTA (Non-Typical Teen Activities)

  • Founder, SlimeFest (World's Largest Slimemaking Convention)
  • Skateboard Artist and Instagram Influencer (250K followers)
  • Founder, Bird Scooter Services (maintenance, repair, charging)
  • Subject Matter Expert, 19th Century Military Leaders
  • Professional Nerf Gun Collector (350+ different Nerf weapons)
  • Khan Academy Expert (completed 750 unique learning modules)
  • TEDx Speaker (topic: the demise of local newspapers)
  • Airsoft Military Simulation World Games (Poznan, Poland)
  • Sponsored Escape Room Artist (40+ Escape Rooms solved)
  • Professional Garage Saler ($3K/weekend flipping garage sale items)

Which activities captured your attention? 
Which activities revealed more about the applicant?
Which activities would you ask about during an interview?
Which activities would raise an eyebrow "in committee"?
Which activities would you like to know more about?

The answer seems obvious.

Non-Typical Teen Activities (NTTAs) are far more engaging, fun, and thought-provoking than Typical Teen Activities (TTAs).

As your child navigates their way through high school, are they thinking about these types of distinctions? 

Or, are they blindly doing what everyone else is doing?

Who is mentoring them?

Well, if your child wants to differentiate themselves from the masses, they should do things that the masses aren't doing - especially if they aspire to highly-selective colleges, service academies, or ROTC programs.

For a more in-depth look at this topic, check out my blog post on how to Audit your Child's Extracurricular Activities.

As you know, my goal is to expose students (and their families) to these types of insights on a weekly basis inside PrepWell Academy.

Not every lesson will stick, but seeding these ideas during a student's formative years is invaluable.

When are these seeds planted? Freshman and Sophomore Year

When is it too late? Junior and Senior Year

I can't begin to relate the number of students and parents who say, "I wish I would have known this 2 or 3 years ago...".

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Author: PrepWell Academy's Founder, Phil Black, has spent a lifetime cracking the code on the world's most competitive programs: Yale University, Harvard Business School, Navy SEALs, Goldman Sachs, Entrepreneurship, Shark Tank, etc.

Inside PrepWell Academy, Black teaches students everything they need to know about the college admissions process in a series of expertly-timed, 3-5-minute, weekly training videos starting in 9th grade and continuing through 12th grade [Note: this program can only be joined in 9th or 10th grade]. My specialties include military service academies, ROTC scholarships, Ivy League, and student-athletes.

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