"Will this get me in?" That's one big question that high school students ask themselves as they consider activities to prepare for college. Though seemingly straightforward, the question is a misguided one. Approaching college applications from such a perspective can result, at best, in pursuing opportunities you are not even remotely interested in and gain nothing from, and at worst, being burned out before you even get to college.
What you may want to do instead is intentionally pursue jobs that align with your curiosity. As challenging as it may be, think beyond the paycheck and the resume. In recent years, many colleges have become test-optional and are putting heavier weight on other factors, including application essays and interviews, two aspects many applicants struggle with. A job will not only complement your academic performance, but it could also help you collect stories that grab admission officers' attention for the right reasons.