Ask high school students what "well-rounded" means, and they're likely to tell you that it's a person with a very long list of clubs under the "activities" column on a college application. But being well-rounded has a lot less to do with numbers, and a lot more to do with balance - balancing school and activities, balancing service and studying.
A college admissions counselor once told me that on a college application, she'd rather see a list of three extracurricular activities a student devoted time to throughout high school than a list of 15 different activities that changed with every new school year.
A well-rounded student learns a whole lot more than just how to impress the admissions counselors. Extracurricular activities teach students valuable time-management skills, something every college student, and every adult, needs. Students also learn more about the subjects they're studying when they get involved in some activities - students in the Spanish club learn more about the culture and language, students who work on the high school paper can apply what they've learned about writing, page layout and photography. Many extracurricular activities also teach students teamwork. Team sports, 4-H and student council are all activities that teach students how to get along in group settings - that's something that everyone needs to be able to do.