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Journey from Clueless to Williams, post 3 of 3: Extracurriculars and SAT


Replies to: Journey from Clueless to Williams, post 3 of 3: Extracurriculars and SAT

  • suzy100suzy100 Registered User Posts: 5,589 Senior Member
    "The "clueless" applicant also spent a great deal of time & resources on college application activities that probably left little time for much else in the way of ECs. Essentially the college search & application process was this young man's primary EC." Confused. Where is this coming from? I think the point of the post is that the OP's child did indeed spend lots of time on ECs, but they were ECs he did because he liked them.

    Anyway, my takeaway was just that you can have "average" ECs and still be admitted to highly selective schools. That's it. No hidden agenda.
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 6,217 Senior Member
    edited November 2018
    Well, you can "have average ECs", if you are a legacy & apply ED and are otherwise qualified.
  • TheGreyKingTheGreyKing Forum Champion Williams College Posts: 1,951 Forum Champion
    edited November 2018
    Thanks for the kinder words.

    I had chosen what I thought was a cute title for a three-part thread about the whole long experience from first beginning to search for a college through the wonderful moment when the college of your choice accepts you. I did not intend all the nuances of “clueless” that Publisher read into it. Nor did anything in the thread imply my son never thought about colleges and was randomly accepted. To the contrary, it described the whole long process and all the thought that went into it.

    I felt strongly about letting my kid be a kid and not putting pressure on him when it came to extracurriculars, but rather letting him do his own thing, whatever that was. And I feel passionate about encouraging other applicants and their parents to enjoy the high school experience. That is what this third part was meant to do- to reassure all those applicants who say things like, “I am not president of anything, does that mean I do not stand a chance,” or “I have done X activity for years and I love it, but should I drop it and do Y, which I like less but may look better on my resume,” or who hear those posters who tell them they have no chance at a top college because they have no state or national level awards/accomplishments. My point was, doing what you enjoy does not doom you.

    My kid may have had a leg up as a legacy, but many more legacies are rejected than accepted. So his whole application mattered, and discussing his actions during the college search and application process can still be helpful to others.

    And no, the college search certainly was not his main EC! It took much less time than his studying for his classes and his EC involvements. He had some nice, meaningful ECs that he enjoyed. He approached the college process with the same careful research and thought he puts into everything.

    Encouraging people not to make every high school decision with an eye on the prize of elite college admissions is a far cry from telling people never to study or not to get involved in any extracurricular activities, neither of which describes either what my son did or what I think others should do.

    Let’s move on, since I think all of us agree the goal is to help other applicants, not to talk about me.
  • mbjq10mbjq10 Registered User Posts: 18 Junior Member
    Well, I agree there probably wasn't a lot of "cluelessness" involved with this family, but I admire a Williams grad who did not push his kid his whole life saying, "You need to do x,y,z in you want to get into Williams!!" I agree with having a well-rounded approach. My son has played varsity football and baseball throughout high school and participated in Unified Basketball and rec basketball in offseason, so his grades are not perfect. He has won significant leadership and citizenship awards for his community service efforts as well. Despite a heavy schedule of 5 AP and14 honors classes, he has done pretty well; enough for Ivies or Williams? Maybe not. What I do know is that the work ethic necessary to do what he has done trumps sheer academic talent in the real world; in addition he has learned cooperation, embraced passion, and become a team player. He has already had a few acceptances and scholarship offers to decent schools, and I am sure will attend a competitive college and have a successful career.
    We get way too caught up on defining our kids by numbers instead of character....perhaps this is a lot of what the GreyKing was trying to say, Williams or not.
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