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How to Impress Adcoms with your Extracurriculars

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Replies to: How to Impress Adcoms with your Extracurriculars

  • HowKuriousHowKurious Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    So what kind of extracurriculars would be best to have?
  • Dora123Dora123 Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    I think they like students to stand apart with some very unique qualities.
  • quiverfoxquiverfox Registered User Posts: 888 Member
    EC's should ideally vary from person to person and from one's chosen interest. It should be able to portray you as a person who enjoys life and takes everything out of it. I just finished with my college season and I learnt a lot in these 4-5 months.

    For example, if you are an ivy-league contender then you have to be strong over-all. Things like athletics and social service matter a lot to them( given that you have strong academics). And 1 crowd puller of an activity w.r.t your major. Though this activity may vary from person to person, it should be able to distinguish you from ANY crowd of 10(ivy acceptance rate) or 20(HYP :p). This is also true to all LAC's.

    however if you plan on STEM then its a whole new ball game. for the creme of the crop(MIT/Stanford etc) you only need 1/2 EC(s)...but a fabulous ones(nothing better than international medals). As for research, I frankly feel that unless you have done something like Intel/Siemens/Google you will NOT get the same importance in eyes of the adcoms. I guess this is not really their fault cause they have waay too many competitive applicants and its easier to Google up their names and projects with Intel/Google. However do try your luck :)

    Gus this is my take on this. You necessarily need not follow this, but this IS what I understood of it.
    [PS: essays about your EC's is a good idea :D)
  • yumterrachipsyumterrachips Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    I'm going to be applying to college soon and I was wondering how to make it seem like I'm not just a resume builder. I do a lot of extracurricular activities and I REALLY like all of them, but I don't have much depth so I don't want it to seem like I'm just doing them for resume padding. For example, I research for a university but no published paper yet, play piano but no prestigious awards (I'm going to a prestigious piano camp though?), do A LOT of math but only significant accomplishment is AIME qualifier, and participate in FBLA (president + multiple state wins). So, obviously it can be easy to look at me and be like "wow she's just trying to be decent at as many things as she can!" when rather the problem is that I like way too much stuff for me to have enough time to adequately dedicate enough time to become I don't know...great at it.
  • EEdegreeEEdegree Registered User Posts: 67 Junior Member
    EC's should tell a story about you. It should show your true passions in life. Sports, music, community experience, anything that you have loved and stayed with because it is your passion. Loading up on clubs for the sake of having a list of EC's, does nothing. Think about sitting across the table from someone, and having them ask what motivates you in each EC. You should beam from ear to ear and be able to discuss your true passion in details over time. So many kids "check the box" by joining or signing up for EC clubs, go to a few sessions or appear to be all over the map. Too many EC's can make you look as if you are loading up to make your college ap look good. Again think if you were to be interviewed, and asked many quesitons about each EC you list. You should be abe to show how it is a true passion, what you love about the EC, what motivates you to continue (over a long time) to participate in the EC, what you have learned over time, how you have grown as an individual. My son just did not partake in any EC at school that was a "just come on in and sign up" EC. For example, he won the departmental award for Spanish, but was not a part of the Spanish Honor Society "club". He thought it was silly, they did nothing but meet a few times, nothing of substance. He also did not join other clubs that he thought were superficial nor did anything he was not truely interested in (seriously, he would not - unless the topic really was in his heart 100%). This allowed him to have 2-3 EC's that he devoted full time, really loved, really could express his learning experience and how it impacted his life. Having a few at the most EC's over a long time period show that you know yourself. Having a dozen show that you are not sure what you like; nor know yourself well, or are just trying to amp up your college application. The same goes for when you make a resume for work. You highlight your passion, your goals, what you really love the topics you have stayed with. If you took one course in history and hated it and stopped there, you leave that out
  • jmoney22jmoney22 Registered User Posts: 112 Junior Member
    Lol, I especially love this post because my name is Jenny :3
  • littlelearnerlittlelearner Registered User Posts: 65 Junior Member
    I was wondering if this is a solid list of ECs? I'm just about to start ninth grade and help would be appreciated! I've chosen all of these things not just for college ( otherwise it would be filled with STEM programs) but because I want to!
    Horseback riding
    Starting a Model UN club- I'm researching right now to show my principal this is a good idea. There is a well liked Spanish teacher at my school I'm thinking of asking to be our advisor, but I never had her. There's also the debate, history, & English teachers that might get a request from moi. Thoughts? Also, I go to a junior high ( 8&9). Could I include the 8th graders too?
    Student government
    Volunteering at Red Cross ( Red Cross club?)
    Fencing
    Volunteering at library and hospital
    Cross country (start 10th grade)
    I absolutely love volunteering and politics, so there's a lot of that here! I'm going to let the road take me to my destination, but I want to try out lots of new things freshman year.
  • SpoolManSpoolMan Registered User Posts: 274 Junior Member
    Looks solid to me. It doesn't really matter the length of your EC list. As long as you commit yourself to a few
  • SpoolManSpoolMan Registered User Posts: 274 Junior Member
    You seem pretty passionate about volunteering and politics. If you can make that passion show throughout your application, that will definitely make you a stronger applicant.
  • fitswellfitswell Registered User Posts: 63 Junior Member
    the message still comes across !! and it's been 9 years since
  • Ghost5xGhost5x Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    Enlightening post...Really helped me out there...thanks Dove
  • toooooooetoooooooe Registered User Posts: 15 New Member
    thanks! reminds me to just do what I really am passionate about.
  • riar2496riar2496 Registered User Posts: 45 Junior Member
    what about for a resume? Like I have some schools that require (or suggest) a resume, and I was wondering if I should list my ECs and go into detail about them there.
  • IvyLeagueMom2020IvyLeagueMom2020 Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    What are some good state & national level awards and ECs to shoot for? My D is interested in Model UN in particular and is the Co-President of her school's club.
  • dyiu13dyiu13 Registered User Posts: 2,866 Senior Member
    edited March 2014
    Try these two books for awards. They're full of lists, though might be getting dated:

    What High Schools Don't Tell You (And Other Parents Don't Want You to Know): Create a Long-Term Plan for Your 7th to 10th Grader for Getting into the Top Colleges / by Elizabeth Wissner-Gross

    What Colleges Don't Tell You (And Other Parents Don't Want You to Know): 272 Secrets for Getting Your Kid into the Top Schools / by Elizabeth Wissner-Gross
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