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Is It Too Late for HS Junior to Add Application-Worthy Extracurriculars?

CCEdit_TorreyCCEdit_Torrey 32 replies323 threads Editor
This high school junior is starting to think he doesn't have enough extracurriculars to put on college applications. The Dean offers some tips. https://www.collegeconfidential.com/articles/is-it-too-late-for-hs-junior-to-add-application-worthy-extracurriculars/
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Replies to: Is It Too Late for HS Junior to Add Application-Worthy Extracurriculars?

  • UndercrackersUndercrackers 872 replies2 threads Member
    I'm glad that admissions officers are finally recognizing employment as a worthy EC. Both my H and I worked while in HS and found the experience to be very valuable in so many ways. We really urged our D to work, which she did both during the school year and in the summers. She got to work directly with the public (and all of the challenges that presents), negotiate raises, and experience jobs as a teenager she won't settle for once she has a college degree. It astounds her that she knows people in college who have never had a job, but I am sure that this is more common than it used to be as students fill their dance cards with "meaningful" EC's in the relentless game of college admissions. That HS work experience has made D much more confident as she applies to and works summer internships, plus they have given her a new appreciation for those folks behind the counter at the local eatery.
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  • DTBTSEDTBTSE 133 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I see such tactics as "gaming the system." There are plenty of worthy HS students who have been genuinely interested in and participating in extracurricular activities throughout their teenage years. Let's hope that admissions boards always give them first crack at getting into college.
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  • Materof2Materof2 260 replies4 threads Junior Member
    I wouldn’t “add” new activities, but I would “specialize” in the one thing of which he is already passionate. For example, if he plays soccer, then he should absolutely *Be a referee for young kids; * Coach or Asst Coach little kids; *Collect used (outgrown) soccer equipment and donate to a country who needs equipment.... etc.m
    This applies to any activity of which a student is passionate.

    Bottom line, Stay away from dabbling in many activities. But dig deep and expand upon the ONE activity yoir stident loves.
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  • st3234st3234 4 replies0 threads New Member
    Quality? Are the activities just "gopher" stuff?
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  • newccuser1387newccuser1387 2 replies0 threads New Member
    I think it may be too late to add extracurriculars, perhaps try looking for leadership in what you are already involved in!
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  • scoutmom2002scoutmom2002 236 replies25 threads Junior Member
    What about adding summer activities? Summer internships?
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  • scoutmom2002scoutmom2002 236 replies25 threads Junior Member
    What about adding summer activities? Summer internships? I have D20 who hates sports and aside from once a week gymnastics class until she was about 12, has never played a team sport either recreational or HS. We tried piano..but it didn't take.

    She is VP of a HS Club this year, but her only true constant EC has been Girl Scouts and she has earned her Gold Award (similar to Boy Scout Eagle), but that's it. She is a member of GirlUp organization and attended their Leadership Summit last summer (and may again this summer depending on schedule), but has otherwise not been involved on continuous basis.

    This summer she applied for the Congressional Aide Program (an opportunity via Girl Scouts for Ambassador Scouts). She will also be attending the Leadership by Design residential program at W&M and volunteering as a camp staffer for Cub Scout Day Camp.

    That being said -- even the summer activities focus on her strengths and/or are tied to Girl Scouts...she loves working with children and wants to go into Education - so volunteering as a Cub Scout Day Camp staffer is perfect.

    It also looks like D20 will have opportunity to job shadow/intern over this summer.

    Here's a great article: https://www.princetonreview.com/college-advice/summer-activities-for-college-applications
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  • tutumom2001tutumom2001 1217 replies3 threads Senior Member
    I think the key phrase here is "application worthy." It implies that the student is trying to find an angle to get into selective schools, and I think that by suddenly adding activities, that the schools are going to be on to the game.

    The people I know who have gotten into Ivies and other similarly selective schools aren't trying to find the hook - they already have through a passion (really several passions) that they have developed over several years. They're kids who have been playing the violin in youth orchestras since they were 10. Kids who have been involved in dance or gymnastics since they were in preschool and now volunteer to mentor other kids. Kids who are elite athletes. Kids who have formed businesses (complete with tax ID numbers and employees). A Teen Jeopardy contestant. A kid who started volunteering at a local food bank and became passionate about world hunger and food insecurity. The kid who was head of student volunteers in a state political campaign (who previously was a page and a Boys State delegate, among other things). The kid who wants to write for SNL and did a comedy schtick in local clubs trying to make Harvard Lampoon (in Harvard, not sure about Lampoon yet). All of these kids were smart. None of them wore themselves out in their activities, but they all had interests that they pursued that made them stand out from every other kid who wanted to go to a selective school. And, they all have great personalities and are generally fun to be around. None was an "academic drone."
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  • HoustonKenHoustonKen 28 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Absolutely not too late !!!! 1) meaningful community service always has lots of benefits other than college admissions. It should always be encouraged. 2) there are so many needs in every city that can easily be done in a summer. My daughter started a political activism camp for at risk kids though Communities in Schools. My son organized a stove project for a rural village in Guatemala. You are only limited by your imagination !!!! Put down the Nexflix remote and Fortnight game and get going !!!!
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  • shfloridashflorida 18 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Also I believe you can update schools on new activities even after application deadline when you send in first semester grades if needed.
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