Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

Extricurriculars and Passions

QuigleyMQuigleyM Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
I often hear about how rather then finding well rounded students, top colleges was to have a well rounded class. Meaning that they want students with 1-2 passions/interests that the rest of their ECs are based around.

In my situation, I am aiming to have interests in Science and Volunteering. So, my ECs would be math competitions, science competitions, environmental clubs; as well as volunteering around my town. In this case, would you advise against doing clubs like Speech & Debate that our out of my 1-2 interests?

Replies to: Extricurriculars and Passions

  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 42,212 Super Moderator
    edited July 2018
    I would advise you to do ECs that interest you. I further would advise you not to choose ECs based upon what you think colleges might want.
  • ColoradomamaColoradomama Registered User Posts: 2,396 Senior Member
    Do what you love. I think that then leads to more serious hobbies and interests, as an adult.
    I would explore widely and
    not focus on college , when it comes to joining clubs. Do what interests you.

    Also what do you want to become? Attorneys benefit from debate as do quite a number of professionals.
    Debate could help you become a better teacher, for instance.

    As far as volunteer work, some students actually raise money for nonprofits and learn a lot doing that.
    There are a variety of ways. Look at the IB World School websites for ideas on volunteering.
    You can get pretty involved with volunteering, and that could lead to some powerful essays.

    Essays are key to college admissions today, if you are applying to highly selective schools. Not so much
    at public schools, where its more about your GPA, and test scores.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 31,467 Senior Member
    OP, aren't you a rising 9th grader?

    Well rounded individuals. That's depth and breadth. They like kids who do more than their own narrow interests. After all, they want types who are open to more. And they focus less on a 17 year old's (or in your case, 14?) purported passions. For your probable major, of course you need related ECs. But you are more than your career aspirations.

    No one talks of narrowing this down to "1-2 interests." Spend some time looking at what your posible college targets say (and show) and you'll see that.

    It won't be just essays, it's the whole of what you present. Aim for vol work with real responsibilities helping people in your community in some way where you roll up your sleeves. Nothing wrong with that.

    I have zero problem with a 9th grader "thinking" about college, but you're too young, too unproven, haven't yet experienced serious rigor, etc, to be trying to plan. Especially not if you're going on random things others say.
  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 23,996 Forum Champion
    I have heard admissions officer from a number of schools (including some extremely top tier schools) say that they look to create a well rounded class -- and that includes some well rounded students and some students with particular passions/talents.

    I recommend that you be yourself -- do the things that interest you -- and pursue them to the fullest.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 31,467 Senior Member
    I think of it as a well rounded class of well rounded individuals. You can't get around the fact that most kids have pretty much the same range of options and the top colleges aren't looking for odd or weird. A well rounded class would have some interested in the newspaper, some in activism or service, sports, theater, debate, outdoors things, etc. The individual still needs to show that openness, too. Better safe than sorry.
  • BKSquaredBKSquared Registered User Posts: 1,114 Senior Member
    IMO, the mantra that top schools are not looking for well rounded students but well rounded classes is over stated. This point of view seems to be most strongly advocated by the paid consultants because it is easier for them to push their clients to be spikey -- it's as if they know the secret sauce recipe. If you talk to actual AO's, they'll tell you that they admit round kids and spikey kids to make up a round class. If you are naturally spikey and excel at a few things exceptionally well, that is what you should pursue. If you are well rounded and do many things really well, you should stick with that. Remember, you are trying to make the strongest case for yourself, not what you think someone else may want. FWIW, D and S are both in highly selective schools (a LAC and an Ivy) and as far as I can tell, they have more "round" friends than "spikey" friends.
  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk Registered User Posts: 2,102 Senior Member
    It's going to come down to the time commitment of speech and debate at your high school and if you can fit it with with the math/science competitions and volunteering. In many high schools, speech and debate is a huge time sink, it will take up not only after school time but tournaments on the weekends. So if your math and science competitions require time on the weekends as well, it will be tough to fit in both.
Sign In or Register to comment.