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Extracurriculars

nonynegotiumnonynegotium 1 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
edited September 22 in College Admissions
Hey, after seeing both sides of the extreme regarding what goes as 'impressive' extracurriculars, I've finally decided to ask about my profile. If someone could help me rank my extracurriculars, I would greatly appreciate it. For some background, I intend to major in Physics, I'm an international student and am aiming for a T20 school as my reach reach reach school :

1. Was a finalist for a national science fair: Presented a working project on neural cryptography, i.e. made an artificial neural network capable of modifying the encryption principles of a network.

2. Qualified for a prestigious non-competitive international science exhibition: Couldn't go because my school exams clashed with the dates, regardless of however hard I tried to convince them, but please do tell me if this counts for something or not!

3. Active MUN participant: While seemingly separate from the rest of my profile, MUN played a very important part in my character and personality development, which I managed to convey through my personal essay. Went to 12 MUNS, got 3 Presidencies, 3 Best Delegates, 1 Best Orator, 2 Honourable Mentions and 1 Special Mention.

4. MUN Club: Based on my experiences with MUN, and noting that I was a senior member in a very competitive state MUN circuit, I was part of the Executive Board, i.e. a trainer/chair, of my school's MUN Club and helped club members do their best at the conferences we went to as a group by simulating real conference committees every Saturday.

5. Student Government: I was Head Boy of my academic year, and was part of a student think-tank aimed for the holistic development of the student body of my school (These are two separate commitments). The latter commitment resulted in a bunch of initiatives that were passed as school policy.

These are the activities I consider most descriptive of myself. If someone would take the time to help me understand how 'impressive' these activities are, I would appreciate it. I personally invested a lot of time and effort into these and am glad with how I was transformed by them. However, if you do have contrary opinions, please feel free to voice them!

Also, please note that since I am an international student, a lot of opportunities typically available to most Americans are not accessible to me, i.e. NHS, USAMO and so on, which was why I was confused about the significance of my extracurriculars.
edited September 22
2 replies
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Replies to: Extracurriculars

  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 2226 replies37 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    #1 is a strong extra curricular. No one is going to give you points for #2 because you didn't actually attend (colleges don't care what you "almost" did). The other activities are strong too. My concern is you say you want to study physics, but you don't have many STEM-related ECs. Not all colleges care, but you're wanting a T20 school. A consistent presentation is going to matter.

    Note that while your ECs are strong, for an international student, they aren't "scholarship strong". Make sure you apply to schools in your own country in case these options do not end up being affordable for you.
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  • nonynegotiumnonynegotium 1 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Hey, thanks for the informative reply, it was really helpful!

    Yeah, my lack of STEM related extracurriculars is a sore point, but it's not out of a lack of trying. Many internships where I study are mostly meant for university students and/or for citizens of the country, I personally was rejected by a lot of institutions.

    However, regarding whatever STEM related activities I have, I've written a draft of a research paper, and while I'm not going to overexaggerate it's importance nor it's level of difficulty, it's above the portions we were taught in school. I presented the same to my mathematics teacher, who didn't read through it completely because it wasn't school portion, however, I'm pretty sure I can get her to review it again and evaluate it in her letter of recommendation.

    I also have a part in the creation of an app that serves as a language interface between speech and ASL that I coded and advertised with my team at a university's competition.

    If you think the above activities can somehow add to my profile, please do tell me, and I'm also really sorry for taking up your time.
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