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Extracurricular advice

coolnamenamecoolnamename 3 replies1 threads New Member
Hi,

I am a freshman in high school and looking for some guidance for my extracurricular activities. I am seeking to major in computer science/artifical intelligence. Below are my current and hihgly likely future activities.

1. Nonprofit to teach kids computer science (will start this soon)
2. Prestigous summer program / software engineering internship soon (will apply for later)
3. Executive member, possibly president of computer club
4. Will be Webmaster next year and on track to become captain for sub team of school robotics team
5. Create(d) numerous published app, enter app competitions
6. Latin competitions: Certamen team, Perfect Scores on National Latin Exam, National Etymology Exam
7. Likely to be president of School Latin Club and maybe even the national honors society for Latin
8. referee for local soccer games for young kids
9. School soccer team (likely) all four years
10. STEM tutor for computer science, math, science, etc.

How can I improve this list for extracurriculars? I was considering to add more focus on computer science for my extracurriculars, but I cannot find any solid computer science extracurriculars. Any recommendations for strong computer science extracurriculars?

I also seek to expand my Latin knowledge, so I was also wondering if somebody could give me some advice on some strong extracurriculars related to Latin and how I could really stand out for that particular subject.

Lastly, I was considering to pick up chess again. I am fairly well and pretty interested, but I am worried that if I play it, my application would have too many themes to it: I already have computer science, Latin, and soccer. Also, chess is a very high time commitment and may derail me from other activities. As the first two are only a possibility, I would consider replacing one of the top two extracurriculars. Can anybody please answer my questions?
I am really trying to get into a tog college for AI/CS and advice on extracurriculars would help tremendously.
11 replies
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Replies to: Extracurricular advice

  • izrk02izrk02 Forum Champion American U. 1094 replies53 threads Forum Champion
    edited May 25
    How can I improve this list for extracurriculars
    Your ECs are fine as they are. If your goal is to improve them to look better to colleges, at a certain point, too many ECs look suspicious. Just keep working towards those goals you have.
    I was considering to add more focus on computer science for my extracurriculars, but I cannot find any solid computer science extracurriculars.
    You already have a ton of CS-related ECs. Do you really want to add more? Or are you just looking to add more because of colleges?

    My main advice is to do ECs you are actually interested in. Not ones you think will impress colleges. After all, they're trying to admit YOU, not your ECs.
    edited May 25
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 7391 replies34 threads Senior Member
    Play Chess, Play Chess, Play Chess!!


    First off Chess is awesome. To do well there are many life lessons. It is also very analytical and mathematical
    Don't you think colleges would like that? Became a topic of discussion in interviews with my son since the person interviewing also played.

    Whatever you do, do what you enjoy to do for 2-4 years. Schools do not want to see kids being active in tons of stuff. But taking a few activities for 2-4 years shows commitment and dedication. Also helping others is kinda key. Even peer to peer is great.

    As stated.... Do things you enjoy. Not what you"think "colleges want. That is where students get in trouble.
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  • coolnamenamecoolnamename 3 replies1 threads New Member
    I mean, can anybody suggest some CS extracurriculars. I just wanted some options and to explore something I already love further!

    Thanks for the reply btw.
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  • Boxcar101Boxcar101 60 replies0 threads Junior Member
    edited May 30
    http://www.usaco.org/
    Try to get platinum level in the CS Olympiad. You have enough time, you should be able to to do it - and you can do it from home.

    https://www.acsl.org/


    edited May 30
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  • coolnamenamecoolnamename 3 replies1 threads New Member
    How can I prepare for such competitions?

    I have some decent knowledge of C++.
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  • pickpocketpickpocket 445 replies4 threads Member
    edited June 4
    Your list is already beyond impressive. You shouldn't be looking to expand it, rather to consolidate it.

    If you embark on too many of these ECs, you will burn yourself out and/or look suspicious. Better to shrink it to fewer areas and excel in those. For example, I look at your first 5 entries. No human can give 110% to this number of activities. College AOs have seen it all, and will look suspiciously at a long list without significant accomplishment in any.

    Most kids would be impressive to colleges if they just did a phenomenal job at one of the items on your long list. If you try to do all, you will dilute your contribution to each and nothing will really stand out. Better to do a deep investment in just a couple of them, IMO.

    I personally think chess is great EC especially for AI/CS as you say, but only if you've been playing for years and are gifted or ranked. It's not something to suddenly add at high school to buck up a college app.

    Good luck.
    edited June 4
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  • coolnamenamecoolnamename 3 replies1 threads New Member
    Hi @pickpocket, if I did add chess to my list of extracurriculars, do you think it would seem too long? I have a fairly good shot at winning some state and regional awards, but I need to know if I should start grinding chess again. I find it pretty fun too.

    If so, what would you consider removing from my application? Any suggestions?
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 7391 replies34 threads Senior Member
    Read my post #2
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  • ms50263ms50263 17 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I would add chess if it actually interests you, but if you have the time to be pursuing chess, I would say go for the CS Olympiad. Learn some new programming languages. I think the Latin ties well with computer science, keep at it. And please don't have huge expectations. Even if you aren't able to get everything done on your list, you would still be a very qualified applicant!
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  • BenjaminHBenjaminH 4 replies0 threads New Member
    edited June 5
    Don’t add ECs, reduce them. Instead of a list of 10, get it down to four or five, but spend the same amount of time and energy. Go for depth, not breadth.
    edited June 5
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  • rexbert12rexbert12 21 replies2 threads Junior Member
    roundpier is a good ECs platform
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