For reference, I am currently a rising sophomore. In freshman year, I really only did 2 main extracurriculars: with Nursing Cap, Inc (where I was a tutor) & FBLA (where I was Secretary & earned a 2nd place regional award). I also did weekly piano/guitar lessons with a private tutor. I also did not do any sports or earn any sports-related honors/awards (however I am not very interested in doing sports, in general). In terms of academics, I had a mostly Pre-IB courseload (most of them Honors-weighted). Before high school, I had some extracurriculars & awards as well, but I don't believe these would count towards a college application.
For more information regarding my ec's, the tutoring I did was for an organization called Nursing CAP, Inc, where I tutored for students in Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, and Geometry. I also received second place regionally in Healthcare Administration for a FBLA competition. Not sure if I could list this or not, but I also received first place for an elementary-level art competition regionally, as designated by the Virginia School Boards Association. Around 2014-2015, I was an alternate in the You Be The Chemist Competition. Also, around this time, I was nominated to attend the Junior National Young Leaders Conference (JrNYLC) in Washington, DC. Other community service activities I have participated in include: Helped organize a teacher’s room (summer of 2017), helped support at a school supply fair at an elementary school (summer of 2019), helped with creating a poster for a school dance (2019), and band (2019).
I was wondering about starting up my own virtual club at school, related to biology or pre-med. We could hold (perhaps weekly) Zoom meetings, I would figure out the rest of the details. I don’t think it would be an expensive or intrusive thing to ask for or do. Do you think I could also ask my school about joining HOSA (if nothing else, this would be my number one priority to join, as it is directly health-related), NHS, Debate Club, and Scholastic Bowl through a virtual setting? Does this seem like too much? I just was interested in those clubs. Also, I was trying to do virtual volunteering/internships/extracurriculars related to medicine/healthcare. On top of these activities (in my sophomore year), I would be doing 5 AP courses (AP Physics 1, AP Art History, AP Calculus BC, AP Psychology, and Pre-IB AP US Government) and 3 Pre-IB courses (Pre-IB English 10, Pre-IB Chemistry, and Pre-IB French III). With all of this in mind, do you think it is too much? Perhaps I could think about quitting piano/guitar to make more room for extracurriculars directly related to the health/medical field.
I’m just really worried about my extracurriculars. I feel that they are extremely weak. In freshman year, I really only did two main extracurriculars, and they really weren’t all that time-consuming, arduous, or impressive. I am very worried about pre-med/biology admissions, as I know they are extremely competitive and will only become more and more competitive as application cycles advance. Also, I believe that extracurriculars play around a 25% importance in college admissions, in addition to SAT/SAT II/ACT/IB/AP scores, letters of recommendation, GPA, class rank, HS transcripts, essays, supplements, ethnicity/affirmative action, legacy status, etc. I have not yet won any national-level awards, started my own non-profit, published a well-regarded scientific article, got into a highly selective academic or summer program, etc. These are the types of extracurriculars top colleges are looking for, and I am afraid that I won’t meet the cut.
Please share your insight.