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"Legitimate" ECs?

sqdwfe13sqdwfe13 Registered User Posts: 1,261 Senior Member
edited April 2009 in College Admissions
I have a few extracurricular activities and I'm worried that they're so unique/different that colleges won't consider them legitimate. A lot of people have ECs like President of National Honors Society or Secretary of Key Club, which college admissions officers are familiar with. Colleges probably haven't come across kids whose main ECs are like mine, so I'm worried they'll not know what kind of work goes into it and think it's some random, weird thing I do in my free time for fun or something.

Should I be worried that college admissions officers won't consider my ECs legitimate, or is this a good thing to have unique/unknown ECs?
Post edited by sqdwfe13 on

Replies to: "Legitimate" ECs?

  • jazrie481jazrie481 - Posts: 818 Member
    I don't think that you need to worry because on your app. you explain what your EC is if it's uncommon.
  • sqdwfe13sqdwfe13 Registered User Posts: 1,261 Senior Member
    But even if I can do that, they still might underestimate/dismiss the EC just because they're not familiar with it and have never heard of it..
  • Vind2Vind2 Registered User Posts: 86 Junior Member
    If they're never heard of it then they have every right to underestimate it. I really depends on what this unknown EC is (hint hint)
  • AccessAcademicsAccessAcademics - Posts: 90 Junior Member
    If you make a big deal of your unknown/unique extracurricular, then it's a good thing. Be sure to highlight it in some of the written portions of your application or ask someone writing a reference for you to highlight it.
  • sqdwfe13sqdwfe13 Registered User Posts: 1,261 Senior Member
    ^Thanks, AccessAcademics. I guess I'd have to make a really big deal out of ALL of my ECs then, because all of them happen to be pretty unique and out of the ordinary.

    Vind2: ouch. so much for all the work I've been doing in my ECs.

    Does this go for scholarships, too? Do people or universities that award merit scholarships based on extracurriculars put more weight on traditional ECs and totally disregard unique ECs?
  • AccessAcademicsAccessAcademics - Posts: 90 Junior Member
    It really depends on the scholarship. If they are general merit scholarships, then it probably doesn't matter -- and a unique extracurricular might even be a bit of advantage. Admissions people see so many applications, that they usually find it refreshing to read about something different. Some scholarships look for leadership potential, in which case the particular extracurricular isn't so important but whether it shows leadership potential might be.

    Also, I forgot to mention: If the extracurricular suggests that you fit the "rich snob" stereotype, then it can totally backfire. Fox hunting, for example, probably won't work to your advantage.
  • sqdwfe13sqdwfe13 Registered User Posts: 1,261 Senior Member
    New question: What exactly constitutes "leadership" to colleges? For example, if I were to obtain an appointed (NOT elected) position in my school's student government, is that considered leadership?
  • sqdwfe13sqdwfe13 Registered User Posts: 1,261 Senior Member
    Sorry for reposting this, there was a post-order glitch up there.^

    So again,
    What exactly constitutes "leadership" to colleges? For example, if I were to obtain an appointed (NOT elected) position in my school's student government, is that considered leadership?
  • sqdwfe13sqdwfe13 Registered User Posts: 1,261 Senior Member
    Thanks, AccessAcademics. Thankfully my ECs don't fit the "rich snob" stereotype, neither am I a rich snob, so that's all good.
  • Vind2Vind2 Registered User Posts: 86 Junior Member
    I really wasn't trying to be belittling or anything but, just saying its up to you to make sure that they don't underestimate it.

    A leadership position is pretty much whenever you're making decisions that affect others.
  • shennieshennie Registered User Posts: 2,467 Senior Member
    ^^^ I suppose that is ONE way to define leadership. However, leadership can also be defined as a person who positively influences those around him/her and therefore raises the overall quality of the organization. You can have great leadership without every being in a specifically designated leadership position. The best way to demonstrate this kind of leadership is through your recommendations. If you feel you need a boost to your leadership cred, ask your recommenders to address this topic in the letters they write for you.
  • sqdwfe13sqdwfe13 Registered User Posts: 1,261 Senior Member
    Thanks shennie and vind2, that makes me feel a lot better.
This discussion has been closed.