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Are extracurriculars now more valued?

jojoisthebestjojoisthebest Registered User Posts: 20 Junior Member
I know students who cheat and don't like to learn but they are obsessed with what looks good in terms of extracurriculars. If this is the case were colleges accept these people that don't always pass ap tests or cheat but have a diverse activity list that is mostly not genuine. then our future with this generation is toast!

Replies to: Are extracurriculars now more valued?

  • needtosucceed27needtosucceed27 Registered User Posts: 434 Member
    Grades and test scores demonstrate academic abilities.
    Extracurriculars demonstrate what a student brings to a college's student body. It shows their interests and personalities.

    You might know some students who do extracurriculars for college. But does this mean that ALL high school students are like this? No!

    I am in five clubs because I really like all of them. I'm passionate about all of them and learn constantly in them. I could have done some other activities that "look good" but I don't want to because I'd regret wasting my time doing something that I hated even if it helped on college applications.

    Our future with this generation is bright. Although some in my generation are druggies, jerks, and generally bad people, there are people who inspire, lead, and educate others.
  • jojoisthebestjojoisthebest Registered User Posts: 20 Junior Member
    good job! people like you who are genuine are what the future needs... im just saying about how many students just do it for the college application and thats scary.
  • bjkmombjkmom Registered User Posts: 7,330 Senior Member
    Colleges want to accept people who will succeed in college.

    That means grades and test scores.

    Once you have them, then, yeah, they like to see extra- curriculars.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 29,928 Senior Member
    Life can require you do things that aren't all your first choices or cozy. Many people in successful status jobs are also expected to stretch and share in ways beyond their actual jobs. It's not all about being "genuine." It's about doing what it takes.

    In that respect, I have no problem with top colleges expecting the same open mind and willingness to see beyond your own narrow likes.

    There's nothing wrong with a "diverse activities list." It just needs to be the right sorts of choices.
  • jojoisthebestjojoisthebest Registered User Posts: 20 Junior Member
    That was not the point I was making Is that im kind of worried about how those people themselves will struggle. Realistically I understand institutions care about written results but thats just the problem
  • bjkmombjkmom Registered User Posts: 7,330 Senior Member
    Don't worry about how they'll struggle.

    People grow up at different rates; some never really do. The odds, though, are very good that at some point those people you know who " cheat and don't like to learn but they are obsessed with what looks good in terms of extracurriculars" will either change their ways or will decide that college isn't their thing.

    That's OK, it's not right for everyone. They'll find their own way, just as you will.
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 11,943 Forum Champion
    If you look at Common Data Sets for each college, you will see a table that shows what teh colleges thinks is "Very Important", Important, Considered for things like GPA, SAT, ECs, etc.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 29,928 Senior Member
    But there's no standard or absolute definition for those CDS ratings and for highly competitive holistic colleges, every piece matters. It isn't that one category trumps others. In fact, a "considered" could trip a kid up.
  • thebetterhawkeyethebetterhawkeye Registered User Posts: 111 Junior Member
    Extracurriculars only matter to differentiate between students with equally competitive academic backgrounds.

    Additionally, a "diverse activity list" isn't the most preferable EC sheet: colleges, especially upper-level ones with high levels of competitive applicants, more want to see that you can commit to something. Think depth, not breadth.

    I know kids in high school who made a point to join absolutely EVERYTHING for the purpose of getting into a good college, but as a result schools couldn't see where their passions were. As for me, I had fewer activities but made sure they were things I cared about:

    Music - played clarinet for 8 years and guitar for 5, first chair clarinetist in wind ensemble and orchestra, played in jazz band and pit orchestra, had a rockabilly band
    Literature/Theater - had three short story credits to my name, wrote and directed a short play, did stage crew for three years
    Science - did university-level research over the summers and contributed to papers and posters during the school year
    4H - on executive board for 3/4 years of high school, sent two projects to the state fair
    Model UN - sat on executive board senior year, attended all conferences at my disposal (always upper-level crisis committees), won an award

    When I look back on it I actually did a lot more in high school than college outside of class (silly double majors), but with the exception of 4H, which I grew out of, I'm still involved in all the general categories I was in high school, because they were all things I genuinely cared about.

    I also want to point to theater, because usually kids who are obsessed with extracurriculars believe that some ECs are inherently better than others, namely that pre-professional clubs like Model UN or DECA look better than the fine arts. It's true that having one theater elective wouldn't look as impressive as, say, another science class, but I showed that I wasn't doing it to slack off: I built sets on the weekends, played in the orchestra during the show, and I literally turned something from an idea into something physical -- I'm not even going to school for theater, I'm doing neuroscience and English!

    When top colleges started receiving more and more applications, they couldn't just take anyone with a 4.0 anymore, so they wanted to see what "special" thing you brought, and that got warped into (mostly parents) thinking that "ah yes this is an activity that Harvard/Princeton/MIT likes", but in reality the only good extracurricular is the one you enjoy doing.
  • ccfk1221ccfk1221 Registered User Posts: 140 Junior Member
    Yes esp for top schools
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 29,928 Senior Member
    My experience with a top school leads me to promote depth and breadth. ECs reflect an individual student's thinking, awareness, drives. That's not a grocery bag full of indiscriminate choices. An individual can advance himself or not in this way. It's not a matter of comparing stats and then comparing ECs.

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