Am I too spread out and lacking focus?

<p>Hi - I'm a junior in high school and new to college confidential. I recently read some of the threads on this site about what colleges want etc. etc. and they all seem quite helpful.<br>
However, I really wish I had read some of the stuff before - especially the part that colleges want to see a "Focus" and a "passion" in your life. Could somebody please read through my post (I know its really long) and give me some advice?</p>

<p>I'm a motivated student who did and still does a lot of academics and various extracurriculars in high school. I did and do all of this stuff because I really love doing them and enjoy learning different things in general - math, music, finance, science, sports, history etc. (I never really thought about how colleges looked at stuff until reading through this site), but it seems now that my application is too stereotypical (I'm Indian) and spread out in focus; I also feel that my ECs are very bland rather than unique. I plan on applying to some Ivy League Schools and really hope to get merit scholarships to any top 50 schools. Here are my stats: </p>

<p>Academics</p>

<p>4.0 UW GPA, 2400 SAT (single sitting, one attempt), will be valedictorian
Havent taken SAT IIS yet (probably will take math, bio, us history)
223 PSAT (expecting National Merit)
Will have 10 APs done by this year (Calc AB and BC, 2 social studies, 4 sciences, english, and psychology), + 5 more senior year. </p>

<p>ECs</p>

<p>Math Team - will definitely be President + regional/state recognition (all years)
Its Academic - Captain + local/regional awards + organized tournament (all years)
Varsity Tennis - 4 yrs - definitely will be captain
Ping Pong Club - Founder and Captain (started this year)
Science Club - Founder and Captain (started this year)
Intern and do research (this year) at John Hopkins</p>

<p>National History Day - 1st place in region, 2nd place at state, participated at nationals (freshman year)
FBLA - Regional and State Champion in my division, 5th place at Nationals. Chapter parliamentarian
Science Fair - School and Regional Recognition for a project.</p>

<p>Marching/Symphonic Band - 3 years (schedule didn't fit for junior year)
Piano - played for 8 years, give lessons, play in Jazz and Symphonic Band at school. </p>

<p>Tutoring - tutor school kids, as well as a group of students every week in geometry for NHS. Also teach kids at a local elementary school chess club (I love chess). Also mentored students at another elementary school to build Rube Goldberg Engineering Projects. Also taught piano for some time. Plan on starting a tutoring business. </p>

<p>Class of 2013 Vice President (10th grade)
JV Soccer (freshman year)
Robotics (9th,10th grade)
NHS (i only joined because everyone does)</p>

<p>Summer Volunteering - 9th/10th grade - VA Medical Center (300+ hours)
Summer 9th grade - volunteered at library (like only 12 hours)
Summer Research 11th grade - hope/plan on doing neuroscience research</p>

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<p>As you can see, I have good academics and decent ECs. I never really planned everything out in high school and did most of these hard classes and activites because I was interested in them and really do love them. However, someone could easily look at my app and say that I have no focus or true "passion" in one or several fields, or that I am a jack of all trades. Really, my passion is in learning and I love many things - math, science, chess, tennis, finance, trivia, etc. In addition, my academics (APs/SAT/GPA) and math/science ECs seem to make me the stereotypical, uninteresting, nerdy Asian that college adcoms seem to loathe (according to what I've read so far on this site). So...</p>

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<p>Is this concern of mine valid? And what can I do between now and senior year to perhaps bring some focus or passion to my application??? How can I distinguish myself from other applicants who just purposely try to fill up their resume. I thought about getting rid of activities, but the fact is that I love everything that I am still doing and I think I am doing them quite well (i got rid of some after freshman/sophomore year). Any help is highly appreciated.</p>

<p>bump 10char</p>

<p>Even if you are spread too think in terms of being involved in too many activities, you can choose to focus on the more meaningful ones or the ones that most tell a coherent story in your essays and in your interviews. If you enjoy all the activities you are doing, keep doing them. It will give you additional flexibility to shape your message. Just be sure to be strategic when talking about your ECs.</p>

<p>Passion is certainly important. Focus is not so important. There's nothing wrong with being involved.</p>

<p>^ going along with what Pancaked said -- here's a good rule of thumb for you to really show your "passion". Do everything that's fun, reasonable, and stimulating for you as if no one would ever know and you were never, ever required to fill out a resume.</p>

<p>Then your real passion will be there at the end of the day. Don't pose for others. Do it for your own (and others) enrichment -- not someone who will analyze you later. Period.</p>

<p>Consistently, these are the kids that impress me. Even though I recruit/interview for an HYP, the kids with "wow" ECs are the ones that, frankly, don't need what my college offers them. They're already on a trajectory that takes them beyond a college degree -- even one from my alma mater. That's the ironic thing. Many kids focus on ECs to get them into a top college. Top colleges grab after kids whose ECs make them good enough to do with out the top college itself!</p>

<p>but i feel that my bland ecs will prevent me from getting accepted into the best universities. should I try to do more things in one area that I like, or will colleges understand that I'm a kid who enjoys doing many things?</p>

<p>@T26E4 thanks for your input. Would it be better for me to get more involved in nonschool ECs or is everything viewed equally?</p>

<p>Quite possibly the most Asian student I've ever seen. <3 Good luck, bud!</p>

<p>Just an FYI:
You will likely receive 3/4 tuition merit or more at University of Miami. You will likely get an invite for interview weekend for full tuition merit and full ride as well.</p>

<p>You remind me of myself! Seriously, it was kind of weird reading your post, ha, because I feel like we're pretty similar. I'm also very interested in business and history and have awards in both. But my scientific research is the highlight of my application and one of my most valuable experiences, so I really focused on that in my essays/application.</p>

<p>Lots of my friends who have gotten in early to schools this year aren't limited to one or two ECs, but each one has a specific EC (or two) that they are most passionate about. Think of that - are you spread out, or do you genuinely enjoy the things you are doing, but have a focus?</p>

<p>I think ultimately, you never know if you're too "spread out" or too "linear" to college admissions committees. Each school is different; some will acknowledge your involvement in many things, others will want a clear focus, others will like seeing involvement and focus. Do the things you want to - no regrets. :) </p>

<p>While I'm waiting to hear back from my colleges, I look back on my application and four years every now and then and that's what strikes me as most important - doing things because you want to do. Because colleges want the real you, and if you're rejected because of it, then it just wasn't the right place anyway.</p>

<p>Wow, you have a tremendous record of achievement already! You should look into applying for the Coca-Cola scholarship, and later on the Presidential Scholarship, in addition to National Merit.</p>

<p>Elite colleges still take the very well-rounded student. However, you will need to pick an intended major (or two) and could use this summer to distinguish yourself in a unique internship. And begin work early on your college app essays; they will help you stand out from the crowd.</p>