Do What You want to do, not what you think they they want you do.

<p>How about the kid who managed to design a game.</p>

<p>It is easy to see real passion. My boys both do two EC's that are the same. They started an aspect of one of them when they were 5 years old. That interest grew. No one could have forced them to achieve in it if they weren't self motivated. My older son started into a second EC as a 6th grader. He loved doing it so much that my younger son begged to go too. The organization let him become involved as a 5th grader. I don't tell either of my boys they have to do these EC's. They want to and they have accomplished much out of time and experience. Accomplishment comes through hard work and is its own reward. Both boys have really only two EC's and I'm not the least bit concerned. (they have more, but not of such a developed nature)</p>

<p>If I read an essay or resume outlining what these boys had done vs. a kid who became class president as a senior, and played a sport for two years in high school I could see right through who had real passion and interest.</p>

<p>BTW...they both like to game too, but do that in their spare time and would never think of giving up real EC's for a leisure activity.</p>

<p>These discussions are always very interesting to me. I have a friend whose son is ranked #5 at a very selective private school, has excellent test scores and no ECs. He is in NHS and has done the community service required by NHS. That's it. He really has no interests other than school and gaming. I'll be fascinated to see where he ends up.</p>

<p>S1's school (private) has a gaming club. It's completely legit - just as much a "real EC" as any other school club. The club officers are carrying out the same sorts of planning, budgeting, and publicizing that any other club does, and devoting absolutely comparable amounts of time to those aspects; they have to negotiate the same school by-laws regarding reserving space, and so on. </p>

<p>Video games certainly don't have the long, revered history that, say, chess does, but I really don't see how someone could say Chess Club is a good, real EC and Gaming Club is not.</p>

<p>I absolutely wouldn't want any kind of gaming (including chess) to be the only thing my son does (and fortunately it's not!), but I respectfully disagree with the idea that an organized gaming club is not a real EC.</p>

<p>Playing video games all the time is like being a member of Knitting Club without having done anything of importance. Now if someone played videogames all the time, had created their own game for fun, founded a Gaming Club at their school and organized a tournament that donated part of its proceeds to a charity to buy poor kids game consoles, that would be good. </p>

<p>It's the same thing as with any other EC. Achieve something or it isn't worth much. I could make a "Celebrity News" club where you just read magazines and chat about them. But it wouldn't be worth anything unless I organized a public campaign against the evil picture taking methods of the paparazzi or something like that and actually made a difference. Or at least raised a lot of money.</p>

<p>When you are at a disadvantage when sending in your application to your dream school becuase you dont have enough EC's or passionate EC's your going to be ****ed. I would say do whatever you think it takes to get into your dream school whether you love teh activity your doing or not. I do not feel that volunteering is my absolute true passion, but I do it because admission to schools are competeive. Im not saying I dont like it, but I would rather be playing another sport.</p>

<p>I'm with the original poster on this one. I didn't do anything in my high school career that I didn't care about. I was in the top 10% of my class of over 660 students, and I didn't even think about doing NHS. At the school I went to, NHS was a joke and was simply something to throw down on your application. The essay's you have to write for college applications are the perfect opportunity to explain how you approach things, especially if you are trying for the elite schools. Every kid that goes to an elite school is going to have an impressive list of extracurriculars and it may not always be the smartest choice to try and compete with those people. You say you may do it to separate yourself from the rest, but the Harvard's and Stanford's of the country get tons of applications of over qualified students. Maybe if you picked a few activities that you had a true passion for and explained how that was your passion you'd have a better chance at getting into the elite schools.</p>

<p>Go Badgers!</p>

"These kids don't have lives, they have resumes."


<p>People will always try to take advantage of others will live life to enjoy life. Maslow's hierarchy should change since our psychology is changing and our goals in life are changing. We don't aim for pleasure since it doesn't provide us any tangible benefit. We always want to be the best.</p>

<p>"We always want to be the best."</p>

<p>Perhaps that is how you have been raised. Not in my house. I have raised my children to pursue their interests and do their personal best.</p>

<p>"We don't aim for pleasure since it doesn't provide us any tangible benefit."</p>

<p>That sounds very unhealthy. I predict a future crisis for anyone who holds to this idea.</p>

<p>Keshira, I don't think anybody would argue with you about your concept of clubs doing something for the greater good being a BETTER way, overall. I agree 100%: The Knitting Club is certainly an even better one if they knit something they can donate to those in need, absolutely! Ditto for almost any organization - if you can find a way to donate the fruits of your hobby (or raise money with your hobby, and donate that), then you are doing a greater good, hands down. Maybe schools should have that built into every club's charter.</p>

<p>But setting that aside, is the Knitting Club, or the Gaming Club, somehow doing something of less value than the Chess Club, which nobody seems to regard as worthless? </p>

<p>Overall, here's what I think matters about ECs, particularly the ones students choose to tout on their applications: They should reflect a genuine interest or goal of the child, and they should stand up (in terms of time commitment and such) to other, similar activities.</p>

<p>If you love bowling, and you bowl on your team or club, that is just as valid as playing soccer - regardless of the voices that say it isn't as good an exercise. If you are a chess fan and you play chess with your school's club or team, that's a valid EC that reflects your interests. If one of your hobbies is video/computer games, and you participate in an organized club that requires the same kind of group-oriented activity and time commitment as other clubs, that is valid, too. </p>

<p>There's room for kids to participate in organized (and unorganized of course - but that's not what's under discussion here) activities that are about 1) sharing a common interest and 2) providing the school community with opportunities to participate (obviously, that's where the leadership element comes in: organizing the activities for others). Not every single activity has to contribute or achieve something. It's about balance. </p>

<p>As for the question of whether it's right to do service that doesn't really tie into any genuine interest of yours - doesn't that come down to what the real goal is? If you're doing it because you've been brought up to help others, and the opportunities around you do not include service that fits with your own hobbies/interests, but you do it anyway - seems to me that this is still absolutely sincere service.</p>

<p>[Disclaimer, just so nobody thinks I'm here to beat up gamers OR athletes: Each of my two older kids is both a varsity athlete (one lettered in three sports; the other plays a varsity and a club sport) AND a gamer. Neither one knits or particularly likes chess, though. Maybe the third one will. :D Or maybe he'll knit chess boards.]</p>

<p>When the world gives you lemons you make lemonade that's what we are doing. If you think that picking flowers will guide you in life then I'd say wake up. We go about our lives wanting things to seem good and pure. IT'S NOT LIKE THIS!, IT NEVER WAS! I'm not saying what we do in this process is right. Of course we wish for a utopia..wish that it all will end and that we could relax and enjoy life. But be serious, your life depends on this. THIS ONE TIME. There will be no going back, just regrets. And it goes both ways, for those who over work and those who under work.</p>

<p>There is no utopia so we do what we have to do. Trying to be content all the while aiming to "do what we want to do" in the future.</p>

<p>Good luck.</p>

<p>Great thread. </p>

<p>It's great and all to pursue your passion, but not everyone has a passion for science, math, volunteering etc. For people who really actually prefer to just sit at home and watch tv/movie/read books/play video games and still want to get into a good college simply because they know that they are smart enough and would not stomach anything less, there's really no other way than to "fake" a passion. Call them phonies, but to me, they are just people who know what they want and act on what they know to get them where they want to be. Isn't that passion in itself?</p>

<p>^ I believe it is. But oh well, colleges these days...</p>

<p>Unfortunately, colleges don't go for the EC of "Hanging around the house, enjoying my last year at home." I don't especially enjoy volunteering, and it definetely isn't my "passion", but do I think I can get into Princeton w/o volunteering? No. So I volunteer. </p>

<p>I find it frustrating that at 16 I have to have my whole life figured out. Maybe I'm not sure what my "passion" is yet.</p>

<p>Being passionate about getting into a good college by trying to hoodwink others into believing you are someone you are not is not a passion. You might be bright enough for many schools, but if you have not developed real passions you don't belong in the Ivy League. Being smart and being accomplished are NOT the same thing.</p>

<p>"But be serious, your life depends on this. THIS ONE TIME. There will be no going back, just regrets. And it goes both ways, for those who over work and those who under work."</p>

<p>This is so overly dramatic it borders on being ridiculous. Do you honestly think you have only one chance and there is NO room for failure? There are so many stories of individuals who have bounced back from major mistakes in life. Are you an adult or a child? I do hope you have a good therapist.</p>

<p>to collegemom16</p>

<p>If you truly think that only people who are passionate about something belong in the ivy leagues, then there sure are a lot of people I know who do not belong and are currently doing extremely well</p>

<p>Who you know and how they are doing is anecdotal at best. The overwhelming consensus is that accomplishment combined with intelligence is what gets you in.</p>

<p>:P I think people thought I (i don't know, maybe someone else suggested it) was saying that you should not do any ECs.... no not true.</p>

<p>I was just suggesting that you shouldn't do ones that don't make sense for you just because they look good.</p>

<p>At my school, most of the ECs suck (other than sports, which I'm not into) and the couple I thought were interesting (by description) are actually useless..</p>

<p>So, I never was big on the in school ECs and instead worked on personal projects and helping out in other ways, like freelance writing, helping out the open source initiative, ect. Geeky things that make sense for a geek like me.</p>

<p>Am I doing something really noble like working in a hospital? nope, but I don't want to be a doctor and hospitals creep me out. Do I join the mock trial team or model UN? no... I don't see why I would want to (though, out mock trial team is awesome! GO MOCK TRIAL :P)</p>

<p>so I'm not saying do nothing, I'm just saying do something that makes sense. If you want to play games all day... well... check out game development?</p>

<p>all colleges should state that ECs are optional. That way, they can root out who are passionate in their activities or not.</p>