How can i get some more EC's?

<p>I'm currently a sophmore, and i really want to get into UCSD or UCLA.
My grades are pretty average (B's & A's) and i have about 3 weighed classes (APWH, AP Bio, English 2 Hon), but i'm trying to get them up (i'm taking like all APs next year). I'm also taking psychology at a CC, and planning to take trigonometry, college algebra, intermediate spanish, intro to stats, and biology sometime in the future too. So, i guess you can say i have the academic portion down (i hope), but i fear i don't have enough EC's!</p>

<li>I didn't joined any sports because of financial issues. The only sport i'm interested in is basketball, but it's about $500. Plus, it's pretty intimidating - a 5'2 asian vs. a 6'3 Samoan? no go. My schedule also wouldn't accommodate it since there was only 1 period being taught for each of my AP classes, and my schedule wouldn't move.</li>
<li>I'm not in any clubs! During my freshman year, i thought clubs were pretty lame (i was a huge party girl, which i regret) and no one knew joined any, so i didn't join any. I also didn't join any this year because i missed out on club rush week. I plan to join MERITS club, CSF, and maybe Red Cross next year though. My friends and I might also start a yoga club too. Though, currently, i'm not in any clubs.</li>
<li>I'm volunteering at an Aquarium, and i plan to get at least 80 hours by Summer there. I'm also going to volunteer at the hospital for another 150+ hours. I'm going to tutor some kids also next week and i plan to get at least 20 hours there. So, hopefully i'll get at least 250+ hours of community service in by the end of high school. </li>
<li>I taught myself piano when i was young. Now, i'm taking piano lessons to try to improve myself, does that count as an EC?</li>
<li>I'm part of the Credits for College program. It's a program where a CC offers college credits for high school kids, and it's like attending a CC. Though, it's after school and they give you free textbooks :) I'm taking psychology this semester and art history next year.</li>

<p>About me:
- I am fluent in Vietnamese, English, and Korean. I can also converse and think in Spanish and Tagalog, but i can't say i'm as fluent in those as i am in my other languages. I am also a 1st-grader in German because my piano teacher has me learn it. I plan on learning French, Italian, and Mandarin in the future.
- I want to be a bio major, and considering going into premed
- I'm thinking about competing in my country's Science Fair also next year if i have the time
- The reason i want to go to UCSD is because they're research team is reknown, so i want to get into some EC that involves research
- i'm 1st generation Vietnamese-American (my parents immigrated to the states after Vietnam War)</p>

<p>do you guys know or have any ideas of what ECs i can do to improve my chances of getting into UCSD? I think i screwed around my freshman year too much, and i can't seem to get involved at my school. And how important are ECs to AOs? Thank you so much!</p>

<p>Gotta catch'em all.</p>

<p>Since you're fluent or near fluent in several languages, join language-ish clubs at school. Try joining Tri-M or Spanish Honors Society or something. If you can get some leadership down and have good grades, you could apply for National Honors Society. But remember, most colleges would rather see a more concentrated list of ECs/activities that show your passion, rather than a huge laundry list of things you are barely involved in.</p>

<p>Focus, focus, focus. If their are clubs at your school--debate, MUN, science olympiad--that are actively involved in competitions or other activities (community service or whatnot) and that you are interested in, join one. You can rack up impressive leadership roles and awards in these sorts of clubs. </p>

<p>Otherwise, just stick to one or two key interests (maybe science and language). You can join related clubs, but this isn't necessary. The key is to pursue your interests deeply and impressively, not to spread yourself thin among every club in school. If this means you spend your afternoons building robots for science fairs in your backyard and don't have any of that "leadership" you think colleges want to see, so be it! If you're good at what you do, you'll find yourself rife with opportunities in that field--internships, research opps, contest awards, etc. And those are infinitely more impressive than being president of French club and Spanish club and Pancake eating club and Twilight Zone Fans club.</p>

<p>thanks for all your suggestions!</p>

<p>Oh, and i just reread my post - had a typo. I meant county's science fair, not country's. That just sounded stupid... :)</p>

<p>keep em coming?</p>

<p>Rigor of curriculum, GPA, SAT/ACT scores, essays, and teacher recs will always trump EC's.
Focus on those things and pick one or two EC's for the pure enjoyment of them.<br>
Numerous EC's are not what colleges want to see. They want to see commitment and leadership that shows by progressing in fewer EC's but sticking with them over a long period of time.</p>

<p>Don't just join clubs for the sake of joining them...</p>

<p>Just catch 'em all OP; you obviously have no interest in any club, so just join everything and create a nice laundry list for yourself.</p>

<p>Choose one or two things that you're really passionate about; things you would like to pursue even if colleges didn't ask about them. Develop your skills and leadership in those few areas.</p>

<p>Colleges are looking for interesting people, students who can add something to the freshman class. A long list of club memberships is hardly interesting. Depth and commitment are far more attractive to colleges than sheer numbers.</p>

<p>So work hard on your piano; maybe even ask your teacher about performance opportunities or other ways to develop yourself as a pianist. All of those volunteer hours are great too, because they indicate you're interested in more than just yourself. Be on the lookout for opportunities to grow there as well.</p>