Not doing X activity

<p>this is something I've been wondering since the beginning of high school - I have my own story, but I'm also hoping for other opinions, related anecdotes, firm answers, whatever thoughts you have. :)</p>

<p>During a meeting with a guidance counselor, I was told that I was probably a strong applicant for any top school, but I should add community service because colleges like to see you involved in your community.</p>

<p>I thought about this, and didn't add any community service. I don't think I'm a heartless person or anything, but soup kitchens and coin drives and fundraisers weren't really my thing. I did do quite a bit of tutoring under our mentoring program, but that was for a mentoring program. And I got into MIT.</p>

<p>now what I'm wondering is - do you think that when someone doesn't have X activity (music, sport, community service), how does this affect the application? I didn't make a very big deal about tutoring on my app - there were other things more important to me; I wonder if it would have made a difference had I not mentioned it at all.</p>

<p>My philosophy is that the school you get into should follow from the things you do, and not the other way around.</p>

<p>This isn't really an answer to your question- I basically think no one should care. Doing things just because it will make some college admin like you is really stupid, and ultimately counter-productive to your growth as a person.</p>

<p>Also I think you're looking at it sort of backwards. No one can do everything, and admissions officers know that. It's almost literally impossible to do music, and sports, and community service, and academic clubs, and help little old ladies cross the street, etc. I think when they look at applications, they add up all of the things the person does to get an idea of them. It would be sort of silly to do it by the subtractive method- "Hmm, what ISN'T important to this person?"</p>

<p>If the answer to that question is "science," then yeah, MIT is going to care. But if it's basically anything else, it's not very interesting information, is it? Not when there are pages and pages of details about what IS important to that person.</p>

<p>Did that make sense? I'm having a slow day, brain-function-wise. :)</p>

<p>No, it isn't a "big thing."</p>