Red flags in app/will these things hurt my app???

1.) I’m involved in many activities outside of school and have notable leadership in each, but have only minor involvement in about 2-3 school clubs (no awards, etc). Will I come off as selfish on my app since I’m not an avid participant in school activities? My hs has an average # of clubs, so that’s not really a problem. I have other interests that I can’t really follow in school.

2.) A large portion of my app is writing, but I decided not to join newspaper because I’m more of a creative poet/deadline hater. Does this make me seem small-minded?

3.) Most of my app is political activism/NGO work for my country in Europe (I was born/live here in the US, though, but my parents weren’t). Does this make me seem like I’m aloof or that I just don’t care about America/my community? Also, my school doesn’t offer debate or MUN, so will this damage the “authenticity” of my EC’s?

4.) I’m not really into STEM (good academically school-wise, but not really interested outside of school). Will this damage my chance at top schools?

5.) I’ve lead a research project about cognitive ability in terms of language learning (only scienc-y thing on my app lol), but the entire thing (including the letter I received from the prof) were from a uni outside of America. Will this mean less than if it were conducted in the US since things like that are more difficult to accomplish in this country (there isn’t as much academic competition there) ?

** and if anyone is wondering where I got my fears from:

Quote: Kim’s résumé was next. “The violin concertos and the symphony are impressive,” Kat said, then noted that Kim hadn’t participated in the school’s orchestra. Soon Kim appeared selfish and eerily single-minded, creepy even.


Ohmygoodness, I apologize for all these questions, but the entire process has made me soo anxious :frowning:

I think you’re overthinking it. I’m no admissions officer but I think all the stuff you listed sounds great. :slight_smile: I have no idea why the article cited Kim’s non-participation in the school orchestra as creepy or selfish. Maybe ‘Kim’ enjoyed being in the concertos and symphony more. Maybe she didn’t get along with the people in her school orchestra. Who knows? Plus you’ll have essays and an interview that will be taken into consideration as well as your activities, so you’ll have a chance to show the admissions officers what you’re really like as a person without relying solely on the list of activities.

Presumably, you chose your activities. Colleges will be more interested in someone who can stand by their choices than someone who wants to put up a smokescreen or make excuses.

Kat is not an admissions officer at Harvard or any other university. She is offering her opinion for which people have the “privilege” of paying $40K. Well, you know what they say about opinions… (And if you don’t know what they say, Terms of Service does not let me tell you, but google is your friend.)

My opinion is that you are overthinking this. Your activities sound fine. Your mission is to demonstrate in you essay how your activities contribute to making you you. Good luck.