This is my first post in CC. I mentioned that because I wasn't sure if I am posting this question in the right section.
So, I am an Indian student (living in India) who is currently in class 10 (sophomore). After reading quite a bit about Swarthmore, I really like this college and I'd want to attend it. My academics are good, and I think I have a bit of time for my SATs. But what worries me is my lack of extracurricular activities. So I have a couple of questions. Also, at many places I don't have any questions but I am mentioning those details to give you an idea of my entire situation.
Will the admission folks judge my extracurricular in context? The thing is extracurricular activites at my school is mostly either sports or the performing arts. I am interested in writing and linguistics. We do have a yearbook, and I am going to be contributing to that, though I haven't yet.
But I have started putting in effort. I and my friends have very recently started an online literary magazine, and we are going to be publishing stories from various other students. As for clubs, that is all I have but I do plan to join/ start a few clubs, most probably about something to do with linguistics. Will the fact that I took the initiative to form these clubs independently help me? Also, can anyone suggest some extracurriculars I do which show my interest in world issues.
As for work experience, it is going to be a little difficult since we don't have a student working culture here. But I am going to try for something in the next vacations, possibly some job at a library or bookstore.
Lastly, as for the Honours section in the Common App I don't know exactly what goes into it. I am going to be participating in the Linguistics Olympaid this year. If I win a medal, or acheive a high rank does that go in here. Also do any awards won in writing or other extracurriculars go in here? If not where do they go?
Do you think I have enough time to work on my extracurriculars. I have most of class 10, all of class 11 and 12 left with me. Will only 2-3 years of an activity add to the depth?
I know the post is long and I am really thankful if you have read the entire post and could contribute by even answering one question. Also, if any student from India who got accepted ( and may or may not have enrolled at Swarthmore), or their family reads this, could I get in touch with you?</p>
I am going to answer your questions, and others will chime in to round out the picture.
Most important: SAT scores, grades, highly challenging classes.
It sounds like you are very interested in linguistics and pursuing that by starting things at your school - perfect! It shows you have a deep interest in something, you are out-of-the-ordinary (no existing such clubs at your school), you are intellectual, and you are willing to start it up yourself (this last point, I think, would be appealing to Swarthmore). Keep doing it, but not at the expense of the SAT scores, grades, highly challenging classes.<br>
I would also suggest possibly writing about linguistics for your essay - make sure it is interesting, even to a non-linguistics person! ;)
Anything constructive during the summer would be good - a job, or something interesting...
Yes, I think a medal would go in the Honors section...
And, yes, I personally think you have plenty of time to create a good record of extracurriculars.</p>
<p>In a nutshell, for you I would just stress the importance of your academic record, followed by pursuing the linguistics however you can, and writing an interesting essay that shows your interests and your capability in writing.</p>
<p>[And then realize that Swarthmore has a 15% acceptance rate, and most of the non-accepted 85% are extremely good students! So you just do your best, and accept what fate has to offer :) ]</p>
<p>Thanks a lot for your reply, hanaviolet.
I will definitely be working on my grades and SATs.
As for the 15% acceptance rate...<em>sigh</em></p>
<p>Bring Up My Post</p>