The Cost of Undiversified Extracurriculars

<p>On CC, members almost always look down on laundry lists of extracurriculars. I don't understand why. At my school and local schools, all of those smart kids with laundry list of extracurriculars (doing multiple sports, volunteering, clubs, AND work without any shared interests) are always the kids who get the most scholarships, get into the best schools, and get the most respect with their peers AND elders. </p>

<p>And I've also had some of these experiences. My GC and peers look down on my ECs (doing historical research for a local musuem, self-studying a foreign language, and writing) as "boring" and most likely are not going to get me scholarships or get me into honor programs/great schools. I'm not saying that I CAN get all of more scholarships or get into better schools than those kids with laundry lists of ECs, but I don't understand why on CC, members look down on laundry lists of ECs while in real life, people don't.</p>

<p>I think they just assume that you were only briefly committed to each of the EC’s that you listed. But if you are strongly committed to all of them, who can actually criticize that?</p>

<p>Agreed. I think that some - not all, but some - have an overinflated sense of their own judgment in terms of college admissions. I had a pretty diverse set of ECs and I was fine. If you can balance a lot of activities that you love, then go for it.</p>

<p>Yes, I’m assuming, but I don’t know how a person who does (most of them not even for only 2 years of high school)</p>

<p>Varsity Track
Peer Ministry
Math Team
Spanish Club
Lasallian Youth
Volunteer at a hospital
Lit Mag
School Radio show
etc…can be really committed to their ECs or most of them anyways…
(These are ECs are from a person who got a full scholarship to WUSTL)</p>


<p>Esmee - My $.02 is that there is usually more than one way to do things right, and that you should feel good about doing what is right for you. If somebody doesn’t think library research is exciting, wll so what? There is somebody else out there that lives to research, and will respect what you do. Same with self-studying a language. </p>

<p>The trick of course, is to find a college that appreciates the real you, not the you that others expect. And BTW - Have Fun Doing It! :)</p>

<p>/ end of preaching :)</p>


It isn’t just CC posters who wonder about people that are a mile wide and an inch deep. Colleges do, too. Here’s what Stanford says


<p>I think that having one or two activities that you have a deep interest in greatly outweighs a massive list filled with Key Club and Student Gov. It shows what you will bring to their campus and how you will improve their school.</p>

<p>Don’t hate on Key Club… even that can make an impact if you are deeply involved. The former Lietuenant gov. and PNW District governer got into Rice, Duke, and other schools mostly for her work in Key Club.</p>

<p>You keep drawing a linear relationship between ECs and scholarships. Most merit money goes to academically high achieving students; these type-As oftentimes have multiple outside interests. But that doesn’t mean that the scholarships are a direct result of the ECs (Unless your example student received scholarships from organizations directly related to her activities, e.g., Key Club). I doubt that WashU is throwing around money to 2.5 GPA 20ECs candidates while ignoring 4.0/2400 2 EC applicants. Second, a percentage of most financial aid packages include some sort of scholarship or grant. This has little if anything to do with ECs and more to do with not drowning students with 100% debt loads.</p>

<p>Finally, and this is a personal opinion, I think the EC arms race here on CC is a bit of a farce. It’s hard to envision a formula wherein the top schools sit around admitting or rejecting students based on the number of their ECs. Do you truly believe that the Admissions Committees at HYPMS sit there and say, “Oh esmee is a great candidate and we would have admitted her if only she had 7 ECs instead of 3”. Maybe it happens but I’d like to believe that AdComms are smart enough to discern real commitment from nervous energy.</p>