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Introducing a New Expert Content Section: Careers!

Is there hope for me? (underachieving junior)

lilac22lilac22 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
I've been wanting to go to this school for awhile. I just started my junior year, and I'm doing Running Start. I'm happy with my grades overall (3.8). My main issue is that I haven't been very involved. No clubs, sports, only a little bit of volunteering.
I'm (severely) shy and anxious, which has been extremely limiting for me. transporting me home after school can be a burden for my family too.
I know I won't be competitive for UW at all without any extracurriculars. I also know it's too late to have a long-term commitment to anything, like a club..
I guess the closest thing I have to an ec is that I draw and animate a lot. I spend a lot of time doing it everyday, and it means a lot to me. I just have nothing to really show for it, like any awards or achievements, and I'm not sure whether or not it counts for much on its own.

Anyways..I'm hoping this year, I can volunteer more consistently. I want to get myself to join art club, and participate in a scholastic contest. I'm also considering a part-time job.. Basically, I just want to get out of my shell this year and get around my anxiety.

What I'm wondering is...would doing these things help me be more competitive for this school? Is it unlikely for me since I started so late? Should I shoot a little lower?
also, does making personal projects (comics, short films) count for anything?

thank you :')

Replies to: Is there hope for me? (underachieving junior)

  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 37,453 Senior Member
    edited September 2017
    Start creating a portfolio of your drawings - show versatility (realistic human form, nature, cartoons, manga...) And put your animation online on a private hosting site (YouTube fine if private settings).
    ECs are anything you're passionate about and do when not in class. Cartooning and animation are excellent choices. See if your school's newspaper could publish some of your cartoons, or if you could make a cartoon commentary on school life that they'd be interested in.
    Stepping up your volunteering, joining an art club, and getting a job would be excellent additions. You could keep the job for the Holiday season though, so as to not overwhelm yourself.
    No need to do a thousand things. A handful of things is ok what matters is doing them well.

    What will matter most though is your academics - classes taken, grades, test scores. So your ECs shouldn't cause you to neglect your school work nor cut into sleep.

    Finally, don't fixate on just one school. You'll need to find two affordable safeties and a few matches before you start considering your reaches.

    In rough order....
    Calculate your EFC. Ask your parents if they can pay that much (keep in mind that EFC = the minimum a college will expect.) If not, you'll need to find merit scholarships.
    (^ do today)
    Over the next few months:
    Visit a few Universities: UPuget Sound, Whitman, WWU, Lewis and Clark, UPortland, USeattle, Pacific Lutheran, UOregon. At the larger universities, always ask about the Honors program and if they offer an honors program related tour. Run the NPC on each of them, bring the results to your parents to see if they find the costs affordable or not.

    Prepare for the SAT or ACT. The higher the score, the higher the likelihood of a scholarship. (Start this weekend and keep going - systematic daily practice yields results).
  • bjkmombjkmom Registered User Posts: 6,980 Senior Member
    edited September 2017
    Let me begin by saying I know nothing about UW or your odds there.

    And that a 3.8 hardly makes you "Underachieving."

    You're absolutely on the right track. And don't do these things with the primary focus on getting into a particular school; make it about personal growth. That growth will make you a more attractive candidate for a variety of schools, as well as the kind of adult you want to be.

    You speak of anxiety. Are you seeing a therapist, or did you use the term in a more general "getting out of my shell makes me uncomfortable" type of way? Are your parents transporting you to and from school because you're afraid of the bus or because that's simply the best arrangement? Working with a good therapist can be life changing. My daughter has been seeing one for over a year, and it has made a huge impact on her life.

    Personally, I'm a huge fan of jobs for high school kids. They teach you responsibility in a way that clubs and activities and schoolwork simply don't. Even just working the counter at a fast food place forces you to greet strangers with a smile and a voice loud enough to hear-- that's a huge step for a lot of kids. It will introduce you to kids you don't already know-- a great opportunity to re-invent yourself. It forces you to juggle schoolwork and other commitments-- it's so good for kids for so many reasons!

    You mention your art work-- of course it counts! Is there an art club, or an anime club in your school? If so, it sounds like something you would enjoy and want to be part of. If not, would you consider joining stage crew for the play? Lots of opportunities there to display your art talents and to grow. Does your school literary magazine include art work? Why not speak to the art teachers, show them some of your work, and ask how you could use and grow in your art abilities around school? You make short films-- could you work with the tech crew that produces the morning announcements? Speak to whoever runs it-- you'll have a good idea of what's involved before you put yourself out there and join.
  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls Registered User Posts: 4,132 Senior Member
    "I won't be competitive for UW at all without any extracurriculars"

    I don't think that is true. For the very few very top schools such as Harvard and Stanford, pretty much all of their applicants have all A's and very high SAT and great references, and they have to differentiate in some other ways. However, for very good schools such as U.Washington, there will be variation in GPA and SAT among applicants, and your GPA will help you. 3.8 is solidly in range for UW (according to CollegeData the average SAT is 3.78).

    "I want to get myself to join art club"

    I think that this is a very good idea. I think that it is a good EC to put on your university application. However, perhaps even more important it is a good thing to get involved in clubs that are of interest to you. I was never any good at drawing or comics or film, but I think that they are quite cool (and I wish that I could have done them).

    Getting a part time job is also a good idea. Putting in some preparation for the SAT as suggested by @MYOS1634 will also be a good idea.

    "I just want to get out of my shell this year"

    It sounds to me as if you are a bit shy, but that you are otherwise doing well. Your GPA is very good, which is the most important thing for university applications. You have a good hobby in art and film. I think that you are going to do well. Best wishes.
  • AroundHereAroundHere Registered User Posts: 3,555 Senior Member
    Yes, UW will look at EC's, but don't have a narrow definition of what "counts." Making art counts. Making art in public would be nice if you could design posters for something at school, for example.

    A few people have amazing extracurricular achievements, but if you have a life besides schoolwork, whether that's a club, hobby, job, whatever, count it and don't sell yourself short. Some college or another will like it.
This discussion has been closed.