ACTIVITIES Colleges DON’T Care About – I Learned This The Hard Way…
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ACTIVITIES Colleges DON’T Care About – I Learned This The Hard Way…

I’m going to tell you a story. When I was a freshman year in high school,
I signed up for 8 clubs. I was on the track team. I did mock trial. Theater. A Capella. I volunteered at a soup kitchen. I was studying two languages at once. To your average person, these are all activities
that colleges like to see. But don’t listen to your average person. Signing up for those eight clubs was the worst
mistake of my LIFE. I was continually stressed out about making
every meeting and keeping up grades at the same, and I basically wasted two years of
my life with activities that I thought colleges cared about. In the spring of my sophomore year, I dropped
most of my activities. I felt like a failure, I couldn’t handle the
pressure any more. I didn’t know this at the time, but it was
QUITTING those extra activities that gave me the time and motivation to do the things
I really cared about. And it was QUITTING that got me accepted to
several Ivy League schools, including my dream school, Princeton! I’m Greg Smith and today I am going to tell
YOU which activities colleges don’t care about. I’m going to tell you exactly why colleges
don’t care about these activities, even though many people think that they do. Now, it’s never easy to ‘quit’ an activity
in high school. Maybe you feel like you’re “letting down
the team,” or you’re just giving up. Maybe quitting an activity is hard. But you know what else is hard? Being an Ivy League student. So if you want to change your admissions decision,
you’re also going to have to change the activities that you do, if they’re on this list. Luckily for you, and for me, it’s NOT hard
to click that ‘Like’ button and hit subscribe for weekly college admissions videos. Just do that right now before we jump into
this video. The number one activity that colleges don’t
care about is sports. Everyone has played a sport, and it might
feel unnatural for you to quit a sport and not be doing one at all. But hear me out– I’m going to convince
you that in most cases, doing a sport is utterly useless for your college applications. First, sports take up a lot of time when compared
to other activities. You practice for several hours a day after
school, and you often have these games that last into the evenings or if you do track
or something like that, meets that can go all weekend. To give you a real-life example, when I ran
track in high school, I was doing about 8 hours a week of practice, and I had a 5-hour
meet every other week. Because I ran for two 3-month seasons, that
means I spent approximately 270 hours PER YEAR. Aside from the crazy time commitment, when
you play a sport, you are not demonstrating anything unique about yourself to colleges. Besides getting really good at the sport,
there’s nothing you can really do to stand out, whereas there are lots of other clubs
and activities you can pursue to show colleges qualities that they really do care about such
as leadership, creativity, innovation, and proactiveness. Now, of course, if you do get really good,
and I mean really really good, you should absolutely stick with your sport. Recruiters will go the extra mile to get you
accepted into the college, even if your GPA and extracurricular activities aren’t up
to par. Another case where you should stick to a sport
is if you are on track to become the team’s captain. If you do this, then in your essays, you can
talk about how being the team’s captain improved your leadership ability; leadership
is a quality highly desired in college applications. Generally speaking though, colleges don’t
care that you play JV basketball, and neither should you. If you’re passionate about your sport but
not really good at it, then to become a sports writer for your school newspaper, maybe volunteer
to coach little kids in the sport that you’re interested in. Or start a blog or Youtube channel about the
sport. Any of these will show creativity, passion,
and innovative, which are all qualities that colleges DO care about. If you asked 100 people what came to mind
when they thought of college activities, the number one answer would undoubtedly be “volunteer
work.” Volunteer work has been touted as an activity
that colleges like to see, and suddenly high school students have a vested interest in
going to homeless shelters, handing out sandwiches, other types of traditional community service. Now, personally, I don’t think that you
should be doing volunteer work solely to get into your dream college in the first place. Take it from me; I did one of these traditional
volunteer opportunities for a year when I was a freshman because I thought it would
look good for college, and I felt super unfulfilled by the work I was doing. But, because I’m super interested in music
and performance, I started a street performing club senior year with some of my closest friends,
we went out the streets, performed, and asked for donations to this amazing music charity
in my local city. We ended up raising thousands of dollars through
that club, and that was volunteer work that Princeton was really interested in seeing. The bottom line is, If you’re going to do
some sort of charitable work and include it on your college application, make sure it
has something to do with what you like to do and you’re not just doing it for the sake
of racking up community service hours. For example, if you’re super interested
in language, you could tutor English to low-income ESL students. If you are really into biology, how about
organizing a fundraiser for a disease that really fascinates you? All I’m trying to say is, colleges really
care that all of your activities have a theme in common and that you’re not just doing
volunteer work for college. If you’re struggling with brainstorming
different ways that your passion can be related to some sort of service, why don’t you just
leave a comment below explaining your situation and I will try to get back to you as best
I can. But, if you really want to know which activities
will work best for you specifically, I highly recommend that you check out our sponsor,
Crimson Education. Crimson provides top-of-the-line college consulting,
including expert advice on extracurricular activities tailored to your specific situation. They also will put together a whole team of
admissions specialists to help you go over, revise, and polish your application. It’s also probably worth noting that 87%
of Crimson students get into one of their top three choice colleges! If you use the link in the description to
sign up with Crimson, they will give you a FREE consultation about your application and
they will give you a recommendation as to how they can best help you. Definitely check it out if you’re interested! Let’s get back into activities that colleges
don’t care about. I want to let you in on a little secret: just
because you’re part of a club, doesn’t mean that you should put it on your college
application. Some high school clubs are a lot of fun to
be a part of, and I’m definitely not telling you to quit all your clubs simply because
you won’t be putting them on your college application, but far too often I see students
worrying about the number of clubs they’re a part of because they think that colleges
care about that! If this is you, don’t worry, I did the exact
same thing. The case with most clubs is, anybody can sign
up and show up. It’s really not that hard and it doesn’t
make you stand out. For example, when I was a senior in high school,
I showed up to the French club, Astronomy club, and poker club, maybe about one third
of the time each, and they all considered me a member simply because I showed up some
of the time! That said, if you put in the hard work and
dedication required, you can impress colleges with your participation in a club. The first thing colleges look at when they
see a club that you’re a part of is your position in the club. If you are an officer of the club, or better
yet, a FOUNDER you are showing colleges that your friends and peers see you as a natural
leader, and, in the latter case, proactive about getting others excited about your passion
as well. For example, I only founded my street performing
club once I knew that my passion was music and performance, and I brought a lot of my
friends together who had similar passions. If you’re not an officer of the clubs that
you’re currently in, don’t worry. What matters more to colleges than any sort
of title you hold in a club is the CONTRIBUTIONS you made to the club while you were a part
of it. Think about it: what good is a leader if they
don’t make changes? If you’re a president of the club or even
just a member, what’s really going to make colleges interested in you is the creative,
out-of-the-box steps that you take to improve the club. Let me give you a real-life example. In senior year of high school, I was one of
the co-presidents of the school’s all-male a cappella group. Because the group was classified as a club,
we weren’t really allowed to hold auditions or reject people from the group. This meant that during the first few weeks
of rehearsal, we were basically spending all of our time helping just two people who really
couldn’t get the pitches. Everyone else felt left out and felt bored
because they knew what they were doing but we weren’t rehearsing with them. To fix this problem, my co-president and I
started holding more sectional rehearsals, that basically means we held rehearsals for
just one voice part at a time. The results were fantastic: we were no longer
wasting the time of the people that were doing great, and the people who weren’t doing so
well either improved or decided that singing was not for them. If you’re currently part of a club, think
about whether it’s a club you can contribute to in some unique way. If it is, great. Then stay in the club and start working towards
that. The last type of activity that colleges don’t
like to see on your application is just RANDOM activities that fill the bottom few slots
of the activities section. I don’t blame you for feeling like you should
fill in all 10 activities but you really shouldn’t. When you add things like your summer job at
a fast food chain or the day of volunteer service that your school made you do, you’re
really taking away from those activities at the top of your list that the college admissions
officers should be focusing on. Would you rather the admissions officer spend
all their time focusing on your strong suits, or would you rather have them split up their
time evenly so they can review your extensive babysitting experience in slot 10? I hope you guys liked this video. If you’re still having trouble figuring
out which activities to QUIT, please check out THIS video about finding your passions
and finding ways to connect your activities and find a common thread that will leave college
admissions officers loving you. Hit that like button for a new video next
week. And thank you for subscribing, how nice of
you! See you later.

About James Carlton

Read All Posts By James Carlton

100 thoughts on “ACTIVITIES Colleges DON’T Care About – I Learned This The Hard Way…

  1. Talk to Expert College Advisors About Your College Application and Essays ➤

  2. I’m really into music but I feel stuck when considering what I can do. I’ve been in my church choir since I was eight but I’m a junior now and I don’t know how to do something interesting with music that colleges will be interested in that also gives me community service hours

  3. I like science.. I’m a sophomore ,and I’m currently doing no extracurriculars… I wish I was more involved , but nothing seems to interest me. I’m currently doing very well in school , but I have no extracurriculars. I’m confused on what extra curricular I should do. I really like science though. Please blow me Greg.

  4. Colleges may not care much about sports but there’s more to life than only doing things that appeal to elite college admissions. It’s pretty simple – if you like something, do it.

  5. I'm in key club, culinary arts alub, yearbook club, national art honor society, hand bells group, and created my own club which i did it for a year. Are those helpful at all? I also did track but I only did it for 1 and a half year. I love being part of those clubs but my grades aren't that good which is also why I'm continuing to be part of the clubs.

  6. I’m planning to not do debate in high school though many say it’s useful

    1, because it was boring when I tried it this year

    2, I don’t wanna spend time on it

    3, it’s going to take up too much time because I take forever to write speeches

    Btw I hope to make USAMO next year.

    What do you guys think?

  7. Dude, I think you might need to chill. I´ve got that you´re are trying to coach kids into college but telling them to quit sports or any activities that they might not be the best at even if they like them is not the way to go either. You can do all these activities and still get into an IVY league; You just need the grades and career-driven mentality to back them up. That being said, I agree that getting involved within your clubs through leadership positions and large-scale projects is important in showing participation. It is both important to work hard and to do activities that you enjoy or have a passion about.

  8. Thank god I’m finding out about you my junior year of high school. I am basing my application off of what you are saying

  9. I really like chemistry, maths and languages. Do you know in what activities I could partecipate? Thank you so so much if you answer me :))

  10. I am really intrested in math and science, but my school hardly offers any extracurriculars regarding those subjects. What should I do? And also what type of community service should I do?

  11. Hi Greg, new subscriber here but I have a question is being an Eagle Scout something to put on your college application or no?

  12. Hey Greg!

    I want to apply for a chemical engineering major. Right now im the president of my schools science club and treasurer of chess club. I'm about to get into student council and NHS, and thinking about joining art club (I enjoy art and perhaps this would look creative). Do top schools really care about leadership positions like stuco and nhs if you are not an officer? Do you think these clubs would be relevant to my major? And do colleges really care about NHS?

    Thanks for reading my comment and perhaps responding to some of my questions!

  13. hi, i’m mainly writing this comment just because i want to get this off my chest (not expecting any replies, i’m just ranting lol). so i’m a sophomore in high school and i just feel… scared, i guess. my cumulative gpa is nearly a 4.2 (we switched to a weighted gpa scale this year, and my gpa for this year alone would be a 4.6). i’m currently tied with a girl for second in class. i’m co-founder of my school newspaper, i’m in key club (i honestly don’t care about key club, i just needed a second extracurricular for national honor society), i worked backstage for the school play last year, i’ve volunteered at the humane society since last summer (on & off), i’ve regularly attended my local pflag chapter for the past 3ish years, and i’m applying for NHS this month and i’ll be in this next school year. other activities i’ve done include- i’ve went to a poetry summer camp for the past two summers, and this summer i’m planning on going to an aviation summer camp (a career i’m thinking about). i’m also thinking about getting a job and i’ll also be doing drivers training soon. another thing i need to mention- i skipped 8th grade (not tryna flex on anyone, just stating the facts lmao), and i’ve always had straight A’s (this year is the first time i’ve gotten anything other than an A on anything that’s on my transcript- i got a C on my chemistry exam but my overall grade in the class was still an A). i’m planning on majoring in psychology and minoring in economics or business, and the two main career paths i’m thinking about after that is law or aviation. my dream college is harvard, and my second option is university of michigan. i just feel like im ill prepared- i haven’t done all that many extracurriculars, hell, i had to join one i don’t give a sh-t about just to get into NHS. not to mention, i’m probably going to lose my second-in-class place because the girl i’m tied with is probably going to take more AP classes than me next year and she cheats on everything and will get a higher gpa than me (yes, i’m what the kids would call “salty”). oh, AP classes. hate them and think they’re a scam, but i took APUSH last year and am currently taking AP art, AP gov, and AP seminar. also, the next two years i will be doing dual enrollment. the AP classes i’m taking next year: AP psych, AP world, AP language. currently my PSAT score is 1130 but that was 9th grade and i didn’t try at all, so i’m expecting it to improve this year (taking it next week). i don’t know why i feel like i have no shot at my dream colleges, i’m almost there (getting my PSAT score up)? i keep telling myself to not base my self worth on academics, if i get into harvard, and if i’m salutatorian or not, but it’s progressively getting harder not to. idk. rant over, sorry for clogging up the comment section lol

  14. I did 6 clubs for freshmen year and 7 clubs for sophomore. I’m going to try to do 7 again for junior, if that doesn’t work for colleges, donations… 😂😭😅

  15. I do theatre, vocal lessons, tap, ballet, and jazz classes, and I'm thinking about joining speech and debate team next year. I'm also very intrested in animals, French and foreign languge in general, biology, and pharmaceutical science. Any tips for me?

  16. Hello Greg so I have a question what kind of activities should I do to get into Harvard. It has been my dream to be in Harvard but I want extra advice how?

  17. I work in the Family Engagement Office at San Bernardino City Unified School District and I like your work. I would like to share it with our students and families, but I have some questions. Could you please contact me: [email protected]

  18. I want to apply to university for chemical enginering. But my extracurriculars are based off of performing arts and helping the community through performance. Would this affect my application for getting into an engineering school?

  19. Lmao re-title the vid to how to not enjoy your high school years. If you enjoy playing a sport even though you aren’t the best at it you should stick with it. Don’t know why you’re encouraging people to quit something that makes them happy so they have a better shot of getting into their “dream school”

  20. Also, you can just stick with an extracurricular if you enjoy doing it! As someone who also signed up for way too many clubs my freshman year (tennis, track, drama, model un, mock trial, etc) I can tell you that you should stick with what you love, not if it will make your application look “perfect” because the perfect application is the one that’s the most authentic! You don’t need to be president of the club to seem dedicated, you don’t need to be captain of the team to show you love a sport. It’ll all work out.

  21. I know that people recently have been saying to show a great interest in one area and not to be well rounded but what if I’ve been well rounded in activities for awhile? I’ve been playing piano since 2nd grade and lacrosse since 5th grade so want to continue both when I go to college next year. At the moment (although I know things can always change) I’m looking into engineering and my high school offers those classes. Anyway, is this too well rounded and too many time commitments or will i be fine with time management?

  22. I am a member of Model U.N in my high school and I came up with a design for our t-shirts. Would that impress colleges?

  23. Hi Greg, would you say it matters if a volunteer service you did has something to do with your major? Thanks.

  24. Sports run my entire region. Sports provide a gateway to A TON of money for our students, even for mediocre kids.

  25. The main point that this guy was trying to make was don’t do activities that you don’t like and don’t try to do as many activities as physical possible. The rest of the video is BS cuz he wanted content for his channel and he wanted to get the video to 10 min. I mean he said that colleges don’t care about sports, or clubs, or volunteer work, or any other activities for that matter.

  26. Sometimes people get too caught up in the next step and forget to enjoy the one they are at. I get it a lot of people play sports and it might not look that good for colleges, but in the end of the day the bonds formed on those teams wins out.

  27. This was very helpful and honest. Thank you!
    I want to pursue energy-engineering, please let me know if you have any ideas about what clubs I should join.

  28. Hey Greg, this was very helpful! I have been doing lots of volunteer work at this afterschool place for kids. I have organized fundraisers for them and organized several volunteer events for them throughout my hs experience. Is this the type of volunteer work that they would care about?

  29. Hey Greg! Im Japanese boy who are currently attending to Canadian boarding highschool right now. Im joining music band at Japan over this summer. I do live performance with my friends at a club or pub. Also Im in a basketball club as well. Do collage care about music band's that I do? I dont really do any charity but I just perform in front of everybody. Do those help out for collage?

  30. Right now im joining music band at Japan. I do live performance with my friends at a club or pub. Also Im in a basketball club as well. Do collage care about music band's that I do? I dont really do any charity but I just perform in front of everybody. Do those help out for extra curricular actives that collage care?

  31. Right now im joining music band at Japan. I do live performance with my friends at a club or pub. Also Im in a basketball club as well. Do collage care about music band's that I do? I dont really do any charity but I just perform in front of everybody. Do those help out for extra curricular actives that collage care?

  32. Hey greg! I'm an indian high school student and i play badminton and I'm a district quarter finalist,I've also learned to play guitar,piano and drums and teach guitar to Christian and non Christian childrens at the church and i also play for my school choir 4 times a week and I'm also planning to start a speech and debate club….will these activities help me or should i do more?

  33. I’m interested in psychology Do you have any extracurricular recommendations? I’m still very confused on how this works.

  34. Does it have to be an official club for your school to list it? For example my freshman year I along with a couple of my friends created a team for a mobile online game (a quite popular one by EA), it grew from us 3 to 40+ of my other classmates, some in higher grades, and I was captain of it and finished top 10 in the world (there was like a tournament for the best players). We did have meetings and it was quite involved even tho we only did it for a year. I feel like it might be dumb to put a video game especially if it wasn’t an official school club but wasn’t sure. Would appreciate any advice <3

  35. I play the cello and am in an orchestra and I’m trying to think of ways to get volunteer hours . How should I connect these two things together?

  36. I love aviation and rail transportation, but I’m not in any clubs (I’m in extracurriculars) at all as they don’t really interest me and can’t think of a club to start, but I’d love to start one (although there is very little interest in transportation at my school). Any suggestions? I’m a rising sophomore.

    My dream school would be either Cornell or Princeton as they have great operations research programs. Any unique advice on how to get into them?

  37. I have a question. I take mock trial, debate, theatre, etc. On the college application will I be able to say how all these activities are connected because they helped with public speaking. For college I want to be in the performing arts. I don’t want colleges to think I slapped theatre and mock trial as something random. Is there an option for explaining?

  38. What if you were on a varsity team since freshman year? I'm nothing special, but doesn't it still look good?

  39. Hey bro I need some advice. I didn’t have the best grades at all freshmen and sophomore year (86 & 87) – regular honor roll, but during my junior year I just made high honor roll with a 91. I know that the first few months of senior year I can maintain atleast a 92. I also have a 1330 SAT (not the best but I’m taking it again in October), which is a month before Early Action deadlines. I also ran track for 4 years and varsity for 3 years and an I’m all county athlete (hopefully state qualifier) and most likely going to be captain for sprints & jumps. I played in the marching band (2 yrs Concert band & then 2 years Symphonic band). I also know 3 languages. Idek if that helps which I hope it does but with all that said, do you think I can get into a good Computer Science school? Top 50 perhaps, thanks.

  40. Hi Greg! I am entering 9th grade and I have interests in Social Sciences. I am currently planning on joining Model UN and Political Action club. I’m also planning on interning for a law firm or a local politician for the near future. My dream school is Yale. Do you have any ideas or tips I could use?

  41. Is it actually a problem to do sports though if you genuinely enjoy them? Like I do other things too, but sports are just there to have fun and get exercise

  42. Hey Greg I have a business studies stream and am looking for colleges in Canada/USA, along with that I am perplexed with what activities to take up to get into good universities.

  43. I am a senior in high school and I have a huge interest in psychology, more specifically abnormal psychology. I love learning about the different types of mental illnesses and unusual patterns of behaviors. I'm aware that it might be too late, but are there any extracurricular activities that I can do to show colleges that I am passionate about this field ? Please reply. Thank you.

  44. Hello Greg!

    I love your videos a lot and they are really informative for me as a senior ready to apply for college. I have watched your tips on the common application essays and they have changed the way I thought about these essays. Moreover, I was wondering if my lifelong hobby of Coin Collecting would be considered an extracurricular. I have done this since 1st grade and I actively have a blog website where I discuss the history and the analysis of a particular coin.

    Thank you!

  45. Hi Greg!After watching your video, I start thinking about the connection between my passion and the clubs I participate. I am interested in medicine and am leading Medicine Explorers Club. This Fall, I'll invite a allergist and immunologist on campus to introduce vaccines and the importance of that. I have a leading position in another club–the school newspaper. The role is to organize meetings and deadlines of each issue of the newspaper. My purpose of joining the club was to improve my writing and communication skill. Interviewing others and writing down interviewees' stories helped me meet that goal. Is this something that Ivy schools wouldn't care about? If so, could you give me some suggestions?

  46. Hey USA, why do you put op with this extracurricular B.S??? It has nothing to do with education, a born leader or a creative person, isn't the building block for getting a education. Here in Denmark I got a Masters in computer science, and I seen people through hard earned experience and working, getting good at their field. Einstein wasted a leader role, and yet he became one of the greatest science of all time. So again I ask, why do you put op with this? Your education system is actually petty bad compared to what we have in EU.

  47. Does All State orchestra look good on a college application? My activities are violin, dance, and a volunteering tax club.

  48. (I know I'm super late lol) I'm in FFA, and I'm wondering if I should just add FFA as an extracurricular or add all of the individual activities within FFA. Parliamentary Procedure, Public Speaking, Volunteer Work through FFA, etc.

  49. that “work at fast food chain” part isn’t that bad tho, i’ve heard colleges like seeing work experience (yes, regardless or the place)

  50. Totally disagree on your views on sports. Most activities you are involved in HS are BS because there is no immediate and true feedback: That club you started, who knows what good it did and how long it will last….. Play sports, and the score will show you right there and then how you are doing. Creativity, leadership, grit/perseverance, discipline, emotional control, etc. All things that are needed in sports. Also when you go into college you will sit down on a chair and work like a slave (here hamster get on the wheel, type thing) until you have enough money to retire….Dont you want to enjoy your body while you are young? get some nice lifetime habits? Particularly if you can keep doing your sport for life? When you are getting over paid, over extended on expenses (trying to keep up with the jones' lifestyle), and taxed on your health (because you are sitting down all day long) in your blue bracket PE or IB job, you will regret not being in the sun and the wind….. and care free to your hearts content competing…..when you could have …..but instead you were starting that silly club that no one remembers or cases/cared about just to look good to some admissions officer who works there because he/she could not hack the real competitive world. You will work since after middle school like a rat, for what? So that some day you can also be in a golden prison of a lifestyle? Take your head out of your ass…Dont live your live for the application or recruiting process….What a sickness and a rat race mentality everyone has bought into….No wonder people are on antidepressants as a normal course of action when they are in 20's and 30's…..

  51. I kinda disagree with your sports argument. It does take a lot of time and if you have good grades it shows you have good time management and are passionate in something. My sister does fencing and UPENN and my other sister lacrosse at Tufts. So maybe I just think that doing a sport gets you into college.

  52. I am really interested in engineering/computer science and leadership. For leadership, I do boy scouts (working on my eagle) and also the president of a programming club. Are there any activities I could do that would fall under either of these categories. Thanks so much!

  53. Hey Greg I was wondering what type of computer related volunteer opportunities I could pursue . Additionally I’m a Sophmore and still in JV tennis but I want to continue doing tennis even though I’m not good. Like I’m not doing it for colleges. Will the colleges view this in a negative way or will they be a little more understanding? Thanks

  54. I do ski club and I’m extremely invested in it and enjoy do you think it’s something colleges would be interested in

  55. I'm a senior in high school, I never join clubs or activities in school, but I do learn an instrument outside of school. Is it ok?

  56. Regarding Volunteer work, it's worth looking into sponsorship programs early into you highschool career. For example, Florida will give you hella money if you meet a few fairly easy standards, including 100 hours of volunteer work over your highschool career.

  57. Hey, if I want to pursue a career in computer science, what kind of volunteer work would I have to do to stand out towards Princeton?

  58. so ik u said colleges don't really care about simple clubs for example french club bc everyone can join, but what about french honors society?

  59. Hi there, I am really interested in medicine and pursuing a surgical career in the future; however, I am also really interested in music and theatre. There are also way more music activities in my area than there are medicine, and I am really worried I am not up to par with others my age. I am in my freshman year of high school and would really appreciate some advice, thanks! 🙂

  60. Hey Greg I am a junior in high school who hopes to one day attend law school. I was wondering if you had some recommendations on how I could improve my chances of getting into my dream school, Columbia.

  61. i almost quit track freshman year because i wasn't as good as i was in middle school but then it ended up getting me recruited for williams and it got other good schools like emory and pomona to reach out to me so it's good i didn't quit

  62. “Don’t do lots of of volunteer work that doesn’t relate to what you want to do”

    Me: welp, I guess my international volunteer work wasn’t important :/

    “Don’t put sports on your college application”

    Me: welp I guess getting 4th in the nation isn’t that important 🙁

  63. What do I do? I'm vice pres of cs club and I do key club unisef and NHS. Also vice pres of psychology club. These seem kind of useless. I'm gonna major in CS. WHat can I do?

  64. hii bro ! iam from india , actually iam very intersted in bio and physics,i have participated in several national and international olympiads and won in one or two …..and also researched at IITs (indian institute of tech) and tutoring students and in orphnages
    and what more can i add to get accepted in my dream school(harvard)

  65. I agree about the volunteer work especially. I’m currently a junior, and wasted my freshman and sophomore years doing useless volunteer work. This year, I started volunteering at my local library to teach 1st-8th graders math because I’m very passionate about math and I’m planning to major in it. It makes me feel like I’m making a difference in someone’s life because most of the kids I work with weren’t interested in math and I understand that because I hated math at first until my 7th grade math teacher made me really interested in the subject. I try to teach them in a fun and interesting way to share my passion with them, and the best thing for me is when one of the students has a bright look on their face after understanding something challenging for them.

  66. Im currently a junior at my hs and even thought I’m vp of a club, we dont really do much and I don’t feel really invested in any of my school clubs. I much prefer doing out of school extracurriculars like teaching children and hospital volunteering, but would not doing much in school clubs hurt me?

  67. "everyone has played a sport"
    My school doesn't even offer any sports school has like 360 kinds and A BUNCH of clubs so most of the kids are in several clubs…I'm a senior in 5 clubs and I was president of my class last year. Honestly I'd just say to do what you want and work hard, if you love it and try your best you'll find the school that's right for you.

  68. My school has like 3 clubs and they're all dead as hell. I don't want to do sports. All I really want to do is come home and play guitar.

  69. Is it weird that I’m the president of four clubs? My biggest interest is art but I wanna apply as a business major and I’m good at math and I’m an international student… so I’m the president of art club, business club, math club, and international club 😂😂

  70. I agree that work at a fast food chain probably doesn't belong on an application, unless perhaps you worked your way up to some level of supervision and are a prospective Business major. However, it might be appropriate information to provide in an interview:

    When I'm talking to an applicant for my Ivy, I will sometimes hear about all the time they put in at a menial job… maybe just to help pay the family bills. If they also evidence strong academic effort/time commitment, then I'm able to say on the interview form here is someone who clearly has the sort of time management skills needed for success at a highly-selective college.
    Right there, that checks one of the boxes which Admissions is concerned with.

    More generally, don't get psyched out by what may seem to be impossible standards when it comes to "what colleges are looking for". Some of that is more mythology than reality. We know you are all high school students, like we once were, and not everything about you is going to be or needs to be totally amazing. Do you live in an urban area, with lots of extracurricular opportunities? Great. Out in the middle of nowhere? In some cases the Ivys will be looking even harder for you, if you show promise (which can be demonstrated in numerous ways).

    Rightly or wrongly, Ivys/highly-selectives are not looking for the very best students, but rather for the very best entering class. An amazingly diverse yet synergistic group of individuals who over four years will challenge each other and support each other and along the way become the whole which is greater than the sum of the parts.

    Given that an applicant's particulars will only be a part of what figures in to the admission decision — along with how well they do or don't happen to fit in to the overall mosaic of applicants under consideration — it becomes even more of a guessing game as to what strategy might be best. So absorb the good ideas presented in this video and others, but ultimately trust in yourself to pick a path which is right for you. That's "personal leadership"… what colleges are looking for! ; )

  71. I love to help people. I really love to help people with their situations and get them into a better place or take off some of their work load. I don't know what volunteering I should do for this, though, because it sounds so cliché that I'm worried that colleges just won't care. I've always been giving as much as I can to people who ask for things they need. Please help. I am also interested in puzzles! Not jigsaw puzzles or rubiks cubes. I like box puzzles, Hanayama puzzles, metal puzzles! But there isn't really much I can do with this.. I can't find any organizations or clubs or meetups/groups that explore this sort of thing, and I don't think there are many people who are interested or even know of this. I am also interested in nature and spend as much of my free time as I can in the ravine outside my backyard! What can I do to get leadership positions or volunteering etc. in these ? I'm feeling pretty hopeless as of right now. I was thinking I could create a puzzle club but we already have a board game club and I'm afraid the school would think it's too similar.

    Any suggestions are appreciated! 🙂

  72. Actually, if you are honestly putting in hard work and effort into an activity, don’t hesitate to include it in your college apps. The ONLY scenario where colleges won’t care about activities you do (or will it hurt your app in any way) is if you just sign up for 1000 clubs/organizations and rarely show up or dedicate yourself.

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