Developing a Strong Extracurricular Profile for Freshmen and Sophomores
As a student signing up for many extracurriculars in high school, it can be challenging to figure out which ones are more important than others. Join CollegeAdvisor.com as Admissions Expert Rachael Moore provides recommendations on how to develop a strong extracurricular profile as a freshman and sophomore. The webinar will start with a 30-minute presentation and end with a 30-minute live Q&A. Come ready to learn and bring your questions!
2022-06-26 Developing a Strong Extracurricular Profile for Freshmen and Sophomores
[00:00:00] Hi everyone. My name is Juliana Furigay and I am your moderator today. Welcome to Developing a Strong Extracurricular Profile for Freshmen and Sophomores. To orient everyone with the webinar timing, we’ll start off with a presentation. Then answer your questions in a live Q&A on the sidebar. You can download our slides and you can start submitting your questions in the Q&A tab. Now let’s meet our panelists.
Hi everyone. My name’s Rachael Moore. I’m an advisor team lead at CollegeaAdvisor.com. Wonderful to spend this evening with you. I’ve been working in higher education for over 20 years. Um, a lot of that time spent in admission, so really excited to be talking with all of you. Uh, this.[00:01:00]
So here we have our first poll. Um, how many extracurriculars have you participated in so far? None, yet. One, two to three, three to four over four plus. Um, and while we wait for those results to come in, I’d love to ask you, Rachael, what drew you to the field of education and college advising? Yeah. Um, Honestly, it was being a student ambassador for the admissions office when I was in college myself.
Um, I just, I loved my college experience and just felt drawn to sharing that as a student, um, and just felt so comfortable there that. I never really wanted to leave. Um, talking about that admissions process, just for whatever reason, it lights my fire, being able to support families, um, with that information, uh, cuz it can be really daunting.
So it has never left me after all these years, as much as [00:02:00] sometimes I’ve tried other career paths. Um, I always end up back . So that’s really inspiring to hear. We love that. Um, and yeah, we have our poll results. Now. It looks like it’s a pretty big range of students. We have here 27% have don’t have any extracurricular.
So far 9% have one 36% have two to three, 9% have three to four and 18% have four. Plus that’s awesome. Well, this is a great really timely, um, conversation then for a lot of you. Um, and I promise you that this is all meant to be informational. Um, really just helped to give you a little bit of focus as to how to spend the next.
You know how to really navigate the next couple of years when you think about how you spend your time, um, and how you can leverage that then in building your narrative, it’s something we call I’ll talk a little bit more about [00:03:00] later, um, is when the time does come for you to apply to colleges. So just a brief overview of college admissions timeline, um, for high school, freshman and sophomores.
If you’re not in a habit of journaling, um, and I’m not saying you have to write your whole life story all of the time, um, or at all, but just taking some time to. To yourself to reflect. Um, I would say that now is a really great time to start doing that, um, to just, you know, even if it’s 50 minutes, half an hour, you know, every three months think about how you’ve been spending your time.
How do you feel, um, with all the D. Activities or responsibilities that you have, you know, just really think, am I making the most of my time? Um, is it a good use of time, um, [00:04:00] in college with, um, putting together an application, we do talk about your personal brand. You know, what does you know, your applications say about you?
As a former admissions officer, I’ll often use the coaching to say, you know, when I look at your application, what are the words that, or experiences that you want to come to mind for me when I advocate for you in the admissions process for selection, um, that can guide your, you know, how you choose to spend your time now.
Um, so you know, every three months or. Well, that’s jotting on a simple piece of paper. Um, whether it’s journaling, you could do a resume. We have plenty of seminars on that too, and information online. Um, you don’t have to get that fancy, but whatever’s comfortable for you just think about what have you learned?
What are you enjoying? What are you not enjoying? And it’s [00:05:00] something missing, you know? And then from there you can start to pick and choose a little bit, you know, maybe you should shift where you’re focusing your attention, or if there’s something you really enjoy or that your interest, you know, maybe you should dig deeper into exploring that further.
Um, then every six months, you know, take that another layer, you know, once or twice a year, just to say, you know, is what I’m doing fitting. You know where I’m starting to think, I might want to go for college, you know, the type of college community you wanna join or the type of, you know, program that you wanna apply for or major, you know, start to think about if.
You can line up or back up with how you’ve explored or participated outside of class, you know, how does that connect to what you wanna do or think you might wanna do in college? And then [00:06:00] what I would say is after your sophomore year, now’s the time to start prioritizing what brings you a sense of purpose and enjoy.
Focus on that, um, a little bit more and seek leader leadership where it makes sense there too. Not everyone has to be the president. It can be as simple as helping to get more people interested in the activity that you’re a part of, or maybe it’s leading a service project that supports, um, the organization.
You’re a part of whatever it is. Um, I think that’s a really helpful guideline to follow.
This the message on this slide is truly, I think one of the most important takeaways from this entire presentation and it is, it is the quality of how you’re spending your time as opposed to the quantity. I. I remember years ago when I was looking at [00:07:00] colleges, you know, there was the myth that I don’t think has ever left that it’s students worry.
Well, I haven’t done everything or I haven’t been a leader in all these different activities, or I look at the common application and there are 10 spaces and I don’t have enough to fill all 10 spaces of different activities that I’m participating in. It’s not about that at all. It’s there if you wanna fill it out.
Um, but you wanna make sure if you’re going to leverage that space, that it’s really reflective of you, who you are and something that you really feel, you know, you bring to the table in terms of your experience, um, and your exploration of, you know, how you want to start spending your time moving forward, or areas that you want to study or contribute to a college campus.
The application does, as I said, it has 10 spaces there on the [00:08:00] common application that you could fill out and also a section for five honors and awards. And that’s something as you progress, you know, into junior, senior year, we could talk more about how you leverage that space, but the same message will be there.
It’s about quality as opposed to quantity. Um, there are other two other common. Application types, that app that students will use when the time does come to apply to colleges. Um, one is the coalition application and another is the university of California application. The UC schools have. One separate app, one application that is used for all of the schools in the system.
Um, and that has a space for 20 extracurriculars. Um, so as you can see, there’s a broad range and there’s no right or wrong answer as to how you leverage that space. Um, and you’ll notice that a lot of times, instead of using the term [00:09:00] extracurriculars, I use the term. Or I use the phrase, this is how you spend your time.
Um, and we’ll talk a little bit more about why we do in a couple of slides, but I think it’s really important to frame that in your mind a little bit, um, because it also reinforces that it’s the quality of how you’re spending your time, not the quantity of activities. Okay.
okay. Um, where do extracurriculars fall? When in admissions officers reading their application? You know, it really, it, when I read an application, the activities list is actually something that. It’s one of the first things that I look at after I look at the biographical information, that’s in the application and then looking at the academic piece as well.
Um, the extracurriculars are really where I start to get more [00:10:00] clues is to a term I often use is what lights your fire, or what are your responsibilities? You know, how you choose to spend your time really speaks a lot to, you know, what is most important to you, um, and where you might be, you know, called to dedicate yourself and your personal life.
Um, so it also speaks to how you’re able to manage your time between your school responsibilities as well. You know, family personal responsibility and every student’s life. It, every application is unique. And that’s one of the beautiful things that about this process is that even though it’s one application, the same application that everyone fills out.
Every single person’s life is different and their narrative is different. And it’s, it allows us to really just get [00:11:00] an opportunity to meet these wonderful young students who are, want to contribute to the college community, um, and grow. On a college campus through our programs and that, you know, showing that initiative, you know, what drives you and how you fit in that’s that’s what keeps an admissions officer coming back for more.
So that’s the complexity piece of it. It’s never a simple list. It really does represent who you are. So this list here, um, the types of activities that count as extracurriculars to admissions officers is this is why I use the term. This is how you spend your time, because you’ll see, it’s not just a list of all the different activities that you might be able to join at your school or in your community.
[00:12:00] I use the example pretty often, actually I have a student that I worked with last year who really wasn’t able to dedicate himself to a lot of activities because he commuted to school an hour and a half every day. That one way. So an entire. 30 of three hours a day, that’s 15 hours a week, um, commuting to school.
And I said, you need to put that on your application. And he fought me on it for a few sessions, um, that I worked with him on. And finally he did it. Um, but the reason was he said, why does that matter? And I said, It completely speaks to how important your education is to you. That to go to this certain type of school, you’re willing to sit on a train every day for an hour and a half each way and go so.
Or maybe sometimes students have to help with younger siblings at home while their caregivers are at [00:13:00] work, um, or help an elderly grandparent or someone who needs more support at home or always needs to have someone there. Um, those are all. Ways that you spend your time that are so important to you and your story.
That’s why we never say it’s just a list. And you’ll see here all of the different ways also that you can get involved, whether it’s sports, whether it’s academic related, you know, more traditional school spirit. It’s.
Um, do my extracurriculars have to directly align with my intended major. Um, not all of them by any means. I think what’s more important is being able to speak to why you’re interested in certain field of study. Some of that will be through the classes that you choose, but it absolutely. is a [00:14:00] wonderful idea to pursue whether it’s some job shadowing, you know, research opportunities, um, on the job, you know, having a part-time job or service projects, academic organizations, you know, something that shows that you’re really exploring.
What that field is all about and what types of opportunities might be there. So it’s, that’s where, when we talked about earlier in the presentation, being able to reflect on what you’re doing and is it a truly lighting your fire of interest to you? this helps you to really be able to focus that a little bit more so that you can speak to that when an admissions officer or an application asks you, tell me why you’re interested in studying a certain field.
You can speak to that a little bit more through experiences that you’ve opened up for yourself or pursued.[00:15:00]
Okay. I think I answered this one, a lot about jobs and family care that everyone’s circumstances are different. And I I’ll just add to that, that the same is true. You know, when reading an application. based on even the academic curriculum that’s available to you, you know, what types of activities are available?
Every high school’s different, and every student is reviewed within the context of the opportunities that might be available to them. So it is related. Um, and I think it’s important to keep that in mind.
All right. How to identify extracurriculars to participate in this summer and fall. Um, really that reflection piece that I started with at the beginning of this. [00:16:00] Presentation, you know, write it down. How do you spend your time over the course of a week or a month? What is it that you’re doing? Don’t leave anything out and then look to see where are their strengths, you know, are there common themes as to how you spend your time?
Are there gaps? You know, what’s really, you know, do you think that maybe you’re more involved or doing something than actually. You are when you have to actually speak to it. Um, that’s, that’s a really good place to start. Think about how you want to be perceived in an application. What’s that brand that you have when someone says your name or thinks about you, what do you want them to think about that?
You know, you enjoy, um, how you spend your time or your interests, your hobbies. That can guide how you might [00:17:00] want to pursue outside of class involvement or your extracurriculars. And again, it could be service, it could be doing some shadowing, networking with people in the fields that you’re might be interested in and talk to them about, you know, what would you recommend?
About that you would like to pursue further. And what would you recommend ha or how would you recommend that? I learn more about it. Are there activities, is there reading I could do, uh, are there people that I should talk to, you know, so identify where the strengths are. And then the gaps and then work to start either building on those strengths further, maybe pursuing more in depth participation or leadership.
And where are the gaps and where can you start to fill that in a little bit more? Always do this within what’s reasonable for you and your [00:18:00] family. If you have other responsibilities, those really come first, you know, depending on what the priorities for you and your family are, but in that spare time being strategic about how you use it is really important.
And then there are lots of sources for you to look out. You know, like I said, networking, word of mouth, family, friend connections, your school counselors often know about local opportunities that you have. A lot of times they’ll even hang up, you know, flyers outside of their office, about ways that you can get involved.
Another great place to. Is the CollegeaAdvisor, summer opportunities, database. Um, we’ve worked really hard and we’re cons to build that up. Um, and our advisors across our network, anytime that we do hear about something that is a really valid resource that’s maybe of interest to students. They add that to [00:19:00] that database.
Um, so it’s definitely worth spending some time there. Some may be more time sensitive and have a deadline for say an application next year, but some are for any time. Um, so definitely take some time there. And then the other piece is plan. So we talked in the beginning about, you know, every three months doing a little bit of reflection.
How are you spending your time and how does it feel? And then every six months, you know, starting to revisit that and see what should. Do you have capacity to add, or should you be taking away things that aren’t lighting your fire so much or fitting that narrative that you are starting to create think about, um, you know, and think about and talk with those that, you know, you live with your family.
Um, whoever it may be. Who supports you? How can we fit it in, you know, how can they [00:20:00] support you in pursuing those opportunities that you’re interested in and really talk to them about why.
Okay. How do you best balance extracurriculars with school work? This is super important. Um, even when it’s college application time, a very common theme that our clients will hear is listen, the school works first. Even, you know, senior year, we know college applications are another huge time commitment for you.
So are your activities. We want you to keep them up. We also know that it’s important for you to keep up your challenging your senior year. So how do you do it all? It’s really just planning ahead. You know, there are a lot of ways, if you plan far enough ahead, you can get a lot done, um, prior to that senior year as [00:21:00] well.
Um, so planning’s a big part of it, you know, what’s working what isn’t, I think it’s so important to remember that you don’t have to do everything, you know, and if there’s something that’s not working for you anymore. don’t do it. You know, if, if you really need to open up more time in your schedule for something that fits a little bit better, uh, with your schedule, with your priorities, you know, your interests, then that’s what you do.
That’s actually a really mature perspective to be able to share with an admissions officer about your, your journey and your exploration and being able to manage your time appropriately.
Okay, final tips on how students can finalize their extracurriculars. Um, I’ll start with a phrase you might have heard me say a couple of [00:22:00] times what brings out the best in you? What lights your fire and what I mean by that is how you. Think about something that you just get really excited about or enjoy doing go a layer deeper beyond.
Oh, I feel really good when I do this. What is it? You know, what makes you light up smile? When you talk about it, it gets you really energetic. That’s what you focus on. Um, don’t worry so much about. Other people might say you should be doing. I can promise you again, reading an application, every student’s selection to a program or college it’s different for every single person.
So you really have to focus on you and help us to know you, um, and what you would bring to a [00:23:00] community in a college campus. So that’s the first thing. Um, as freshmen into sophomores, you actually have a really beneficial added value. And that’s the luxury of time leverage now to explore. You know, find opportunities that you can grow and surround yourself with people and opportunities that want to support you again, that’s kind of the goes back to the prior bullet where saying don’t do things that you think you should be doing.
Do the things. Find the opportunities where you feel supported and that you’re growing, that you’re able to push yourself appropriately and just learning, um, and be really striving to be your best. You’ve got time again, if it’s not working for you, try something. [00:24:00] there is that’s that’s part of growing and we love to see someone have the confidence, um, and comfort to do that.
Don’t feel like you need to stick with something for four years. Like I said, if your trust change your responsibilities change, or you simply don’t like it just reflect, how, how should you shift and adapt in that way? Um, The final piece that I have. Is be open to opportunity. Again, that’s similar to the, don’t feel you need to stick for something for four years because it looks good in your mind on an application, you be open to opportunity, really be curious.
Be curious about maybe things that seem interesting to you or to learn more about, or you hear things that other people might be interested in. You wanna learn more about [00:25:00] it? You know, ask questions, put yourself out there a little bit. Um, and finally just be all in, no matter what it is that you do decide to do, or look at, take an interest in, really give it an honest shot.
Give it, you know, a fair chance. Don’t go two times to a club meeting and say, uh, I’m not sure I feel the vibe there. Like, I don’t know the Stu other students that are there. If it’s something that you think you might be interested in, that that club’s about make new friends, um, You know, really give it an honest chance before you say no, unless it just truly doesn’t feel comfortable or right for you.
Um, but that’s, that’s truly the only way that you’re really going to have enough knowledge that you’ve found for yourself is to whether it’s a good fit or not.[00:26:00]
So that is the end of the presentation. Part of the webinar. Hope you found this information to be helpful. And remember that you can download the slides from the link in the handouts tab, moving on to the live Q and a feel free to submit questions in the Q and a tab. I’ll pace them in the chat. So you all can see them and then read them a lab or.
For our panelists here. Rachael gives you an answer as a heads up. If your Q and a tab, isn’t letting you submit any questions. Just double check that you joined the webinar through the custom link in your email and not from the webinar landing page. All right. So for our first question here, we have a student that says, I know you talked about balancing school and extracurricular activities, but approximately how many hours a day or a week should I dedicate to my activit?
I everyone wants a checklist. and I say that teasing truly. Um, I understand it makes it a lot easier, [00:27:00] you know, I would start with the priorities. So what is it? Responsibility wise and your personal life that you have to commit to, you know, whether it’s in the home or with family members, um, your academics, you know, really being honest with yourself about how, you know, what your classes are gonna require and how you’re gonna manage staying on top of that.
Um, but. Usually you can find, you know, some significant hours as to how much you can participate and it’s gonna be different every day. Um, I’m gonna go back to the quality versus quantity piece. Um, I’ll just as a parent used myself as an example with our daughter, we. Have a general role of thumb that two to three activities.
Granted, she’s a lot younger. She’s not [00:28:00] high school age yet, but we don’t want her to overextend herself, but we want her to have enough time that she can really deep dive and explore what it is she’s interested in. So take that or leave it for what it’s worth, but I’d so much rather you see, you know, being able to dedicate some significant time, you know, One to two hours a day, maybe a little bit more as you get older, say you’re in sports, you have travel and competitions and whatnot.
I know that takes more time, but being able to really just dedicate yourself to something, um, that brings out the best in you. That’s what I would say. got it. Great advice. Um, and we have another student here. Who’s a student athlete. Um, so they don’t have too much free time outside of their sport. How important is it to have a diverse array of extracurricular activities?
So I think it depends partially [00:29:00] on what your goal is. You know, if you’re, we could do a whole other session. And I think we do on athletes, um, not just athletes, you know, students who trusted in research or service, you know, whatever it is that your passion is. I think it’s most important that you are are open to experiences where you’re growing and are shaping.
The decisions that you make as to how you spend your time. And that is a crazy, vague hour answer. But what I mean by that is, you know, say you are like a higher profile. Athlete. We’ll just use that as an example. I also have students who do things like model UN, where they’re traveling some go worldwide, you know, that’s more of an extreme case, but they’re so into it that they do international competitions and, you know, whatever it is that [00:30:00] you’re into, if there’s travel involved and engaging with people from other places, you know, the maturity.
Goes into having to manage all of that and being able to handle the commitment and focus that that requires if you’re growing in those ways and not just simply focused on the one single activity component of it. there’s a lot you can speak to there. So I think there’s no one answer to that. I do think there are other ways that you can engage, you know, have a different perspective, you know, it could even be through, if you, you know, are really into your personal religious faith, being involved in your faith community, or just committing to that, you know?
Frequently. Um, it can be so many things, you know, I think that’s a good example of [00:31:00] maybe that’s something that’s a really central part of your personal life and you don’t realize that actually that’s a really big commitment of your personal time and speaks to what is important to you, you know? So it’s just really framing the whole picture.
100%. Um, and we have another student here who kind of had a similar question. So they work part-time at a restaurant to support their family. Um, and they say they know that this counts as an extracurricular, but how do they frame it as a valuable experience to colleges? Oh my gosh. Um, it’s not a whole lot of framing you have to do.
um, you know, if you’re working, uh, you. You know, again, you put the hours down that’s required on like, or strongly suggested on a common application, all of your applications, how much of your time is spent doing that. And maybe you do talk about how, you know, it, [00:32:00] an application is private. You know, if it’s not that you have to worry about sharing with the whole world, you know, that you do this to support your family.
If that’s something you want to keep more to yourself, There’s just so much pride in being able to share that. So, um, I would say, you know, if that’s something you do choose to share, like through your personal statements, you can frame it that way, but even simply putting it there in the application, there’s a description.
Portion where you describe what you do in that activity, your responsibility. And you can really use that space to talk about, are you, you know, the responsibilities that you have in that job and how people benefit from your work? You know, that’s huge, huge, and being able to articulate that, um, and sort of promote yourself in that [00:33:00] way, how you’ve grown.
You really don’t have to worry too much about that. Mm-hmm definitely agree with that. Um, this student here has issues participating in clubs due to transportation. Mm-hmm so they’re wondering if independent learning, like learning, coding, learning languages researching on their own time could be considered an extracurricular activity rather than clubs at school.
Absolutely. Absolutely. One of my, I’ll just use an example this past year I had a student who he was huge into research and that’s what he’s going into. Uh, and he so much of his personal time was all these independent research projects. He did some internships and research with a local college too. Um, so however you frame it, but.
We actually wrote his essay from the perspective of [00:34:00] the research that he was doing. So that’s really creative. We knew the student could handle it because he was also an incredible writer. But my point is, there are so many ways that you can really present how, why you’ve chosen to spend your time in this.
mm-hmm yeah. That’s a really cool example that you gave there. Um, this student is wondering, do you have to be in an executive position in the club for you to make an impact in the club? Absolutely not. Absolutely not. I mean, if that’s something that, you know, we encourage students to do that. If it’s, you know, there’s this phrase.
You’ve probably heard, or you will absolutely hearing your life at some time, but it’s about being comfortable with being uncomfortable. And now you don’t mean that from an unsafe perspective, by any means, but just pushing yourself a little bit beyond your comfort zone, you know, maybe participating a little bit more in class than you normally feel.
Comfortable with, if you’re more [00:35:00] introverted or, you know, just trying something new where you don’t really know the other people there, but it seems really interesting to you. Um, that’s, it’s being intentional about what it is that you’re doing. You know, maybe it’s leading a service project or project or activity event.
That a club is sponsoring that’s leadership. You know, it, it doesn’t have to have a title attached to it 100%. Um, so this student is wondering here, like which extracurriculars can I pursue if I come from a low income background and can afford to pay for activities? Mm-hmm I love that question. Um, you. It, I, I feel like I need a little bit more information to really give that a robust answer.
Mm-hmm , but you know, it’s even looking in your community, you know, looking at the local library or community organization, [00:36:00] where can you, you know, if it really fills you up to help others, where is there a need that you’ve identified that you could help, you know? And maybe it’s even, you. If you’re into environmental cleanups, you know, like I’m just pulling things out of the air, but you know, like a passion project, something that you’re really interested in in pursuing it, the local library, I mean, there’s so much free.
Resource, there are so many resources out there. Um, and if you have, you know, you can look at, you know, even just self-advocacy, you know, how you can go out there and say, where can I help? You know, where is there a need and how can I help? It’s it all starts with the idea and someone willing to support it.
Mm. 100% and also adding onto you, Rachael. [00:37:00] Um, I, I feel like I can kind of like answer to this question as well, because like the main extracurricular activity that I did in high school was, you know, helping out my community. I did this internship with, you know, an organization called Asian Americans advancing justices because of my like family background.
And it was just something that I was really passionate about. And like, that’s what I spoke extensively about in my common app. I ended up getting into my. School Columbia, early decision. Um, and you definitely don’t need to pay for all of these like really expensive extracurricular activities. You know, it definitely starts with, you know, what you’re passionate about and if you wanna help out your community, there are like obviously free options to do that.
So it definitely would push for that as well. Um, I love that next student we have here is wondering, do grades or extracurriculars matter more. There’s no one answer to that question. Um, here’s the thing, though. I will tell you when I [00:38:00] read an application beyond the biographical, just general background grades or what I look at first and not just grades, but you know how you’ve challenged yourself in your classes, uh, with what’s available to you.
So certainly we have to feel confident that you can do the work. Um, It’s not just that. Um, we used a term when I was in admissions called shaping a class. So when you have so many applicants and you know, a certain number of spaces that you can fill, you know, once you’re confident that the students can do the work at the school, then it’s about.
Putting a community together that we know will, you know, a student who’s gonna thrive in the environment that we offer and you know, the different perspectives and experiences that they’ve had that could, that again, can help push [00:39:00] each other to grow while they’re students there too. Not just yourself, but your peers too.
So they’re both important,
no matter what that looks like out, how you. Do your activities, or just spend time personally outside of class, but you’ve gotta be able to do both. Got it. Um, that brings us to the halfway point of the Q and a, um, moving on here. Let’s see. Uh, so for those in the room who aren’t already working with us, we know how overwhelming the admissions process can be for parents and students alike.
Our team of over 300 former admissions officers and admissions experts are ready to help you and your family navigate, um, at all in one-on-one advising sessions, take charge of your family’s college admissions journey by signing up for a free 15 minute strategy session with an admissions expert using the steps listed.[00:40:00]
All right. And back to our Q and a. Let’s see, I love these questions. They’re great. No, yeah, they’re really great. um, let’s see. This student is wondering, what is your definition of a service project? My church was being renovated and I volunteered there for 10 plus hours. Can I write this as a service project considering I was helping renovate the church?
You can certainly use that as, you know, service that you’ve provided. Um, I think context is important and are there ways that you can continue, you know, with additional projects? Um, but yeah. Can you certainly include that as service hours that have, you know, you’ve provided? Absolutely. Um, I think it, the context is important.
got it. Um, this student here is starting their freshman year, next year. [00:41:00] And they’re wondering, is it too early to create a resume? no. Do I always wanna be careful with that? Do you have to don’t feel pressured to, but if you feel an interests in fire to do that. Absolutely. Absolutely. Um, and I can tell you, I did one of these sessions on how to do a resume is, uh, you know, high schooler, which would also apply to, you know, pre-high school as well.
Mm-hmm so you might wanna look at that for some tips. definitely, that’s a life skill. So I’m all about if you could just get some, even exposure to what they, the purpose of something like that, um, and how, what goes into it, doesn’t have to be perfect, but that, that exploration is awesome. 100%. I remember when I was a freshman, I think I actually created resume just on Google docs.
Like I didn’t even have a template um, and now [00:42:00] I’m like entering my senior year of college and now I have like a full template and everything, and it’s like, everyone starts somewhere. It’s good to start early. Definitely. Don’t feel pressured to like most colleges don’t officially accept a resume anyway.
Like sometimes you’ll have like the option to include it as like an additional item, additional file, but it’s definitely not required to do so yet as an underclassman. No. um, so this student here says at my high school, I have to apply to join clubs. I’ve been rejected by a couple of clubs already. How can I even do extracurriculars when I can’t even get in?
so I would look at that from the perspective of it. Doesn’t have to just be in your school. You are not just limited to your school. Um, there are so many interesting things again. It’s what are you interested in? Mm-hmm , you know, say you’re interested in, I’ll use an example of a student I’m currently working with.
She’s really entrusted [00:43:00] and she’s an underclassman. Um, but in P politics and government, and. There are some ORs. in her school that, you know, share that interest, but where she’s really getting excited is helping out in her community, working at the town hall, she’s actually the summer working on a campaign, um, and learning so much, um, that you would never, you know, if you didn’t put yourself out there, just the exposure would be a little bit more limited if it was just during the school year.
So, um, There’s there’s if you really start looking, um, you know, starting with a Google search of, you know, internships or activities relate for high school students, you know, government is an example. It’s amazing. What’ll come up, you know, and that’s just one example, but [00:44:00] you know, also in the CollegeaAdvisor, summer activities and experiences, there’s also a lot of interesting, you know, opportunity there too.
100%. Um, so this student is wondering, is it better to have more extracurriculars in one area, for example, science extracurriculars. If I’m looking to do premed or have a more diverse range of extracurriculars, I’m going to go back to the. What lights your fire, you know, absolutely explore to health professions.
Um, even in your coursework, maybe there’s some additional classes that just really fit that, um, interest a little bit more, but.
You know, there’s more to you than just that. And we are always talking about balance in our lives. So I, you don’t, if you’re worried [00:45:00] about, should you do something because it supports your major or, you know, kind of give up something that you really love and helps you to be your best or that you’re really curious about.
I think it’s a balance. For sure. Um, so this student kind of similarly is wondering how do I find the best extracurriculars for my perspective, major. Ooh, that’s a great question. Um, one of the things that, so this is deeper work , but you know, even looking at the colleges, you know, asking it’s never too soon, you know, and you can always call an admissions office and say, yeah, I’m really interested.
Type of program. What are you looking for? You know, or what, what do you expect to see from a student? That’s one, that’s just one way to tackle that or talk to your guidance counselor at school. If you know, they [00:46:00] have availability the resource there too, to meet with them. Um, but again, I think it’s, I hope I’m answering the question.
I’m afraid I’m getting off base a little bit, but you know, it it’s. If you see a need or something that you’re interested in, get out there. Like I said, the library, even, I can’t believe what’s out there. I’ve just recently started going a lot more and you know, it’s just such a wonderful place with resources that, or people that can help you get in touch with resources for so many different things.
Um, you know, look just a Google search. Of what’s going on in your community and see what type of groups might be out there that you could connect further with. Definitely. Um, so this student is wondering, how do I stand out with my extracurriculars? It seems like so many students across the nation are all doing the same activities.[00:47:00]
You can’t worry about everyone. and I’m sure everyone tells you that, or many people in your life are telling you that, but it truly is at the end of the day, it’s your application that I’m reading. And it’s your story, your interest in what I feel, you know, what you bring to a class and a campus community.
So it. What perspective have you brought to the table or do you bring to the table because of what interests you and how you’ve pursued that. And it’s not just about the actual activity or what’s listed on the resume. It’s that fire that curiosity again, that, you know, whatever those personal characteristics are that are driving you in a certain direction, it’s that.
So again, don’t, it’s not just about the list and it’s not just about what everyone else. It’s not about [00:48:00] what everyone else is doing. It’s you.
For sure. Um, so this student is wondering, would it be acceptable to have extracurriculars that don’t, um, stand by my intended career, I’m in a news club and intend to join clubs with education. However, I plan on going in the premed and only club that that is pre-med is not free. So they’re just wondering, you know, how do they frame these extracurriculars that don’t really, you know, Go with their perspective, major career.
So think about skill sets a little bit there. If you wanna go into the health profession, you’re working with others and you have patience and to connect with your patients, having more experience. Working with people and understanding of different perspectives, um, different backgrounds. That’s huge. I mean, that’s [00:49:00] the doctor I wanna go to.
You know, that sees me as a human, you know, that being able to tie that all together, I think is really important. Um, the academic piece, for sure. And once you get into college, being able, you know, you’ll be able to do some research and internships and there’ll be a lot of resources to help you prepare for a medical school application.
You know, think about skill sets that a health professional needs to have and what you gain in those different types of activities. This is where you follow your heart. Definitely. Um, so this student is wondering, do I need to have the most prestigious extracurricular activities to get into a good college?
For example, internships or passion project? Mm-hmm again, it’s what you have capacity for. You know, if you have the fire to do a passion project, cause you [00:50:00] really care about something, you know, that you want to, you know, that’s how you wanna focus your time. That’s your story. Um, but I can tell you that I don’t look at a list of activities.
When I look at an application and say that’s the most prestigious one in the. I can promise you that I do not do that. Um, it’s, it’s how it fits based on what your interests are. I feel like such a broken record, but I hope that reinforces that, you know, you can do like the world is so open to you and yes, it’s great that a lot of schools have.
You know, opportunities, but it’s not just limited to that, especially now. Um, even online, like, you know, some students go and do certifications online just in an AR like the coding. I think we talked about earlier, you know, that you’re interested in, that’s what I care about. Mm-hmm . Um, and kind of off of your [00:51:00] response, a student is wondering, you know, they’ve heard about a passion project, but don’t really know what it is.
You think you could explain more on what that is? I knew that was coming and I hope I do it justice. I should be able to. Uh so if there’s something that you’re just really interested. You know, maybe I’m trying to pull a, pull an an like an example, but, you know, say there’s like a need in your community, you know, for an example, maybe, you know, there was a terrible.
Accident in a community or a, you know, I actually I’ll use an example of someone in our community who their house burned out. And the community really came together was actually a kid that put together the drive to raise the money pulled together, you know, really. They knew the family, they knew what [00:52:00] would bring comfort to that family and help them to get at least just feel support and have what they needed to survive health wise and safety wise, but also, you know, emotionally until they could have the funding to get back where they needed to, you know, that’s.
Right. Top of mind, the most recent example I can, it can actually be a lot more, even more extensive, you know, but you know, it could be raising school supplies for community in a country that just doesn’t have them. You know, it can be so many things based on what, what drives you, um, where I use the term a lot, like identify a need.
you know, and how does it speak to you and how can you work to help fix it or make it better? Um, you know, that student in [00:53:00] the community who just, you know, felt so passionately for that family, that was a need that was truly just visible for, you know, that student made it visible for all, and everyone cared about it.
Um, by the time we heard that story. Um, so think about that. Yeah, that’s definitely a beautiful example that you provided there. Um, next question here is, are summer programs important? Isn’t it better to commit to extracurricular activities for a longer time, rather than just do them for one summer? I’m gonna go back to the slide that I set, you know, it just because it, you think it looks good doing something for four years, if you don’t like it.
What’s it matter, you know, what did you get out of it? That’s not gonna be the one thing on that application that is gonna get you. I’ll say that it’s, it’s a very holistic [00:54:00] perspective. Absolutely. Like I said, it’s about exploration and, you know, putting yourself out there to try new things, um, balancing your time so that you can still do the things that really are important to you and you don’t wanna get rid of, um, Absolutely.
I, I love to see that you’ve put yourself out there and what you’ve taken from the experience and who knows what you’ll get as a result of doing that for great essay topic. Definitely. Um, and the student is wondering here, if I don’t know what I’m going to major in, what extracurriculars do I do?
What are you interested? What do you like to do for fun? You know, if it’s a sport, do a sport. If it’s, you know, drama, do you know a theater production, maybe it’s a behind the scenes part of a theater [00:55:00] production. I truly don’t care what it is. It, I care because you’re doing something that interests you. Um, and you’re trying to.
You know, just learn about yourself and grow and contribute to something bigger than you. Um, doesn’t matter. Okay. Um, and this student is wondering what is the most unique or memorable, extracurricular or extracurriculars that you’ve seen while reviewing applications? Oh my gosh. It’s gonna be well, first of all, let me be transparent that it has been a number of years since I was the, actually the admissions officer, but an advising role.
I review each student within the context of who they are. So I hesitate to answer that question, cuz I don’t want you to think that it’s gotta be some [00:56:00] outlandish. Thing, you know, I mean, I could talk about how I I’m impressed by students who, you know, there isn’t a certain club or sport that they’d really like to have, and they know there’s other interests, so that they’ve put the effort together to advocate for funding or approval to start a new organization or, you know, team.
So I think that, you know, but that goes back to where’s there a need, you know, if you wanna fill, but it doesn’t mean you have to be that person either. I mean, I wasn’t that student, you know, I knew what I liked and I, I was your more, I think, kind of traditional student from that perspective. I knew what I liked.
I kind of grew and pursued. Other activities that branched off from what I liked as time went on, but you know, everyone’s different [00:57:00] 100%. Um, and I think the last question that we have time to answer tonight is do extracurriculars have to be done solely in high high school, or can they be done in your lifetime?
Such as if I did a passion project back in seventh grade, So when you’re applying to college, we’re gonna wanna see ninth, 10th, 11th, 12th grade. I mean, you could say I did this in seventh grade. It really filled me or, you know, helped others, whatever that was. Um, and I built off of that in other ways. Fall subsequent years, but the seventh grade project would not be, for example, listed in like the activities part of the publication.
Yeah. So like on the amazing foundation for [00:58:00] however you choose to push forward in high school, maybe doing something similar. Definitely. So it’s like on the common app, you can’t put like seventh grade, but you can put that, you know, either it started a passion for an extracurricular later in high school, or you even continued that passion project from seventh grade onward.
Absolutely. Oh, there’s definitely, I can think of one actually off the top of my head, a student that did that this past year that I worked with. Got it. Okay. Um, moving on. Yeah, that is all the time we have for today. Um, thank you so much, everyone for attending. We had a really great time telling you about developing a strong extracurricular profile for freshmen and sophomores, you know, and thank you so much to Rachael.
Um, moving on the next slide. Here is our June series on the 29th. We have building your college [00:59:00] list. Thank you so much, everyone for attending and thank you, Rachael again. Have a good night, everyone. Thank you. Bye bye.