Joining New Extracurriculars

Explore how to join (or create) extracurriculars that fit your passions in a 60-minute webinar.

Date 07/12/2021
Duration 60:45

Webinar Transcription

2021-07-12 Joining New Extracurriculars

[00:00:00] Hi, everyone. Welcome to CollegeAdvisor’s webinar on Joining New Extracurriculars. To orient everyone with the webinar timing, we’ll start off with a presentation. Then answer your questions in a live Q and a on the sidebar. You can download our slides and you can start submitting your questions in the Q and a tab.

Now let’s meet our panelists. Okay. Hello. My name is Pranathi Pilla and I am a current sophomore at UT Austin, and I’m majoring in computational biology on the pre-med track. I am super excited to be with all of you today and thank you so much for joining me on this Monday evening. Okay. So yeah. For joining you extracurriculars, um, at least when I entered high school for the first time.

So like in freshman year, I was pretty overwhelmed by all the new pressures, like all the workload that was involved in school. I mean, you have like AP classes, you have like these honors classes, it’s definitely a [00:01:00] step up from middle school, probably for those of you that are juniors right now, or seniors, or even sophomores, you would probably like have realized that entering freshman year there was definitely a step up.

So it is very overwhelming, but at the same time, it is very cool. Because coming from middle school, you get so many new opportunities. You’re finally at an older age where you can maybe do more like internships. You could even participate in more activities, new volunteering opportunities, and even take college level classes in the form of AP or dual credit.

So while there’s a lot of stress that does come with entering high school, there are a lot of cool opportunities with it too. So this is like one of your times that you can just like explore and figure out what you’re into before you enter the world of call it. So, um, when you’re entering high school, the types of activities that you can pursue are honestly endless.

Um, you can pursue stuff that are in your [00:02:00] school and even those that are just in your community, or now even with like COVID and everything going very global, you can just pursue like literally anything that’s at your fingertips. So I guess some examples that are commonly available in most high schools would be like an NHS or key club or some like volunteering type organization, maybe for intellect theater and arts.

There’s like music, orchestra, band, choir, theater, um, dance. Yeah. And same with like sports teams. I mean, just like the classic ones that your high school offers, or sometimes even out of, uh, school ones like archery or ping pong, or just anything else that you would be interested then academic ones like debate science, fair science bowl, and like, And I, if you’re interested in like a specific, like areas specific career there’s activities, like of HOSA business professions of America, so you can really explore like your prospect of college majors by doing those.

Um, actually I found that I was like pretty interested in the business side after [00:03:00] participating in DECA, which I never really expected. So definitely just really try all the activities that you can freshman year and just see which ones you’re interested in. And if your school does not have something for you to pursue, or let’s say your community doesn’t either is always like a way you can just start your own organization, start your own club or an interest group, and you can be able to pursue that activity.

So the options are endless. So it’s not like there’s a shortage of extracurricular activities. It’s just about making sure you can find them and getting into them. Um, and especially the ones that you will be passionate about. So, um, yeah, when you’re trying to join new ones, especially when you’re entering your freshman year, you’re probably like overloaded by just the amount of extracurricular opportunities that are open to you.

You’re finally maybe turning 15 or, um, you’re maybe turning 15, 14 or so. So you get a lot more like volunteering opportunities. Um, your school’s offering more, so you’re [00:04:00] probably be overwhelmed just by the sheer amount of possibilities that are there. Um, and you may not even know what you want to do yet, which is completely fine.

That’s what all of these are for. So I guess just see if you have like a little interest in something, just something you really wanted to learn for a while, but didn’t get a chance to, and see if your school offers a club. So just take a moment to like, reflect on what you might be passionate about.

Maybe the play, the violin since like first grade, or you played a sport for a really long time and just want to continue that that is totally cool. Or maybe you just never got a chance to, because you’re came from a small middle school. Maybe you just didn’t really get the chance to, and now you’re able to, and you just really want to try it out.

Then this is your chance to kind of explore your interests, um, and really like kind of just dip your feet into anything that you’re remotely interested in. And by remotely, like, even if you just thought about it one day, just go try it out. Like this is freshman year, this is your chance to just explore.

And a lot of [00:05:00] times what I do see that students think that extracurriculars are mainly for college apps, but really the way they shine on your college apps is if you’re actually putting in like real passion or if you can articulate your passion in an extracurricular activity. So even if you do participate in 10 different clubs, that you may not really be even so interested in, um, when it comes to your college, Case and time one, you’d have to show like your impact in that activity.

And two, we need to articulate your interest in that activity and how you’d actually want to pursue it. So it is really, really hard to do that unless you actually have a true interest in that area. And any activity like literally any activity you will look good on your college applications. If you can just demonstrate how you’re interested in it, how you really pursued it in depth.

And if you can articulate that on your college applications in the future. So what I suggest, or at least what I did that I feel like worked, [00:06:00] um, is just try as many activities and freshman year, anything that piques your interest, just like go in there, just put yourself out there. And if you find some that you’re just like, really like, just stick with it and see how they balance in your schedule and just like prioritize your academics and extracurriculars to see which ones will be able to fit with you best.

And which ones you’re passionate about.

So extracurriculars are very important for your college application. Um, in my opinion, they’re actually as important as your grades and sat score, or even other numerical factors, especially now with the pandemic and things, going test optional, some semesters going pass fail for some schools, colleges are now really changing their application process to reflect, um, the individual contributions of people, because now these numbers.

Um, kind of becoming like less important, especially with one [00:07:00] beat, a lot of top students having similar numbers and because of the recent disruption with all of that. So yeah, the way you perceive your ex extracurricular activities and the depth in which you pursue them is very important. So there are a lot of students.

I mean, there’ll be like a lot of students with 4.0 GPA and a highest sat score valedictorian of their class. But these top schools cannot admit every student that’s the valedictorian of their class or the valedictorian. So they really need a way to filter it out. And that is through your extracurricular activities.

And also when colleges admit by major, for example, select UT Austin, I know you Penn does. Um, they really want to see how much you pursue that major in a sense. So like if you want to be a biology major, um, have you taken AP biology have. Maybe done like, um, USA, biology, Olympiad, have you done like research in that area?

Maybe volunteer in a hospital if you’re interested in the medicine side of [00:08:00] it. So it’s really that depth of extracurricular activities that goes with your, um, coursework. Um, so, um, now, now that there are so many activities and I said like, you have to pursue them deep with a lot of passion. It might be really hard to do that with a full bucket of AP classes on your course load.

So ideally you would want to take the most heavy course load while pursuing all your interests. But I mean, given the constraints of time, I would just say, take as heavy course load that you can manage while still pursuing at least three of two or three of your activities in great depth. So if it’s like, whether it be like four APS or seven.

Just depending on your, like, um, stamina and your abilities and your conditions, just, um, make sure that you at least save enough time to pursue a few activities in great depth and manage a course, a high course load. So [00:09:00] it getting just about balance right there. Um, you would probably be the best judge of it, but, um, and then also for your classes, try to study smarter and then not harder.

And this is probably a lot easier said than done because, um, but at least for some class, so let’s say like math, physics, and chemistry. Um, I know a lot of students tend to like read the textbook over and over again, or just like read samples a lot, but at least for these type of classes where it’s problem-based.

So again, like math, chemistry, physics, even computer science, it’s just about practicing. So you practice the same kind of like. Like the same sort of logic or the same type of problem over and over again, until you can do it like in your sleep. And that is just like the most effective way I feel to at least study those subjects.

So instead of like reading over textbooks for a long time, it’s probably a lot more efficient just to keep on like practicing over, over again, going to tutorials, going to office [00:10:00] hours, um, reaching out to your teacher early and making sure that you’re keeping on top of your course material and studying like a little bit every day.

And finding like good study locations and all that will really reduce the amount of time that it takes for you to learn or wrap your head around a concept. And likewise for classes such as biology or history, maybe even some literature, ones, those ones are all about reading. So there’s really not much way you can get around.

I mean, you would mainly have to read to absorb the material and also try to focus really deeply on a few activities. So instead of trying to pursue 10 activities, um, in minimal depth, just try to focus on maybe two or three that you would be super interested in because when you have 10 of them or just many, um, you often feel you’ll quickly feel overwhelmed with the amount of like work that you would be assigned from each.

So it is definitely a lot. Yeah. Um, you’ll feel a lot happier if you just [00:11:00] stick with like two or three that you’re super interested in and just put your efforts into that and make sure that you’re actually interested in it. So it doesn’t feel like a chore, but rather something that you would actually just choose to do outside of your schoolwork.

So just a quick poll. So what grade will you be entering in this full

dancers? Always take a second. Come in. Okay. It looks like we have pretty even distribution actually. Oh, um, we have so far 12 people entering ninth grade, 10 people entering 10th grade 17 entering 11th grade and 12 and five entering 12th grade. So mostly ninth grade and 11th grade. That all makes sense.

You all are in the right place. Yep. [00:12:00] Okay. Yeah. Uh, keep submitting, uh, that if you want, but I’m going to close the poll in a second and we can keep moving on. Okay,

great. Okay.

So, um, when you’re joining extracurriculars, um, Paul, you want to take a different approach every year that you progress through high school, just one for your applications and two. So you can kind of just get a sense of what you’re really interested in. So this will help when you’re choosing a major later, maybe deciding on what activities you’ll further pursue in college, or even just like which college you’ll apply to because different colleges have their different niches of activities.

So knowing what you’re interested in will definitely help narrow your list down. So in your sophomore year, um, so you’re just like leaving your freshman year where you ideally would have. As many activities as you could, and really started to pick a few of them, that you would be more inclined [00:13:00] to pursuing a little bit more in depth.

So let’s say entering like ninth grade, you’re just interested in like all sorts of areas, maybe like history, biology, you also were like a thespian, um, dance and sports. And like now you just really narrowed down into a few of them. Um, sophomore year is really the time to start, like kind of choosing a little bit more of a narrow area or starting to filter down activities from ninth grade.

And don’t treat this as a, like cutting down activities. Maybe treat this more as choosing few that you want to go deeper in. So then when you’re going to junior year, this is the time to focus on leadership positions. Now leadership positions are very important on your call it’s application and doesn’t need to be like a formal one.

Maybe you’re just taking initiative in a specific activity and really taking that time to, um, bring others along with you in that same passion. So I’ll just give like [00:14:00] an example of this. So let’s say you join your soccer team in freshman year. So then in sophomore year, you start putting in little, few more hours into that soccer team, and you’re really trying to become like, just good at your role.

So let’s say you’re a goalie. Now you want to become like better at that. Now in your junior year, you want to S uh, help other students come along, um, with your interest in soccer. So you become like the captain of your team. And now senior year is really the time you have to shine in your leadership positions.

So now that you also brought other people along with you on your team, you maybe want to start an organization dedicated to helping young athletes. Um, pursue soccer. So that way you’re showing like your real depth and passion in one specific activity. So just do that with, I guess, as many activities as you can, ideally fewer and just going really in depth in them.

And also, um, as you’re going through, like the years of high [00:15:00] school, there are more academic pressures that come along with it too. So make sure to schedule your activities along with that as well. So in your junior year, you’ll likely be focusing on sat prep, and you might even want to do a summer internship or something related to your most interesting activity right after.

So when you’re pursuing your extracurriculars, um, just make sure to keep track of like your workload, because it’s likely to increase as you go throughout college. I mean, as you go throughout high school and, um, sat prep, college applications, which probably take as much time as just a regular. Class the irregular AP class, if I had to say so.

Yeah, just really, it boils down to putting in your passions and your interest in a few activities and really out shining in those few ones, because that will be the best way you can articulate your interest and also for, um, I mean, they’ll help you articulate your interest and it’ll [00:16:00] really help you build awards and recognitions and in those.

So I guess some examples of activities that I did well, I’m majoring in computational biology. So. Um, that’s something that was very interested and that’s something I figured out that I was interested in starting, I guess, like sophomore year. So I did science fair and research. Um, I started my own science for project and freshman year, and then I did research in labs starting my junior year.

And yeah, likewise I did like neuroscience club biology, Olympiad, chem Olympiad, because I was just like super fascinated with biology and chemistry and all. And, um, I been playing like, um, instruments since like sixth grade. So I just continued that and I did a summer internship and I just did debate and model United nations because that was something I just got interested in in freshman year.

So I just decided to continue with.

Hmm. [00:17:00] So, yeah, I would say that research and science fair, we’re definitely the largest parts of my application because I am majoring in computational biology and I’m hoping to pursue a career in research. So that’s something I figured out maybe in my sophomore year. So I really kind of pursue that to a much deeper level because that was something I was interested in.

And likewise, I made sure that my other activities are kind of, um, helping solidify my focus. So it’s like biology, Olympiad, and neuroscience club. They’re still, um, pretty relevant to the research that I’m interested in doing. So it kind of comes down to a little bit of focus and, um, because I’ve been learning music for awhile, I just decided to continue it.

And it shows that I also have a personality outside of sciences too. And. And then also, because I pursued it for such a long time and also like learn more, got more awards as a, as time went on that [00:18:00] can show that I am like putting, um, I’m going deeper into that activity. And I did a summer internship, so it doesn’t need to be an internship.

It can even be a job or just anything or just anything that shows like maturity and the ability to juggle many activities, or just like even, um, even if it’s like a customer service type job, it will still show that you can really handle being an adult world and being an adult. And that is something that’s very, very important going into college.

Yeah for me. Um, I just started doing science fairs and those types of activities, and that’s kind of what made me interested in biomedical research. So again, I really liked my biology classes, uh, participate in science fairs and enjoyed it. I did like few biology Olympiads, and I thought the material was really interesting.

So just, uh, pursuing it, just trying out those activities at least gave me the [00:19:00] option to find that I would be interested in pursuing that as like a field of study and also the skills that I gained from model UN and mentoring my peers in my residential high school, but also just like helped me and kind of like building different logic and skills that would help me in my main career path.

So really just try as many activities as you can, because you’ll never know which ones you like. And even if it’s completely unrelated to what you want to study, you might still build some skills and knowledge there that can further supplement you when you’re actually doing. Like pursuing your career field.

Um, so yeah, probably when in summary, what it really boils down to is just try everything that you’re remotely interested in. If you’re a freshman, I know we have a lot of freshmen here, so really just, just try anything that you’ll be interested in. Like actually, I never thought that I would be interested in like biomedical research or biology [00:20:00] that much actually entering high school.

I thought I wanted to be a lawyer. So just really just try anything that you’ll be interested in, even if it’s like, just something you’ve been like remotely interested in, but honestly had no clue about. And, um, the, um, I guess a good place to start is just your school clubs, but also try to look into your community’s activities, especially if you’re coming from a larger city.

So I’m actually originally from Dallas. Um, pretty large and there are a lot of community-based activities. So likewise, um, just try to see around your community if there are any, and if it’s in, um, comfortable like commuting distance, just so, because a lot of those activities tend to be a little bit more organized.

So I guess it’s more of like an organized approach to seeing food like something. And, um, now with COVID and everything going virtual, you can even see like across the United States or across the globe, just to see if you’re interested in something, because [00:21:00] there are a lot of things that now event we’re virtual.

So, um, and then also, yeah, just put yourself out there. So reach out to any of your teachers that you’re really maybe inspired by and just like ask them for any tips on pursuing your career path. I mean, after all, at one point they were in your stage as well. So they are a great resource and soar that other adults in your life.

So just, yeah. Put yourself out there. It’s fine to call the email and just like seeking out mentors. Um, actually your mentors are probably what will really, really help you in like defining your career goals and whatnot. So just really put yourself out there, just try something that he would never even think that you would be interested in because you’d never know.

And, um, yeah, if your school or community just doesn’t offer something that you’re interested in, or maybe there’s like a niche area that you just always wanted to pursue, or a group of friends wanting to pursue, and you just didn’t get the opportunity to, um, just start your [00:22:00] own organization. So whether it be in school or like, even if it’s a community organization where you bring other people along with your causes, um, just feel free to start something and I’m guaranteed, there’ll be at least one other person that’s interested in what you’re interested in.

So you’ll have that. Yeah. And then check out virtual opportunities. Now there are tons of them with COVID and everything going remote. So that’s a great place to look. Okay. So this is the end of the presentation part of the webinar. I hope you found this information helpful and remember that you can download the slides from the link in the handouts tab, moving onto the live Q and a I’ll read their questions you submitted in the Q and a tab, paste them in the public chat.

So you can see and then read them out loud before our panelist gives you an answer as a heads up, if your Q and a tab, isn’t letting you submit questions, double check that you joined the webinar through the custom link in your email and not from the webinar landing [00:23:00] page. Okay. It looks like there’s already some really good questions in here, so let’s keep them coming.

Our first question is, let’s say you want to start a club about being compassionate and kind on campus. How would you make that into a club or a group? What activities should you do? Yeah, that is an awesome question. So, um, just about with any creating any club, um, I would just say start by reaching out to your school administrator as administrators or reaching out to any seniors or, um, upperclassmen that started a club and just ask them about the process.

Um, if you go to a large public school or just a large school in general, um, a lot of times you’ll have to fill a form and get the, um, like support of a teacher in your school. And usually once you do that, you’ll just need to fill out like a little bit of paperwork until you get it official. So I guess it just depends on different school’s policies.

Um, so yeah, just try to reach out to upperclassmen or maybe your school administrator, just shoot them an [00:24:00] email and they’ll usually have a lot of information about.

Okay, our next question is what was the process like getting into HOSA, hos a for example, what our recruitments for admission fees or costs and workload. Hmm. So it actually varies per school. At least in my school, you did have to pay, um, like you needed pay a member fee at the very beginning of each semester.

And, um, do like few like volunteering hours. So several through them and then just like have like 20 hours by the end of the year. Um, so it just really depends on your chapter. So there’s like a national wholesale organization and different chapters and each chapter belongs to a specific school. So if your school does have host a chapter, just try to go to their intro introduction meeting.

And usually they cover all that information for you. Or if there’s, or you can just reach out to one of the officers in your schools hosted club, and if they don’t have one, [00:25:00] um, you’re always, you can feel free to start your own.

Our next question is what is an example of a passion project? Ooh, I like this one. So just, um, yeah, so really it’s just about doing something. That you’re extremely passionate about. So again, going back to maybe the soccer example. So I said that, um, yeah, you start off in the club, you put a few more hours into it, you become the captain and you, um, kind of bring your team together.

And then the passion project for soccer would be like starting up an organization dedicated to, um, helping very young children get interested in soccer. So maybe giving them like training and skills, um, really encouraging them and starting a youth soccer league in like a low-income region of your community.

So that would be like a passion project. This person has really built up their passion in soccer. And [00:26:00] now they’re really taking that out to the community. Or maybe if it’s research or something. Um, let’s say you’re just always been interested in like flu, um, fruit flies or. Yeah, maybe you’re just really interested in the biology of fruit flies.

So you’ve just been like reading about it for a while. And then finally you decide to start your own independent project where you really try to like dive deep into how one aspect of fruit flies it works. So it’s really just about a self-initiated project about something you’ve been passionate about or something that you’ve been pursuing throughout high school.

And usually it’s completed between your junior and senior years or your first semester of senior year. Okay. And yeah, it’s really just to make sure that, um, it’s great to show college admissions that you can do something self-initiated that like, it’s not just, and not, not everyone needs to be like the leader of a club necessarily, but, um, it’s cool to be like, oh [00:27:00] wow.

I was able to just like go off and do this thing. And I learned a lot from it and here’s what I learned. And that’s often a really strong thing to write about in the college essay. Okay, our next question. There’s actually quite a few questions like this, which are, which is how did you find research labs to work in?

Okay. Yeah. Um, this caution comes a lot, so, um, at least in my case, it started off with just cold emailing. So, um, Like, um, oftentimes there’ll be like a really regional university close to your house by close. I mean maybe 30 to 45 minutes. Sometimes if you’re lucky, it could even be closer than that. So just look at like a department that you’d be interested in.

So let’s say you just want to be a future computer scientist and, um, there’s a nearby university. So just look at their computer science department, um, and just see their professors. So let’s say in my case it will be like UT Dallas. That’s probably the closest one to where it live. So I look at UT Dallas, computer science [00:28:00] professors.

Then you just like read, like you see all the faculty analyst and you can see about the research interests usually comes in their bios. Or if you just click on the different faculty names, you can see that, uh, information. So I would just suggest like reading some of their research papers, um, from some of the faculty and just see which ones you’re interested in.

And once you identify maybe like three or four that you’re interested in, I would just suggest like shooting an email to them saying like, Hey, I’m really interested in your work. I read some of these papers. Um, my interests are also along that lines. I did a few projects in high school, similar to it, or I studied this topic in my AP computer science class, which like made me really interested in this type of research.

So usually there’ll be more than happy to accept a student that showing a clear passion for, um, the work that they’re doing. And after that, they just kind of tell you like how to get onboarded and all that. So yeah, that’s again like putting yourself [00:29:00] out there. So just feel just like really, I mean, sometimes they’ll say no, sometimes they don’t even respond, but again, it’s just about like putting yourself out there to them.

And if you do that enough or you just are confident enough, eventually one will say yes to. I have a, a family friend who says, if you don’t get told no three times a day, then you’re not asking for enough, I think rack up those nos. Um, our next question is I am a junior in high school and I feel like I should do a sport, but I’m not that athletic.

And I feel discouraged. Um, well, I guess it’s like should versus if you were like really interested in doing the sport. So at least in my case, I can sympathize with you. I am not really the most athletic person. So, um, personally I just didn’t. I was just like, I’ll stick the workouts and pulley, not pursue a sport.

But that’s just cause that was where my interests. But if, if you’re interested in doing the [00:30:00] sport, I would just suggest like you seek some of the org, like some sport clubs in your school, maybe not the sport team itself, but a lot of times they’ll have like a small club version of the official like sport team.

And I’ll just like, try to join that because I mean, if you’re like a beginner, it’s a really like beginner friendly way to get into the sport. So you can maybe just like have fun and learn the rules. But if I’m in, don’t feel like you actually should do a sport to get into college because there are tons of people that get into top schools without actually doing a sport.

Yes. Um, and it’s really just about doing what you’re passionate about. So if sports is not something you’re passionate about, just do what else you’re interested in because at the end of the day, The call has called us are really looking at how you articulate your interest and the best way you can articulate your interest, if is if you’re actually interested, it’s really hard to fake it there.

So, absolutely. Our next question is I’m [00:31:00] moving to a new school that doesn’t offer many of the same clubs as my old school. Is it okay to join new clubs, junior? Yeah, of course, actually I switched schools junior year, too. So I’m actually on your college application or on your common app, you can write, um, a reason why you switched schools or maybe some of the issues that it caused, or like, just like other things that, um, switching schools like affected you, like which ways.

So for me, my new school was a lot further away from my old activity. So I just said the commute was a big problem. So don’t feel worried about that. Like colleges understand your circumstances, and again, you have to just like articulate your circumstances, but once you do, there’ll be totally understanding of it.

I mean, stuff happens. You do need to move or. Like it’s, it’s a common thing. So yeah. Feel free to join new extracurriculars or maybe even trying to continue your old extracurriculars and like similar ways, or even just starting new clubs. [00:32:00] And maybe you can, if it’s, if it’s a much smaller high school, you can probably do a lot of good to your high school by just starting new clubs in, um, fields that never existed before there also the one thing too is that admissions officers are going to see both transcripts.

So they’ll be aware that you switched schools. So if they’re like, oh, you did these clubs for these gears and these clubs for those years. Oh. But we got two transcripts from different schools. That’s going to make sense to them. Hmm. Okay. Our next question is, are school clubs considered an extracurricular activity?

And is it better to be involved in extracurriculars that are in school or out of. Um, yeah, school clubs are definitely an extracurricular activity for sure. And for whether it’s good to pursue like school once or outside of school once. Um, and honestly just depends on where your interests are met, are best met.

[00:33:00] So, um, let me think of like, maybe you’re on a swimming team and your school swimming team is just like, um, maybe, um, you find that you’re like above the level of fate you’re performing, um, or that your outside of school team is just a lot better for your needs. Um, then just like continue pursuing the one where you feel more comfortable in.

So it’s really just about what you feel comfortable in which ones best meet your needs or your desires. And, um, Just like, where are the op opportunities offered? So it’s not really about in school or out of school or how formal it is. It’s really just about how much you can demonstrate your potential and your, um, knowledge and interest in an area.

Okay. Our next question is, is there a set amount of extracurriculars needed? Oh, definitely not. Um, really like, I mean, just don’t apply with like zero, but [00:34:00] really just to again, choose few and pursue them in like in depth. So it’s definitely better to do a few with more depth than just a many and not. So if you have the option to choose between going to like 10 intro meetings of 10 different clubs or spending time.

Like in growing into leadership positions and putting like real effort or starting a passion project and like maybe one of them and pursuing a total of five activities. Definitely that will look a lot better to college admissions officers than just half-heartedly doing multiple activities. So there is no set number, just do as many that you can while still keeping great depth in them.

So, yeah, death is definitely a lot more important than the breadth here, at least in high school activities. So, um, just do however many you can balance with your school and however many that you can pursue in depth. My next question is, do colleges look more into [00:35:00] extracurricular activities or grades? Oh, that’s well, I mean, now it’s all about like, yeah.

Yeah. So it’s all about like, I guess, holistic admissions to understand like where are your from the extracurriculars offered to the classes? So, um, Your grades are definitely very important. They are way to get you at least, um, into the door. Um, so it definitely like work hard to keep your grades up. That is very important.

But then again, um, don’t keep your grades up to the point where you’re going to have to sacrifice pursuing extracurricular activities. So, um, and one other thing to keep in mind is like, maybe if you’re like inclined towards a particular field of study, it is really important to keep your grades up in classes relating to it.

So let’s say you want to major in your science, you might want to keep your AP, like your stem, AP classes grades up, um, and like those [00:36:00] related areas, but maybe if you accidentally slip in like English literature or history, um, like colleges might brush that off a little bit. They’ll just be like, okay.

She’s like really devoted to that one field of study. Um, and if they’re like pursuing activities in that field, but. Yeah, then again, I mean, again, just with everything, there’s like a balance. So I wouldn’t say one is more important than the other. They both are equally important, but, um, it is really important to keep your grades up.

So just try to pursue as many activities in depth as you can. Well, maintaining like a healthy balance of A’s and B’s

our next question. Is would it be better to stay consistent with the extracurriculars I have? So colleges see my commitment or branch out and try something new. Um, well, Again, it’s not necessarily for the sake of colleges. Um, say it again, like, let’s say it’s like your junior year and you suddenly find [00:37:00] that you’re more interested in something else and you lose interest in one of your activities.

If you do feel that your interest in that new area is so much that you can really just accelerate and pursue it to a lot more depth in that shorter amount of time, then definitely go for it. I mean, the depth is not, not only built by the number of years that you’re pursuing that activity, but also just by how much you invest into it.

Yeah. I, I will also say something that no one said to me. And I don’t think people say a lot, which is when it comes to extracurriculars in high school. It’s just as important to try things, to realize that you don’t like them as to try them and realize that you do so like. Um, the opposite of pro-Nazi. I tried, you know, biology research at one point in high school, and it was really helpful to me to realize, wow, I don’t ever want to do this again.

Um, and actually that would be a great college essay being like why I did this thing. And I’m [00:38:00] glad I did it because now I’m never have to take another bio class again. Um, but th those kind of, um, that that’s just as useful knowledge as knowing, wow, I do chorus every semester and I love chorus. So. It’s good.

It’s good to show that you really do care about things, but it’s also, don’t be afraid to try new things. Yeah, for sure. Like actually I did start off, um, doing so it’s separate from like model U I did. I tried debate in my freshman year thinking that, you know, I was going to, again, I thought I was going to be a lawyer.

Right. I just like went all into it and I was like, wow. I just really don’t like staying in tournaments until 11:00 PM and the kind of environment, but I did still gain invaluable skills from, um, pursuing debate. So definitely like the logic, like the logical processes that I learned from debate definitely did carry on to other areas.

So again, when you’re like writing your college essays, you can’t even [00:39:00] talk about the skills that you gained and, uh, pursuing activities that you just did enjoy. So yeah, absolutely. That could be a very funny college.

Okay, our next question is, could you pound count? Could you count a paying job as an extracurricular? Oh yeah, for sure. Um, I mean, if you’re investing a lot of time into it or, I mean, honestly, any time, and it’s not part of your school curriculum. Yeah. It definitely counts as an extracurricular activity.

And it’s actually a really good one because it shows that you can commit to something, um, that you you’re responsible and that you can really be an adult because when you’re in college, it’s all about self-management. And a lot of times people do fall off because they’re not able to really keep up with themselves.

So, um, by having a job in, by like performing well in it, it does show that you can handle the rigors of adult life and balancing it with academics. Absolutely. [00:40:00] Um, our next question is, are two to three week summer programs considered extracurriculars, or should they go in the additional information section of the.

Um, I guess it kind of depends on how much impact it had on you. So again, when you’re like writing about your college, um, your extracurriculars on your common app, um, a lot of times you, again, you write it based on what you’re interested in or what you feel really affected you or what you’re just passionate about.

So I know a lot of times, like if it’s a small internship or maybe you did like a two, three week program at another university abroad, or you did like a shadowing experience. Yeah. They will be pretty short. But if you do feel that that kind of experience was very formative in who you are today or who you are when you’re writing your college apps.

Definitely put it on there. So again, it’s just about how these activities changed you and how much you feel like, um, how much importance you feel like they had. [00:41:00] Absolutely. Our next question is what are your views on student council and what would you suggest. Yeah. I mean, it is also an extracurricular activity.

Um, I don’t think student council has done in so many different ways in different schools. So it’s like really, it’s not like NHS where it’s kind of standardized across the nation. Like here can vary a lot. So, um, yeah, if student governance is like your thing. Yeah. Um, I would suggest like trying to reach a position in your school student council.

And even if you don’t, you can still like, have like informal leadership. So maybe you can start a bake sale or you can start a like fundraising initiative for your school’s student council. Or maybe if you want to like start a new initiative, we’re giving like free t-shirts, um, then you really work with the school admin and get that happening.

Or if you really want to change, like how some things work in your school and you want to make that effect through student council. Yeah. [00:42:00] So it’s just about how you take initiative in any club. So yeah, you can definitely do that with student council too. Okay, our next question is how did you choose a science fair project to do?

Oh, okay. Yeah, this is, um, this dates back all the way to like ninth grade. So, um, honestly I just like started first, so I was trying to see like what type of areas I was interested in. So I was kind of fascinated by like microbiology and also kind of like the engineering side of it too. So, um, yeah, I just started like reading several, like research papers.

I mean, you can look at pub med or just like looking online and you might not understand all the words in there and that is totally okay. Just read as much as you can understand and just keep on going back to it, sleep over it and, um, kind of use like what existing knowledge is there to sort of think about how you can improve the field or what are some ways that you can like.[00:43:00]

So let’s say like in the field of like microbiology and diagnostics, um, I found that there was not really like a way to detect bacteria, um, like with a very inexpensive method. So that’s why I was like, okay, I really want to try to find a way to improve this. So I just started reading about different methods that exist, um, and trying to combine the best of them to create another one.

That was a lot more cost-effective. So again, it’s just about seeing what type of thing happened in the area and working on it. Oh, sorry, Hannah. Oh, I just said that’s so cool. Thank you. Okay. Uh, so we’re going to take a very quick break in the Q and a, and I’m going to let you know what you can do. If you want to work one-on-one with one of our advisors from our network of 155 advisors and admissions officers.

You can sign up for a free consultation with us by going to [00:44:00] and clicking the green chat button in the bottom, right of the screen from there, just write in consultation and a live team member will get back to you to help you coordinate your free consultation with us. Okay. Back to the Q and a, um, our next question is this is a bit similar to an earlier one, but we’ll do it regardless.

You were talking about internships and how they help you towards your career path generally. How do you find it internship in this person’s case? In internship, in the medical field? So actually, um, at least from the city that I am from, um, luckily like our mayor, he has like this internship, like program where, so basically it fell out like a regular job application and then you like interview with several companies and then you get matched with one of them, depending on like, which ones choose you.

So. I that’s kind of through my community. Like that’s how I figured out about it. So I think one good place to start is just like seeing in your community if they offer some sort of similar, um, thing. [00:45:00] And now, because again, everything’s going virtual, you can probably see if there are any virtual internships, um, offered like basically anywhere across the United States or any place across the world where they’re taking high school students.

And I guess, yeah, for most internships, it’s just about like filling out the application and applying. And even if you don’t get the internships, a lot of that writing does help you on your college apps. So yeah, just like seize the opportunities that you can just like keep applying to them. Or maybe if you do want to pursue like an informal one, again, like you can try cold emailing research professors that will be kind of similar to the medical field.

Um, yeah. So if you want to like re um, cold email, any like biology faculty or. And that is like one place to start in the medical field. Or like, if you want to do hospital volunteering, again, those are application-based programs, but just check of their open with COVID and all, because there are so many answered in these good that, um, or sometimes just even like contact your [00:46:00] doctor and see if they have any suggestions.

Our next question is, does the amount of extracurriculars you need the patent on the colleges you are applying to as well? Wait, sorry. Can you repeat that? Does the amount of extracurriculars you need depend on the colleges you are applying to as well? Oh, no. Um, and I would definitely not suggest like making like county extracurriculars based on the colleges you’re applying to, because one like the colleges that you applied to can change throughout the process, depending on new programs that you find that different colleges offer or, um, Sometimes, like, let’s say you do early decision and you didn’t get in and you’re applying like in the regular decision round.

So you’ll, we’ll be applying to more, a lot of times students do apply to a wide range of colleges. So I would just say that pursue as many extracurriculars that you can while still, like, I guess [00:47:00] having good breather time, um, like being able to study, um, study, like study for classes, study for your sat and, um, just like as many extracurriculars that you can pursue in depth without it being overkill.

Yeah. Also another thing I, I personally think is, can be great, which talked about a bit with, like her soccer example is see if there’s ways to make one extracurricular, multiple extracurriculars. So like for me, that was choir. I did choir, you know, ultimate middle school and high school, but I also did, um, Regional and state honor choir and national honor choir and like, uh, conducting lessons and also like, things like that, so that it was all really one extracurricular, but it could count for like four or five different ones on my activities list.

And, um, and [00:48:00] people saw like, oh, wow, she really cares about this because she does this in all these different fields or different ways. Yeah. That is like a really, really good way to actually get at extracurriculars and showed up. So it’s not like you just need to put so much time into one. If you could just make that, like, just put like different choirs, maybe you’re a part of like your national choir.

So through like, I guess an organized chain, your school choir, your church choir, you teach choir on the side, like. That just show that shows so much depth and it’s okay if you have an activity that isn’t, that my roommate was played softball through her high school and college. And, um, you know, for her, it was just softball.

That was the whole thing. But that was so many hours that, you know, the school understood that that one extracurricular was like a lot of extracurricular. Um, but you know, so you don’t have to necessarily force that if it doesn’t come naturally, but [00:49:00] that is a good way to show both breadth and depth, breadth and depth.

Uh, God, that word is so hard. Okay. Our next question is, is it easier to get a leadership position or recognition in a smaller club? Um, yes and no. If you’re just talking about the sheer numbers. So, I mean, in a large club, let’s say they’re five officer positions at a hundred members and everyone applies for the leadership position.

Well, yeah. Then there’s a 5% chance by the numbers versus in a small club where if they’re 10 numbers and three officer positions, so we have a 30% chance. So if you’re just looking at the numbers, yes. Technically you can get a leadership position much easily and like a small club. However, when getting leadership positions, it’s all about your interest in that particular activity.

So even in that large club, if you really like demonstrate your interest and like the officers understand like how passionate you are about that [00:50:00] activity, you start a lot of initiatives within the club. You literally did everything that that club offers like. So they have volunteering opportunities. You went to those who went to the bake sales, you were like, Well, then your percentage, your chances do increase by a lot versus if in that small club, but only 10 members.

If you just showed up to the intro meeting and a thing after then your chances decrease there. So yes, by the numbers, it technically is easier. But again, it really just boils down to the passion. I mean, to get to that last 5% stage, it’s about how much time you invest. Yeah. Our next question is what are my chances are, are my chances of getting into college slim.

If I joined an extracurricular for the first time during my senior year? No, not at all. I mean, again, high school is about exploring your interests. So if you do want to join something in your senior year, like definitely go for it. If you’re interested in it again, like what Hannah said earlier on. [00:51:00] Uh, high school, um, joining activities and high schools, not about just finding what you’re passionate about, but also eliminating the ones that you’re not interested in.

So let’s say you did actually pursue something really deeply for the first three years of high school and you just decided like, this is not it. Like, I thought I liked it. I really went deep into it and I just don’t. Well, that is still like something that you can have on your applications versus it’s definitely better to find out sooner whether you like something or you don’t like something that later.

So if it means starting activity in your senior year, like definitely go for it. Absolutely. Our next question is how do you balance all of your extracurriculars, especially if you have leadership positions in more than one? Hmm. So, um, I guess like the easy way to say it’s like time management. Well, obviously that is just more words than it is like actual, um, advice.

So. Again, like, yeah, with your course load, make sure I take like an, not a [00:52:00] manageable, but difficult enough course we’ll load that you can like manage that alongside your extracurricular activities. So whether it be like three APS or like five APS, whichever you feel that you could comfortably do well, still feeling like you have an intellectually stimulating semester.

And then when you’re managing these extracurriculars, a lot of times it’s actually helpful to try to combine them when you’re actually participating in them. So let’s say in my case, I was an officer for like our near science club and our biology Olympiad team. So a lot of times I would, because they’re kind of similar in nature.

I would try to, um, have like, I guess, different parts of the clubs like intersect. So that’d be one less work. And two, it’s also just easier for other people to participate in those activities rather than having to go to two separate events. So I guess, yeah, like interclub collaborations is one way, um, And also, I guess this is probably one is like another [00:53:00] one it’s actually just not being on your phone.

Like your phone will like suck up so much time. It’s just like put that thing like face down and like away, or have your parents hide it. And suddenly you’ll feel like you get a lot of time back or just like deleting or offloading Instagram. If you have like, um, an iPhone or offloading social media apps.

Um, again, like just those types of things that are empty time waste. Just try to eliminate those as much as possible. Or if you’re watching TV, maybe limit, limit it to like one episode a day rather than binge-watching. So it’s just like simple things like that that can really bring you back a lot of time.

It’s not necessarily cutting down even how much time you’re studying or doing other things because really it’s these small ones that quickly add up. Okay. My one last piece of advice on that is see if you can sort of finesse scheduling if certain things are more seasonal. So. You know, something like, I mean, I did like choir and mock trial.

And as long as my [00:54:00] choir, like the weeks leading up to my choir concerts and the weeks leading up to my mock trial trials, I don’t even remember weren’t at the same time, given that it was, you know, like a low level of work until like a week or two before, as long as those things weren’t at the same time, I could be leaders in both and really, you know, on top of the thing that was happening in the next week or the next two weeks.

Um, and if you can sort of finesse that to, I highly recommend that that’s not the case for everyone, often sports. If you’re practicing six days a week, every week for a bunch of hours a day like that doesn’t really go away. But if you do do activities that are sort of more seasonal, then you can just make sure they don’t overlap and that’ll cut down on a lot of stuff.

Okay, our next question is, uh, I think this is relating to your soccer example. So me [00:55:00] and one of my friends are interested in soccer and they do not offer that by which I mean, like, uh, I think this person means like, uh, a club to interact with young soccer players jumping. If we were able to make a club or make it a part of the community, we still wouldn’t have anywhere to do it.

So I assume like a field. What would you suggest? Hmm. Okay. That is, yeah, that’s definitely a tough situation. Um, maybe, I mean, there’s probably like at least some sports or like a park organization, your school, like sports are part. So maybe if there is like a nearby park or something that is a good place to start, even if it’s like a small area or, um, or maybe if you’re at school at least offers like a small field, that could be a good place to start.

Um, Or like maybe sometimes there’ll be like these like sport organizations that are not like affiliated with like, they’re not government affiliated. So [00:56:00] I guess you could just try, like, even reaching out to people there again, it’s like, just like putting yourself out there. So yeah, just like, I guess try to reach out to organizations that do have their own private fields and just like pitching this idea and seeing if they’ll be down to like support you on it.

And so, yeah, I’d say like, maybe reach out to like private organizations or maybe if you’re like part of a church and they have like an, like a field that again, just like reaching out to them and saying like, Hey, I have this cool idea to really want to pursue it. Yeah. Okay. Uh, our next question is, do you have any tips on starting your own club or tutoring program?

Yeah, so at least for, um, I would say, like really have a plan down because a lot of times you will have to pick your club two school administrators or the teacher that’s going to support your club. So I would just suggest that you do have your plan down. So let’s say it’s like an academic club. [00:57:00] Um, let’s say like a history club, then you can say like, okay, on these weeks, we’ll be going over like these like topics that are like related to some era of history.

And, um, starting like November, we’re going to start prepping students for the history fair. So like on the first week of November, we’ll have like the intro to history, fair meeting, and then like, we’ll have set deadlines for our students. And we’ll also correlate the PowerPoints that we present about like the historical events and have them correlate with our world history, AP class.

So it’ll help people go back and forth. We’ll also have like tutoring sessions on these days of the week to help students with understanding. Like the material and doing like practice AP questions. So yeah, just go in with like a really solid plan. And when you’re pitching it to your school administrators, and usually when you have it like that, they tend to buy it because a lot of times they’re really just trying to make sure students aren’t starting clubs for college applications and rather doing it because they actually want [00:58:00] to pursue a passion.

That’s not offered in the school. And the same thing goes with the tutoring organization as well. Um, if you’re trying to start it within your school, again, try to reach out to your school administrators to see if they’ll be down for it. Or if you’re starting like a community organization again, like try to build up some like credenza to it.

So yeah, I would just say, yeah. So I’ll just say like really trying to focus on making sure that activities that credible and organized. Absolutely. Okay. I think this is going to be our last question. So for clubs, how can you make it interesting. So people join. Do you need to add physical incentives?

Traits are always good, highly recommended. I mean, if you are bringing treats, you have to share them with me. But like, but I mean, that is definitely like one way to, I mean, another would just be like having activities, which you’re sure that you yourself would enjoy. So if another club was offering this [00:59:00] activity, like you would be down to go, even if like that club is completely unrelated to your interests.

So actually I never thought I would be like interested in baking, but our school did have a culinary society and they would bake like case it is every week at the meetings. So I would just like go and they’ll teach us how to do it. And like, even though I never thought I’d be interested in cooking, just that kind of like incentive where they teach you how to.

Something that is so delicious. I mean, that was like pretty cool. Or maybe even the art club, like I stopped doing art maybe in sixth grade. However, they have, like, they give you like a canvas and they say like, you can paint something with us or like have this tutorial. So again, like really hands-on stuff that you think that you would be interested in.

So, and it doesn’t even need to be stuff where you invest in like money in like maybe if you’re starting a medically related club and you’re offering hospital volunteering opportunities, then probably a lot of other people that are interested in the medical field would be down to join you on that. So, um, again, yeah, just [01:00:00] trying to give incentives, which you would likely be learned to if those were offered by other clubs.

Absolutely. And I love the idea of it being really interactive. Okay. So this is the end of the webinar. Our thank you everyone for coming out tonight and thank you so much for Nazi for prison. Oh, thank you. Thank you all for your amazing questions. This is now as the end of the webinar. We had a wonderful time telling you about joining new extracurriculars and here’s the rest of our July series.

So tomorrow we have a, uh, webinar on connecting with recommendation writers. Awesome. Have a wonderful night, everyone.