If I haven't found the right extracurriculars, can I still appear to be a dedicated student?

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Our counselors answered:

If I haven't found the right extracurriculars, can I still appear to be a dedicated student?

็Ž‹ๆ–‡ๅ› June Scortino
President IVY Counselors Network

What is the right excurriculum?

doing something you have passions about is not right or wrong. You will be surprised the insignificant things you spend the most time with can be very important to colleges.

William Chichester

If I haven't found the right extracurriculars, can I still appear to be a dedicated student?

Sure, you can do the following: Get a part-time job! Volunteer Get stellar grades Take prep courses for entrance exams/standardized tests

Rachel Smith-Vaughan

What are your interests?

It is important for you to identify what you like to do. If a club does not already exist, then form one. An extracurricular activity does not only revolve around your school, but look within your community, family, religious institution as well as your future interests. For example, shadowing a veterinarian for an extended period of time and volunteering at the local animal shelter demonstrates your passion, dedication, and future career goals.

Nina Berler
Founder unCommon Apps

The "Right" Extracurriculars

A dedicated student understands curricula, develops relationships with teachers, and is passionate about learning. Nearly always, that same dedicated student has subject matter which is clearly his or her favorite. Here's where you can link that definition to the "right" extracurriculars. If your passion is turning great grades and loving classes, become involved in related activities. Why not start a math team or a French club? If they already exist, join them. Get more involved as a peer coach. Help individuals who are not as fortunate develop that same love for learning by showing them the beauty you see in your favorite subjects. There is no need to become involved in extracurriculars just to list them on your brag sheet. Admissions officers and interviewers can really get a good read on your passions. While they once looked for great grades and standardized test scores, they now look for more. You can do it!

Suzan Reznick
Independent Educational Consultant The College Connection

The "right" activites do not exist!

Colleges today are looking for students who they deem "passionate", who are excited about intellectual ideas, who desire to learn for its own sake. They view extracurriculars the same way. They want to see that you feel strongly about your activities, whether it is sports, community service or in the arts. if your schools does offer options that excite you- look to your neighborhood. Volunteer, join a community theater or try an atypical sport likes fencing or martial arts. Don't allow yourself to feel limited. You can even take an online class or get a job! It is not about finding the "right" activity, but one that would offer you some personal satisfaction. Make it right!

Nancy Milne
Owner Milne Collegiate Consulting


There is no such thing as the "right" extracurriculars. Colleges are looking to enroll students who will create a well rounded class. That does not mean they are looking for all well rounded students. Ideally admissions officers are hoping to find folks with a "spike". They are seeking out the individuals who have a genuine passion, will make a contribution to the campus environment, you know: fit. They aren't as interested in the person who has dabbled in everything, but never demonstrated interest in anything. Maybe you weren't Student Body President, but you were on Class Council all four years. Maybe they really need a tuba player this year, but have enough violins. Remember, they are evaluating you on your whole application, not just one piece.

Helen H. Choi
Owner Admissions Mavens

Appear or Are?

What's more important? Appearing to be a dedicated student or actually being a dedicated student? If you are genuinely someone who is hardworking, dedicated and passionate about academics -- you are probably also someone who can bring those characteristics to activities which really interest you. Try to look beyond what others are doing and look at what really interests you. Any activity (inside or outside of school) that you love and are passionate about -- can be the "right" extracurricular activity. Remember -- it's not whether you are president of Spanish club or co-capt of the dance team that's important -- it's whether or not you can demonstrate your commitment, dedication, passion, and enthusiasm for a particular venture that really counts.

Helen Cella

If I haven't found the right extracurriculars, can I still appear to be a dedicated student?

Yes there are lots of other ways to look dedicated.

Susan Karasek
Guidance Counselor Estrella Foothills High School

How do I show that I am a leader and involved?

Colleges and Scholarships are looking for student leaders who are involved in some way. This may include joining a club or sport but there are several ways students can share about their involvement within their school and community. For example you can discuss your hobbies, church activities, family activities, volunteer and communtiy service, involvement in band, choir, or student government involvement. Students who participated in travel abroad programs can write about their experiences. Students may also have family obligations such as taking care of siblings, farm animals, or a sick family member. Basically anything you do outside of class that you do not get paid for shows that you are involved.

Erin Avery
Certified Educational Planner Avery Educational Resources, LLC

Extra! Extra!

Read all about it: if you haven't identified some extracurriculars, you may suffer from being boring. Extracurriculars are yours for the choosing! Explore, be vulnerable, discover your passions! Become who you are, not because it looks good for college, but because you are here on this earth for a purpose: find it! What do you love? Kids? Elderly people? Special needs folks? Music? Military? Photography? Debate? What would you do if you knew you could not fail? ...Now go try it. The world needs you to be fully who you are! If you are a good student, you will remain a good student. But who else are you? "In the world, you may be just one person, but to one person, you could be the world."