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What did you do that helped you stand out and get accepted to college?

Office Hours #2: SDSU College Student Panel

This question was posed by a question during one of our most recent "CareerVillage Office Hours" sessions. During Office Hours sessions, we invite students to pose questions related to a specific topic. In this case, the topic was college life. If you answer this question, we will reach out to the students who attended this office hours session to inform them of your response, and all students on CareerVillage will benefit. If you would be interested in hosting an office hours session on a particular topic, please reach out to our staff!

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Deijana’s Answer

Personally, I was a cheerleader in high school and that opened a lot of ways for me to get active in the community donating my time and being recognized for it. College wants to see a well-rounded individual. So it is important to just do something anything! Go to the library every day after school. Volunteer to help the librarians. Mange a sports team even if you don't play a sport. You should have at least 2 different afterschool activities whatever it may be. That will help you stand out.
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Kellie’s Answer

Get involved with your school in clubs and sports! Also, see if there are any honor societies that you can become apart of. These look really impressive on college applications!
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Celeste’s Answer

I would encourage in enrolling in PSEO courses. PSEO stands for post secondary enrollment options. This is a program that allows high school students to earn both high school and college credits while still in high school, through enrollment at participating secondary colleges or universities. These classes can show colleges that you are already succeeding in college-level coursework and are indictivative that you would be successful in other college classes. As a bonus, PSEO classes can help you save a chunk of change if you attend a school that accepts these credits!
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Gerta’s Answer

Sample of your work that aligns well with your program. For example, if applying to a psychology program, a research paper on a topic would serve as a great sample to show the work that you are capable of achieving.
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Celeste’s Answer

What I did to help me stand out as a candidate for the college application process is to give more than what admissions asked. Some colleges don't require a personal statement or say that it is optional. You should strive to always take the extra mile this gives admissions and insight as to who you are as a person and as a student. Being involved in extracurricular activities is always a plus. As well as doing some community service, colleges what to see what you can do in and out of the classroom especially while giving back to the community. Don't forget letters of recommendation!
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Will’s Answer

Posting this answer on behalf of my colleague:

"I would say having extracurricular activities and a good personal statement can help you stand out in your college application. Look at extracurricular activities that you’re interested in and that will make it easier for you to commit and be active and even potentially take on a leadership role.

On the personal statement, make sure you start writing early and go through many drafts. When you read the personal statement, does it sound like your voice? You want to sound authentic. You can write about your extracurricular activities, a significant experience, or a normal experience and make sure to describe how it made an impact on you and make sure it answers the question. See if you can have other people (friends, teachers, counselor, etc.) review your drafts and provide edits and advice on your writing.

Good luck!"
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Natalie’s Answer

Demonstrate a passion for something - it doesn't have to be your school work, it can be an extracurricular. The other things colleges care about are grit and curiosity. Show an interest that you continue to drive forward, talk through the challenges you faced, and how you continued past that.

It's also important to package those stories into one unique picture of yourself and the value you will bring to that school. Everybody has a unique combination of talents and interests - use that to paint a picture!
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