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I need help with my extracuricular activities!

Okay so highschool has started and I'm not apart of anything. I'm not in band, orchestra, sports team, theater or anything else. Club rush is coming up and I'm planning on joining a few clubs and being on the academic decathlon team. But, I feel like if I only join clubs in highschool the next four years then I'll suffer on my college applications. I don't enjoy sports at all and I don't play an instrument. I don't know what to do because I feel so lost and confused. Another concern that I have is that I feel like I'm behind compared to others. Like if I only join clubs and another person I'm competing against is on a sports team, in band, and apart clubs then they have a better chance in getting into a good school. #college #sports #school #college-admissions #extracurriculars #high-school-classes

I was only a part of a few clubs in high school. My school didn't have a theater or music program, and I wasn't the type of person who enjoyed sports. I still got into many good universities, including UCSD, USC, and Brown University. Personally, I tried to emphasize that I had really interesting summers, and that I took online classes in cool subjects that I didn't have access to at school. Anina H.

The trick is to find different ways to emphasize that you are well-rounded. If your school-related extracurriculars are not diverse, make sure you have passions that don't have anything to do with school, even if those passions are somewhat different from the usual college activities- examples include crafting cosplays, coding, or making art. Anina H.

Hi Anita! I am a fellow high school student myself, going into my junior year. I was once like you, worried that every little choice I make in the next four years of my life will prevent me from being anywhere close to being successful. I have a lot of friends who have packed their schedule with tons of extra curricular activities, sports, and clubs in their first few years of high school. There's a catch, though. Karen P.

Right now, colleges are looking into students who show leadership, dedication, school spirit, and perseverance. They are not as impressed with individuals who are a part of 5 different clubs and those who join new clubs every year. What colleges want to see now are students who commit to 1-3 extracurricular activities, clubs, or sports, and stick with them throughout all four years of high school. They are after students who show devotion to what they are doing. Karen P.

I think it is great that you are worried about not being a part of anything because it is the first step to being a part of something. I advise you to find 1-2 extracurricular activities that you are really passionate about and join them. As long as you stick to the clubs you want to join throughout your entire high school career, you will be fine. Additionally, clubs are usually welcome to new members anytime, whether you are a Freshman or a Senior. It seems as if you are only in your freshman year, so you have plenty of time to become a part of an extracurricular activity. Karen P.

Don't be worried about being compared to others. Life is about competition, yes, but never let someone get in the way of how you perceive your future to be. There have been many graduates in my school who have gotten into the same college, even though there was a difference in GPA and involvement in school. If you really do insist on being ahead of people in extracurricular activities, see if there is an NJHS (National Junior Honor Society) Chapter at your high school. Being selected as a member will grant you a great opportunity to be accepted into top colleges. Karen P.

Be mindful that your grades are an important factor in high school as well, so don't participate in an abundant amount of clubs if they get in the way of your studying. Really, the decision is up to you, but don't think about it for too long. Do what your heart tells you to do! I wish you the best! Karen P.

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Jill’s Answer

You do not have to be in sports. There are many options that colleges also look to both in and out of school. It depends on what your interests are. Acadec is a great start! If you are interested in business, marketing, finance, hospitality (restaurant, hotel or tourism) or owning your own business DECA is a great club with lots of competitions that are for beginners and it has over 250,000 members world wide. If you are interested in law you might consider Speech and Debate Club or Student Council. Another great club that is geared towards the health sciences is HOSA. If engineering is your gig, you could try the Robotics club. There is so much just go to the first meetings and see which one appeals to you. Have a great time at the club fair and go with what you like or are interested in and it will be more meaningful. Good luck? #extracurricularactivities

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Rachel’s Answer

Hi. First, college is four years away. Slow down and enjoy high school a year at a time. Many freshmen do not join anything the first year. You're learning the lay of the land, you're discovering what interests you. By next year you'll have a clearer idea if you want to join something. Or, maybe you will start a club of your own! As for college, many favtors are taken into account to decide who gets admitted. Even if you don't join a club, that won't keep uou out of college. But if you're still having trouble trying to figure out what to join, do this: volunteer somewhere. So many people and causes need volunteers. That IS definitely something colleges will take note of. Remember, sliw down and enjoy the present!!!

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Joel’s Answer

I agree with what Rachel said above - you're a long way away from college and there's no need to start panicking about what you need to do to get into college. Don't get yourself too overworked with extra curricular activities and lose focus of your academics - it won't matter if you're involved in 100 different things, if you don't have the grades to get in then nobody will accept you.

Do some work around the community, find a couple of things that interest you at school and pursue them (whether that be clubs or something else), and focus on your studies. If you do all 3 of those, then you'll have no trouble getting accepted into college.

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Deidre Mercedes’s Answer

I want to endorse the previous response. Extra-curricular involvement does not necessarily have to be only school-related activities. Look around your community. You might find something that can interest you. There are many interesting organizations out there that may match up to something you like or you can volunteer. You not only get to meet people but you do something helpful to the community.