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I heard that extracurriculars are crucial during high school as it allows the admissions officers get a glimpse of who you are. If I want to attend a top university in the US, how can I maximize my chances through extracurriculars?

I'm a high school junior interested in pursuing something in computational mathematics or anything computer science related in college. #college-admissions #computer-science #math

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Barbara’s Answer

Hi there! One of the biggest things that colleges look for is community involvement and volunteering and leadership. I would recommend engaging in school activities and running for a leadership role in student council. Also, get involved in your community and make a small change (canned food drive, collecting clothes for homeless shelters, committing to recycling or roadside trash pickup to better your community). All of these things will have a positive impact on your college application. Hope this helps!
Thank you comment icon I appreciate you taking the time to answer this. Jessie C.
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Bhavin’s Answer

Hello my advice would be to join a club, organization, volunteer, or anything that you have a genuine interest in. The club does not necessarily matter. What matters is what you make of it. Getting a leadership role and gaining that experience is very valuable. Participating and helping to fundraise, host events, and plan events is great ways to get top colleges to notice you. As long as you can explain your experience, your leadership experience and the impact it has had on you then you should be okay.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for taking the time to help. Jessie C.
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Andrew’s Answer

Based on my reading of your question, I would assume that you are interested in computer science. The “computational mathematics” you are referring to would be applied mathematics that is closely related to scientific programming.

In the past few decades, college admission officers have been looking for qualities in a perspective student other than academics. Hence, it is beneficial to have extracurricular activities included in your college application packages. You can present additional dimensions of your character you’re your extracurricular activities.

On the other hand, we should keep in mind that STEM is a difficult academic area. It is important to carefully balance your academic endeavor and extracurricular activities. Academic excellence is the cake, and extracurricular activity is the icing. Fancy icing is not enough without a good cake.

If you want to get into a good university, make sure you are prepared academically first.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, this is amazing! I really needed it. Jessie C.
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Buddhima’s Answer

Look for opportunities such as clubs, societies, volunteering, internships etc or start your own initiative. Explore new areas or zoom in on topics you care about and are meaningful to you (don't just do it for the sake of the application). Be able to tell a story about why you started on something, what you learned from it and what your impact was, what you might do next!

Thank you comment icon Thanks for the advice. Jessie C.
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