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Is it bad to have TOO many extracurriculars on the college app?

Although I am not applying to college yet, I am involved in many extracirriculars because I have a lot of different interests that may not relate to each other like singing, drawing, science, writing, etc. If I continue to do all these extracirriculars (simply because I will enjoy them), would it be better to omit some of these extracurriculars to be a more coherent competitor?


Josephine, This is not a bad thing at all! Colleges love to see well-rounded students with many different interests. It helps them gain an insight into how involved you'll be at their school should they choose to accept you. I don't recommend omitting any extracurriculars unless you only did them for a very short period of time (such as only a week or so). Good luck! Caylyn K.

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Ellen’s Answer

Hi Josephine:
I think it is great that you have so many interests and are pursuing them in after school activities. I agree with the previous answers that being well-rounded is an asset when applying to college. However, be sure your grades are not suffering from so many extra-curricula activities. I'd say if you are earning A's and B's, (even better all A's), then don't worry about having too many activities. If you are getting C's in any subject, then I might cut down on some activities and concentrate on your grades.


When you get around to applying for college, you can always highlight the activities that are the most meaningful in terms of shaping your future plans and course of study.


Best Wishes!


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Kim’s Answer

Josephine,


Not only does having too many diverse areas of extra-curricular involvement possibly create the appearance that you don't know where you are going, it is also possible to lead to a conclusion that you will not do well in college! Let me explain. . .


Suppose you have a 3.75 GPA , with lots of outside activities. This could possibly mean that school comes easy to you, you have never had to study, and won't know what to do when you hit that first college subject for which that does not hold true! Of course, that is just one way of looking at it. There are all different sorts of possible interpretations. I would be careful to only list those that contribute to where I am going.


Also, you want to be able to show "leadership." Team Captain; Car-Wash Chairperson, etc! The world is already filled with followers! And, try to show "philanthropy" - doing for others. So, if your leadership and philanthropy are in areas other than your major, you would still want to list them.


Confused yet?


Bottom line: No two people in college placement services think exactly the same! If they all had a stack of 200 applicants to sort through, and had to pick 20, while the top 5 might be the same, the remaining 15 might not be! They are trying to create a diverse student body. So, perhaps teaching guitar to youngsters with disabilities is unique, perhaps it is not. You just never know!


I really think sometimes young people spend too much time trying to be the person somebody else wants them to be, and not enough time just being themselves. Get good grades in academically challenging classes, and somebody will admit you. It might not be your top pick, but it will still be a good school!


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T.’s Answer

Awesome that you enjoy so many things! Continue to enjoy them! Regarding your college application. Think of what adds value and specificity to your desired major. If you know what you want to do, or at least what subject areas you want to concentrate on during your college days, include those activities that enhance that area. Try to think of what skills the activities have in common that enhance what you want to do. Do they all involve thought organization? sequential reasoning ability? Do they require critical thinking? do they involve writing? do they involve memorization? What are the skills you would need in your career that these activities are shaping you for now? That is how you relate them in your application.


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Emani’s Answer

Great question! It is great to be a well-rounded individual. I myself was involved in 10+ extracurricular activities, because I believe it is never too late to learn or experience something new. Whatever you decide, do not stop involving yourself in different extracurricular activities!


Depending on the university or degree you are looking to obtain, just include the relatable experiences to not seem confused or uncertain about what you want. You do not want to overload the application with unrelated experiences. You can apply those skills or experiences if necessary during an interview or essay, but not on the initial application.


You will have enough time when the time is right for you, but you will know what is right for you and get the accepted into the school of your choice!


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Nancy’s Answer

Stick to the ones on your application that show a progression in responsibilities and leadership, or that relate to your future area of study/passions.


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Dheeraj’s Answer

An advice I heard from a friend who is in the process of college applications is to excel in one sport is better than participating in multiple ones


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Mrinalini’s Answer

Hey Dheeraj,


Great to know that a lot of activities interest you. And yes, Extra-curricular activities are pretty important when your college application is evaluated as it helps you stand out and also speaks to you. Having said that, I wouldn't recommend having too many of them. For one, it could divide your focus significantly. Instead of excelling in one to three that you really enjoy, you could be doing an average job on many of them. Second, the core of your application would include other elements like academics etc. You want to make sure that they don't get affected either.


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Taylor’s Answer

Hey Josephine!


Really great question and there are many different ways you can approach this and it depends on the person. In my personal opinion, you should only keep whichever extracurricular activities you are truly passionate about and will most likely continue in college. If you aren't able to easily fill up a page about why you love what you are doing, then why is it part of your application? Admission officers will read through hundreds and hundreds of applications. They might just barely glance at your extracurricular activities and if you don't write about them in your essays, they won't know anything about why you like "dancing, painting, etc." if its listed. If you're part of student organization or competition, definitely keep it! Otherwise, I would consolidate and focus in on what you are truly passionate about.


If you're still exploring and trying different things, go for it! The sky's the limit, but like an earlier post said, grades are first. Make sure those aren't suffering in place of you taking on a bunch of different activities.


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