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Is it too late to be involved in extracurricular activities HS Junior Year?

Asked Lakewood, California

I remember when I was just an upcoming freshman at my high school and I was eager to get involved with my school and the community around me. However... I'm getting more and more stressed out on one area where colleges/universities like to see in their applications: extracurriculars. I haven't been doing any extracurriculars, such as participating in clubs or doing volunteer work for almost 2 years. Right now I'm in the middle of my Sophomore year of high school and I feel I should've taken earlier action, and to think it would be weird to just participate in something all of a sudden in the middle of the school year when I should've just done so in the beginning. The thing is that I have been so caught up with my academics that I hardly considered time to do the activities I am passionate about or to even find out on more things that I could be interested in. I've also looked at the application process of the schools I want to get into and by the looks of it, it seems pretty complicating. My dream school is to go to UC Irvine but other schools are definitely worth considering. I just want to at least get into the UCs but the competitiveness is something I'm not ready to endure yet.

#college-admissions #extracurriculars #uci

1 answer

Taylor’s Answer

Updated Cleveland, Ohio

Hi Lauren, thanks for submitting a question! Even though you're a junior, it's never to late to get involved. Even spending a few hours volunteering at a local soup kitchen, a Habit for Humanity, or a food bank will look great on your college application. Are you involved in any sports, do you have a job, or do you help your parents take care of little siblings? Schools will understand that you're not involved in many activities if you're filling your time with other things. Here's an article that I found that I think will help you figure out if you actually have no extracurricular activities: https://blog.prepscholar.com/no-extracurricular-activities-what-you-should-do

If you read that article and you still don't have any extracurricular activities, do not fear! Again, it's not too late to get involved in your community. If you're worried about time and you're not sure if you have enough to spend a Saturday volunteering, try to develop your time management skills. Do you have a planner? Try writing down everything you need to do for that week and planning what day to do each task so that you can have a free day. Here's another article that can help you learn to manage your time better:


I hope this helps! Best of luck to you!

Taylor recommends the following next steps:

  • Figure out if you actually have no extracurricular activities
  • Manage your time to make space for extracurricular activities
Taylor - Thank you for your answer. We need more advice like this, now more than ever! There are more than 1k unanswered questions on CV right now. Hoping you'll answer a few more this week!
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