It's important to take a leadership role in your extracurriculars. But what if your extracurriculars consist of...just you?
I'm a freshman at high school, and after reading some of the entries in the College Advisor, I noticed the emphasis that you place on extracurriculars, and specifically, leadership positions in those extracurriculars. That makes a lot of sense, except the extracurriculars I participate in are chiefly solo; I ice skate (at the Freestyle level), do music theory, and play piano, and take examinations from ABRSM for music theory and piano. I'm thinking about joining Key Club next year so that I could possibly rise to leadership positions my final two years of high school, and I want to take Beginning Journalism next year as an elective so that I can be part of the school newspaper or magazine my junior and senior years. Do you think that those plans for my high school extracurriculars would suffice wherein college applications are concerned?
Thanks for helping a doubtful freshman!
Dear Doubtful Freshman,
I think it is so great that you have such a variety of interests! These solo activities you mention will look great on your application, so don’t worry about that. The committee will understand that these activities are passions of yours, and you will stand out as an applicant. I don’t doubt that your personal statement will reflect your interests—I'm sure it will very unique and fun to read!
On to Key Club and journalism—I don’t have personal knowledge of the Key Club, but you are right that the club could allow you eventually to take on more responsibilities and perhaps rise to a leadership role. Getting involved in high School journalism will give you all kinds of opportunities down the road. I joined my high school yearbook staff as a freshman and went on to be the editor during my junior and senior years. Yearbook was probably one of the most important activities I participated in—I learned how to edit and proofread, I learned about photojournalism, and I was ultimately responsible for the end product, which was stressful at times, but also very exciting.
In short, keep doing what you are doing. Follow your passion and try to involve yourself in one or two activities that will provide ways to become a leader. Remember, you could always volunteer if there is a need in your community that interests you. Involvement comes in many forms, but college admissions committees love to see applicants who are engaged within their school and community. You already stand out with your interests in music theory and ice skating, but doing a little more wouldn’t hurt!
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