I want to major in Neuroscience but what can I use as my spike?
I am currently a Junior in High school, I have a strong course load, but I don't have an extracurricular that I have done that can stand me out. I have tried volunteering at hospitals and applying for Research positions but you have to be 16. What can I do?
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Volunteering and shadowing are good places to start! Same for any science-related extracurriculars at your high school (Science Bowl, Future Scientists, Pre-Med Club, Biology Club, Science National Honors Society, etc.). If your school doesn't have these, you could even consider trying to start one! There are also science fair competitions (like the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair) and other science-related competitions (like all of the various Science Olympiads) as well.
For more info on these topics, check out our relevant blog post here:
Summer research programs and other research internships are another great thing to do. Waiting until you're 16, isn't necessarily a bad thing, though there are probably some positions you could attain even before then. Check out some of our suggestions in the following blog posts:
(Not all of these are science-related and there may be some overlap, but there are definitely plenty relevant programs. There are many, many more not listed here as well, of course.)
Finally, you could consider participating in a summer program at a college where you could take classes, or just taking online classes through a program like Coursera or EdX (although this won't look as impressive to admissions officers as the other things mentioned here).
I do just want to remind you that you don't need to have a spike in the area of your intended major. It is important to have at least a few science-related activities if you're interested in pursuing neuro in college. That said, having a spike in music performance or in tennis (just two random examples) instead of in the sciences, would also be terrific for your application. Don't box yourself in thinking you can only have science-related extracurriculars.
You can try taking some online courses on websites like Coursera to demonstrate your interest in biological sciences. You can also try to start a club at your school for medicine.
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