I've read a lot about applying to colleges and so far, I noticed that ECs are one of the most important things to have in your application. I'm going into 11th grade next month, and I still don't have a single EC in my list for high school. How could I start doing ECs? Can I do them online? I just moved into another country a year ago and because of the language barrier, the things I could do outside and inside school have been limited.
hey! im a graduating senior and so i recently went through the college app process. ec's can be a wide assortment of things. it can be jobs, clubs, sports, hobbies, activities, and anything that you consider an "extracurricular" can become one. if you can make it sound good, then add it to your apps.
believe it or not, i was the same as you right before my junior year (along with many people). the only ec i had was soccer and one job. i was super stressed because everyone talks about how much ecs matter. i took around 3 clubs junior year (with minimal participation if i'm being honest especially with covid and my junior year fully online), got a job, and continued playing soccer. this year, i have a few jobs, and am in a couple clubs (again, minimal participation sometimes). my ecs are truly not insane. they do matter on apps of course but do NOT feel stressed if you don't have any right now, because i didn't either and i've gotten into 11 universities so far. junior year would be the perfect time to start. :)
also, on all your applications there will be some sort of area where you can talk about extenuating circumstances that has affected your application; this is where you could talk about the language barrier you came across (this also might be a good essay).
you can find ecs online such as Cancer Kids First, where you create cards or fundraise for gifts for children with cancer. there are many different organizations where you can earn volunteer hours online and therefore make it an extracurricular, because you are giving time to it. for within school, you can always join a club. i know there's a language barrier, but it may help to just throw yourself into it. also, even if you hardly participate in the club or hate it for whatever reason, you can still put it on your apps. if neither of those options sound appealing, think about starting your own club! colleges LOVE this because it shows you taking initiative and being proactive. you can do it for anything: spikeball, dodgeball, food tasting club, movie club, international club, or a good one might be a club representing whatever country you moved from! that might be super interesting for those who want to know about your experiences or what it's like in the country you came from.
overall, please don't over-stress about ecs. while they do matter, starting them junior year does not make a difference. i did that and am fine! i'm sure you will do great things and i PROMISE you will be okay. the only reason there is so much stress surrounding college apps is because of other people, and so i implore you to try and ignore them because having gone through junior year and then college apps recently has taught me that majority of the fear mongering they placed on me was dumb. don't put so much weight on yourself, because in the end, you will miss out on a lot of things during your remaining years in high school. i didn't understand what that meant until it was almost too late, and so i changed my perspective to begin living for myself rather than just to look good on a piece of paper.
go kill it junior year, breeze through college apps with amazing essays, and relax once you get close to graduation :D
best of luck!!! YOU GOT THIS I PROMISE <33
Find stuff at your school that you'd enjoy. I didn't start an extracurricular until my junior year! I found a cooking club that I very much enjoy. You could also volunteer, colleges will love that. I wish you the best of luck!
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