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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
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What are some non-scholastic distinctions worth pursuing?

Hello, fellow students! Just curious if anyone could give me some ideas on non-scholastic distinctions worth pursuing. I'd like to build up a diverse list of achievements and accolades that can help my college applications stand out. Any suggestions or recommendations would be super appreciated! Thanks!

7 months ago

Hello there! You're smart to be looking for non-scholastic distinctions to make your college application stand out. Here are some suggestions that cover a range of interests:

1. Competitions and Awards: Depending on your interests, you might want to consider participating in national or international competitions, such as the Google Science Fair, National History Day, or Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Excelling in these competitions can earn you awards which showcase your abilities in specific areas.

2. Community Service and Volunteering: Engaging in acts of service within your local community can demonstrate your commitment to social causes and emphasize your leadership skills. Consider volunteering for nonprofits, organizing events for a cause you care about, or initiating a community project. Track your hours and impact, as colleges will want to see those metrics.

3. Entrepreneurship: Launching a small business or creating a product can showcase your creativity, problem-solving skills, and leadership. Whether it's an Etsy shop, an app, or a local venture like selling food from a garden you planted yourself, pursuing entrepreneurial projects can be an impressive distinction on your application.

4. Internships and Work Experience: Gaining work experience through internships, part-time jobs, or job shadowing opportunities can highlight your dedication to a specific field, or your overall interest in broadening your horizons and familiarizing yourself with the professional world. This hands-on experience allows you to develop skills and gain insight into a potential future career.

5. Talent Showcases: If you're skilled in a particular talent like music, art, dance, or performing, you can make the effort to participate in local, regional, or national showcases or competitions. Your distinctions, awards, and recognition in these events can add depth to your application.

6. Cultural Engagement: Taking part in cultural exchange programs, immersion trips, or language study initiatives demonstrates your curiosity and adaptability to different environments. This distinction can show your commitment to being a global citizen.

7. Research Projects: Although not strictly non-scholastic, participating in research projects outside of school can help you develop important skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration. Look for opportunities at local universities, research institutions, or even through community projects.

8. Political Advocacy: Engage in political advocacy by working with campaigns, lobbying, or initiating local projects regarding policy changes. By participating in these activities, you show colleges your passion for making a difference and your ability to work towards change.

Ultimately, it's essential to pursue activities and distinctions that align with your genuine interests and passions to ensure you enjoy and excel in what you do. And don't worry about signing up for 50 different things—just find a handful that you truly care about investing in. The more authentic and personally meaningful your pursuits, the more impressive they will be to college admissions committees.

Good luck with your college journey!

7 months ago

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