Hello, I had a question about extracurriculars. I know they are very important to get into a "good" university, but how far do I need to go? My dream college is Cornell. I have multiple activities: Dance, volunteering every week, writing, and beekeeping. But when I was filling out my chancing profile, I see that for me to get into my dream college I better win a big award, be published by a well known publishing house, or be the founder of the organization and raise $100,000. What's realistic to accomplish? And what other activities can I pick up to have better chances? My interests include: Science and animals mostly.
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Do not EVER think that winning a big award or publishing is required to get you into college. You have to focus on what you ACTUALLY like to do, or you will find that later on in life you wasted 100's of hours on Model UN or a useless non-profit. Please do science things!
These are clubs that are dedicated to a specific field or topic. Depending on what you intend to study, joining one or more of these can help you explore your interests in a more structured way:
Earth Science Club
In addition to interest-based clubs, you might consider joining the Science National Honor Society, which recognizes achievement in challenging science courses.
Because the physical sciences comprise a number of different subjects, there are a number of competitions you can consider entering to help your application stand out.
Science Olympiad is a team-based competition where teams compete in 23 events across various scientific fields. Subjects range from Anatomy and Physiology to Forensics to Mechanical Engineering and more, and are tested a variety of ways. Succeeding in this competition can demonstrate teamwork and quick-thinking skills, among others. Learn more about Science Olympiad and how to succeed here.
Chemistry Olympiad is a science competition that can demonstrate your knowledge of the subject. However, Chemistry Olympiad takes place over a series of exams, where the top qualifiers move onto the next round. If you love chemistry and excel at standardized tests, look into local exams being offered in your area.
Like Chemistry Olympiad, Physics Olympiad is a science competition that takes place over a series of tests in physics subjects. There are two levels of exams, and the top twenty finishers of the second level exam will go on to an intensive study camp and eventually represent the United States at the International Physics Olympiad. Progressing through the rounds of this competition would demonstrate your passion and knack for the subject, as well as your commitment to working hard; making it all the way to the national team would be a tier one accomplishment.
Science fairs can range in size and prestige, from ones at your local school to national ones like the Google Science Fair, but no matter what level you’re competing at, having a new and interesting scientific endeavor on your profile can help demonstrate where your interests lie as well as your capacity for innovation. Think hard about your topic and spend time on your research proposal to give your project its best shot.
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