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• a year ago •
Admissions Advice
[edited]

Advice on how to develop a "spike" for college apps?

For awhile now (since beginning high school), I've been aware of the need for a "spike" in order to be admitted to Ivy League institutions, and would like some advice so I can further amplify my current spike. My passion is politics, and I'd say I've developed quite the spike so far... class president, founder/president of prominent political activism club at my school, member of countywide student government's executive board, advisor to the Student Member of the county Board of Education, intern with US congressional campaign, etc.

My question is: what can I do now, this summer, or at the beginning of senior year to further develop my spike? I have been trying to research government internships for this upcoming summer/fall. Any other ideas? Any specific activity ideas would be great... thank you so much!!!

applications
extracurriculars
internship
volunteering
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• a year ago

I've seen this "spike" terminology floating around a lot on different posts over the last couple of days and I wonder if that's call coming from some central post or point, because while I know what you mean (we've always talked about the importance of having a clear passion or strength beyond just being a well-rounded student), it's not a term that people have used for a long time.

Needless to say, yes, it sounds like you've developed your particular passion (because that's what a spike should really be—a passion that you pursue), and I think you're on the right track that looking for volunteer or internship possibilities in national politics would be the way to go. Or, since this is a presidential election year, you'd probably have bigger opportunities for involvement than you would in a typical year—see if you can get involved in a presidential campaign. I think that could provide a fitting kind of capstone to your experiences so far, and hopefully also allow you to work towards something meaningful that you care about.

That all said, it may be more difficult this year to get involved this year than in others due to the COVID pandemic, there may also be volunteer opportunities that open up for you because of the pandemic. I'd keep an eye out for those as well—whether it's a service you could provide for hospitals or relief organizations, I think learning from that kind of organizing (as opposed to electoral organizing) could help even further broaden your perspectives and experience on the different forms political action can take.

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