3 years ago
Admissions Advice

Clogging everything in junior year?

I don't feel good about this because I feel like it is a huge jump. Junior year is the last year of high school that matters and I haven't got involved much with extracurriculars. I am currently done with school and in sophomore summer and starting to do many activities. How long should an activity be done for, to be cosiered "worthy" to put on my application. If I only spend 1 year and a couple months doing an activity instead of 3 bad?


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Accepted Answer
3 years ago

Hi, this is a great question, albeit one with a seemingly scary answer (but in reality it turns our okay).. I dealt with this problem after having nothing really going into my senior year and I lucked out with my apps1

I think at this point in your high school career, if you actively join at least a few activities you are passionate about for 2 years you will be in good shape, especially ones where you tangibly produce awards/results/products. That being said, the Common App absolutely has fill-ins where it shows how many weeks and years you spent on activites and colleges will analyze this. Look, some people will have won spelling bees and national science fairs since they were in Kindergarten (and kudos to them), but the good news is for the rest of us, lots of us hadn't really settled down on anything till even late in high school. Especially, with the pandemic, colleges will now things ot wiped out last year, so this is even more of an advantage for late bloomers in the EC game. I think the most important thing you want to do with your time is show a college you can deeply commit to a project or activity (which can mean you spend 10hrs/wk on it for 2yrs versus someone 1hr/4wk), since they want to see drive. You can't make up for lost years, but you can still make up for it with passion and daily effort. And, additionally, if you do something really fantastic, winner of your county's Math Leauge or Poetry Contest next year looks a lot better than the 5th place finisher 4 years in a row if that makes sense...

My one piece of advice is avoid summer college prep camps/programs (unless you get credit), or anything that you don't spend more than 30-40 hours in a year. If you spend 50+ hrs on a month long activity or 2hrs/wk on a 1/2 year activity, those are good, whereas anything under this target doesn't show commitment (although there are exceptions if these are specific once in a lifetime niche activities that are important to you). You can't control the past, but there's still plenty of time to do impressive things!

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Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


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