What colleges expect?Answered
I see people who do extraordinary ecs get into yale(my dream school). ECs which I can't do which really demotivates me. But, from collegevine and reddit sub, I get the vibe that these kids are like 99th percentile of admits. So, what do usual admits do(ECs and award wise) to get into schools like Yale.
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You shouldn't be demotivated as people in Reddit are either overachievers or overestimating their performances and use of opportunities in high school. People on r/chanceme and r/applyingtocollege are either lying and acting as if they cured cancer. Even if you have great extracurriculars, Yale wants to see what you truly love and pursue. As long as your EC's are focused on your passion and fueled by your essay, you will get in. Academic Ability( GPA and standardized test scores) as well as other stuff like recommendations can make up if you don't have great extracurriculars. You still got a chance!
The people who tend to use reddit and collegevine are really above average in terms of their performance and use of opportunities throughout high school. There's plenty of guides and such pertaining on how to get into these top schools, like Yale, but you should know that there's plenty of admits who didn't meet the normal top school standards that everyone follows. Most of them were told that they shouldn't have even applied to any Ivys or t20's in the first place, and while statistically that is a safe advice to follow, it's still possible for them to be admitted.
I'm mentioning this as to not discourage you from applying to school's like Yale and such. Even if you don't believe you have a shot, you only have one, and I would suggest you take it if you're passionate about being admitted to Yale or such. You've also mentioned that you're not able to participate in certain EC's that others may have done. If this is the case where you truly didn't have the same opportunities that some may have, then colleges won't hold that against you, although keep in mind, you'll be applying against people who also didn't have these opportunities but still succeeded and made the best out of it. I would recommend doing the same, however, I understand it's easier said than done.
Please don't be discouraged. Try your best with the time you have and just grow as a person. It will always pay off in the end.
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