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3 months ago
Admissions Advice

Question about leadership

I am a rising senior applying to colleges this upcoming fall. I had a question about leadership though. I completed my middle school at City A. I went to a different high school (High School B) for 9th/10th grade, after moving cross country to City B, and had my 10th grade cut short due to COVID (we moved online). Over 10th grade summer, I moved cross country back to City A and enrolled at a highly competitive public school (#1 in the state, High School A), where there are tons of overachievers.

My 11th grade was fully online, so I never had a proper chance to interact with clubs and students. It also led me to get my first Bs and even a C in AP Calculus BC. In the few clubs I participated in, I tried for leadership positions and did not get any, which is understandable since I was brand new and no one knew me that well (other than a few middle school friends).

I had also tried for leadership in 10th grade, but that did not go anywhere because I moved to a different high school. While my extracurriculars are somewhat decent in comparison to my new school, my leadership is not. I am also confused about if colleges will be able to fully grasp my very different and unique situation since it is rather complicated.

Usually, in high school, a student spends 1-2 years building credit before trying for leadership to be fully successful; I never had a proper opportunity like that. I am still trying to get leadership experiences, maybe even found a club or two this upcoming fall, but colleges would obviously see it as a last-minute grab at some leadership.

For reference, I plan to major in Bioinformatics or a related major (at least something that combines CS and Bio). I have 6 years in Robotics (competed till the international level; participated mainly in programming and electrical) and 7 years in Science Olympiad (competed and placed at national level competitions). My only leadership experience thus far was being a Science Olympiad coach at High School B.

How do I handle this situation? I would like to have more leadership but it is probably not possible to have relevant or considerable leadership experiences. Would colleges even bother comprehending the nuances in my situation or would it be too complicated to explain properly?

If you have any suggestions on how I could possibly improve my leadership experience or anything else, your help would be greatly appreciated.

12th
2026
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1 answer

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3 months ago

Leadership is not just limited to leadership positions in student clubs. If you have younger siblings, you probably qualify as a leader. Any time where you taught/tutored someone else could count as leadership. I would consider any time someone took initiative to solve a problem (like in a group project) fulfilled a leadership role. Does that help?

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