Hi!! I'm a junior and I'm planning to apply for UPenn as an international student, but I'm not sure on what to do for my extracurriculars :((, I got rejected by a lot of organizations in my school (debate, the newspaper, and the student committee) so now I don't know where to go. I'm really lost since I need to have great extracurriculars, but I don't know how to get those. My grades are great, but more or less scared for my extracurriculars now that I don't have an organization that'll take me. Can anybody give me advice?
First of all, let me give you a virtual hug because I feel so bad for you right now. Secondly, Ecs don't really matter, unless you are in something like NHS or HOSA. It's all about the grades. Have you tried reaching out to people outside of school, any volunteer hours look great on your application, plus if you live in Florida, there's a scholarship where you need at least 100 hours? I wish you luck my friend.
I have some good news for you! Colleges don't necessarily want to see that you're a part of 3-5 organizations at your school - rather, when it comes to extracurriculars, they want to see that you're actively pursuing your passion(s) outside of your regularly scheduled and required coursework. When it comes to extracurriculars, school-based ones are just one option.
In your case, I would recommend that you do a self-driven activity. These extracurriculars are those that you start on your own and pursue independent of a class, club, or formal organization. You could start a YouTube series or blog on your favorite topic, take up an interesting new hobby, start a small business, or help out local charities in your community.
Self-driven activities are all about taking and leveraging your existing connections and passions to create a productive outlet for them. If you can't think of any off of the top of your head, check out this helpful guide we wrote about self-driven extracurriculars: https://blog.collegevine.com/extracurriculars-you-can-do-at-home/
If you're set on doing one through your school, consider starting your own club! This is a great way to demonstrate initiative and show colleges that you're willing to work around obstacles to create a thriving community for yourself and others.
If you're athletic you can join a sport that really interests you. You can start writing. You don't really need to be part of any literary/writing club. You'll simply just state that you write for fun. You can also join a music group in your school. If you sing that's OK. Extracurricular doesn't necessarily have to be in your school.
Hope this helps
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