How important are extracurriculars? Will not taking any in 9th grade affect my chances?Answered
Hello, I am a 9th-grader, and my dream school is MIT, as I'm interested in CompSci. I've been searching around, and I've seen that some people say showing dedication to extracurriculars is very important. I am basically taking no extracurriculars right now, and I doubt I will be able to join any midyear. I plan to take a few next year, at least Cross Country, but I'm concerned that I'm not taking enough, and that not having anything that I'll have stuck with for 4 years will affect my chances of getting into any of the schools I'm interested in.
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From my experience, colleges don't really care about freshman year grades or extracurriculars that much. They understand that kids are still trying to get adjusted. If you are going to a super fancy private school with tons of activities options, they might expect more of you. Colleges love to see commitment to activities for a long time, starting freshman or sophomore year. If you can't join any more EC's in school, consider making some light commitments to a few activities outside of school. Overall, don't worry too much about anything you do in 9th grade.
Usually I'd say it's best to join many clubs in your 9th grade year and then in 10th grade year, you should just stay in the ones your most interested in. 9th grade year is just like a test year. I don't think colleges weigh what you do in 9th grade year as importantly than the other years. As long as you know what clubs you want to join in 10th grade and get a leadership position in one later down the line, you should be fine.
It's great that you're recognizing the importance of extracurriculars! While they're not absolutely necessary, for top schools, demonstrating interest in non-academic activities and showing your agency is important. If you're able to work with groups outside of school, that would be a great start. If not, I suggest taking on projects of your own (like coding your own website) to explore your interests. Proving your dedication to the subject that you'd like to pursue is a great way to tell colleges that you're serious about what you want to pursue.
Hi there! Taking extracurriculars in 9th grade is only important if you can see yourself following through on them throughout high school (colleges like it when you've been involved in extracurriculars for an extended period of time). If you're interested in CompSci I would look into a coding or programming club if your school offers them but don't stress yourself out too much looking at extracurriculars right now. You got this!
I'm in the same situation as you, I'm a freshman whose dream school is Cal Tech, which isn't as hard but isn't easy either. I have asked my older friends for advice and the one thing most of them told me was to start early. It isn't about how many you take, but how more how dedicated you are towards them, so take up some extracurriculars you care about this year and get really into them. Then as you get older, move up and try earning a leadership position within them. That's what I've been told the most.
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