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05/26/2020 at 10:56PM

What should someone do if they cannot participate in extracurriculars because their parents work all the time?

I am going to be a sophomore next year and I am worried about my college application because I do not have extracurriculars (and I will continue to not have them) because my parents work full time and have to come home on the bus. I am not very social and have very few friends, so carpool is really not an option. I also have two dogs at home who need to go to the bathroom when I get home. I am worried my college hopes will be demolished at least for the top colleges. What are some suggestions to my issue?

@appleorange05/27/2020 at 07:50AM

The simple solution is studying, if you really want to get in the top universities. Imagine having a perfect SAT score and 4.0 GPA. You may also prepare for competitions such as academic bowls and olympiads. Either way, don't waste too much time on social apps or games.

05/27/2020 at 04:55PM

Top universities won't care about a perfect SAT and 4.0 if someone has an empty Activities List. You do need *something* beyond that to have a chance to get into those schools, even if it's unconventional.

@appleorange05/28/2020 at 02:05AM [edited]

National olympiad camps are definitely *something*, so are academic bowls.

05/28/2020 at 02:13AM

Well sure, but those types of things usually require staying after school and practicing with a team, so I'm not sure how accessible they would be to this person. I was more responding to your comment about a perfect SAT and 4.0 GPA, because those don't compensate at all for a sparse activities list at top colleges. They're entirely separate realms.

@DebaterMAX06/09/2020 at 11:39PM

Agreed jcdenton

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3 answers

05/27/2020 at 01:26AM

So a month or so ago I saw a previous similar question come up except the person lived in a rural area and parents had to pick them up. I said try some sort of blog if you can relate it to your major and show commiment to it. As a rising junior I update my blog weekly. You can also see if there are any ECs in the community on weekends. You can also see if there are any online jobs like phone banking there was also a company that payed below minimum wage for students to listen to phone calls and rate customer service online.

Humanistic is the name of the company. Also UHual hires teens as customer service people online.

You can also be an English teacher if you are 16+ and are native English speaker.

Some of the more intensive jobs might be start a buisness like handmade goods and sell them on Etsy or Fiverr

Most schools count familiar responsibility as an EC so you are not hopeless.

Hope this helps!

Accepted Answer
@DebaterMAX06/09/2020 at 11:41PM

Also yes art and writing among other items are good activities

05/27/2020 at 05:00PM

Assuming that you have internet access at home (if not, then this is a lot harder), try to look into self-directed things that you could do online. There are places you can volunteer for over the internet or via mail (e.g., writing postcards or letters to help people register to vote). DebaterMAX mentioned a bunch of other options, as well as some things you could do to earn actual money if you had the time and flexibility for a job that requires specific hours. Also—pursue self-directed hobbies. Design an app or write stories or make art or whatever it is that you're personally interested in doing. Those kinds of things will show that you can take initiative and pursue a goal, and do so from a more difficult situation than a lot of other students have to deal with.

05/27/2020 at 12:53AM

Colleges won't be super happy that you did absolutely nothing but they do understand that family responsibility is important. However, I would suggest that you try hard to figure out a way to participate. To get a ride just talk to someone. I know socializing is hard sometimes but someone doesn't have to be your best friend to give you a ride. You can't say truthfully that you can't do something unless you really give an effort. As far as your dogs go, you can see if there's a trusted neighbor or family friend who can help out. I'm not saying you have to do any of this, I just want you to know you still have options.