What can I do to strengthen my College Applications?Answered
Lately I've begun to realize that a lot of people are doing so much more in their extracurriculars/free time. Maybe it's just Quarantine getting to me, but I've started to worry that I will never get into any schools because I don't have any strong specific qualifications. My academic career thus far can only be considered average. I am planning on applying to fairly competitive schools like University of Michigan and Notre Dame, but there's nothing that I do that makes me exceptionally special. Oh, also I must mention that I have siblings my age who do the EXACT same activities I do, besides the fact that I play a sport. How am I ever going to self-individuate and strengthen my applications?
I'm interested in going into pre-med, currently I am involved in:
- On varsity quizbowl
- Hopefully next year I'll be in HOSA
- JV Soccer
- ACT: 27
- GPA: 4.0 *I only did one honors class this year
Another note, my family has a family friend who owns a lab that I could possibly work in. When should I reach out to this individual? Also, what other extracurriculars should I do? Thank you.
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Hi! I want to be pre-med as well, and am in a very similar situation where I feel as if my EC’s aren’t strong enough. I have a lot of volunteer hours, but don’t have much else. I have started to change that though. I am going to be president of a club I’m in next year, and might start HOSA at my school. (My school is tiny and has less than a dozen clubs). My best advice is to volunteer a lot in the same discipline (all of my 200+ volunteer hours are from the same place) and show commitment. Also, summer programs are a great opportunity for pre-meds. Mine got canceled this year, but whether it be a hospital internship, a volunteer program, or a stem program, summer programs are a great way to show what you love without having to have done them for several years. Another piece of advice is that you should take challenging stem classes, like AP or honors bio, physics, chem, etc. My school doesn’t offer any AP science classes so I’m doing dual enrollment at a local community college this summer. I will be taking environmental science. This is a great thing to do because it counts towards an academic and a summer activity. I hope this helps!
I’d reach out to them the summer in between junior and senior year or sophomore and junior though it seems that has already passed for you. The siblings part of they are younger it is irrelevant and if older kinda only applies if they apply to same schools but they look at you in relation to you not sibling A is better than sibling B they do look at high school but if if 100 students from Highschool X including you they look at all of them and if you and your sibling are top 10% then they don’t compare you to each other but to the highschool.
For ECs try look for leadership and be committed to the ECs it can help you to find a common link like
Quiz bowl helps me to reconfigure obscure facts and I can better diagnose obscure diseases or something like that and if you link all of the ECs to your love of medicine that is really good.
I do not know what GIRAS is so I can’t say anything about that but for UMich the only obstacle I see for you is more rigor as in AP classes (if not available they understand) and raise ACT to above a 30 as middle 50 ACT is 30-33 and I can’t speak for ND as I don’t know enough to speak for it
Hope this helps!
You could apply for virtual summer programs or internships. Take some to study for the ACT or SAT. Apply for lots of scholarships during this time, and try to get into some virtual volunteering. Many colleges are offering virtual tours of their campus. Or many places like Coursera are offering online courses you can do. It is even possible to take an online class at your local community college. You could also use this time to relax and focus on yourself. I personally have began to virtually volunteer at the American Red Cross. These are just some general ideas.
Improve your ACT to up to at least 32
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