I'm currently a sophomore in high school, soon going to be a junior in a couple months. I'm getting really stressed by seeing many others my age doing so many AP classes, having so many extracurriculars, and getting high scores on the PSAT. I feel like I have no place in this competitive fight for college. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can make myself a standout student? I'm interested in the computer science field.
Here's a little bit more about me for reference:
- My unweighted GPA is 3.99.
- Currently, I'm taking 4 APs (I got -A in AP Physics 1 and As on the other three, AP Computer Science A, AP Human Geography, and AP Seminar last semester). I also got a 5 on the AP Environmental Science exam I took last year as a freshman.
- I'm expected to have taken around 11 APs by the end of my senior year.
- My PSAT score was 1200.
- I'm interested in the computer science field.
- In terms of hobbies, I really enjoy photography and design.
- I'm also very passionate about women empowerment and sustainability.
- Photography Club: At the start of this year, I started a photography club at my school. Formally, I'm its founder and president. Every week, I lead the meetings and create the slides for the meeting; this includes supervising and planning everything for any events we hold such as tutorial lessons (I research and create the learning content for these) or photo walks. I also handle and manage the club Instagram for which I design all the posts.
- Girl Up: I'm one of the two social media directors for this club. I collaborate with the other social media director to make posts for the club Instagram. I also take part in helping make decisions for the club as I'm a part of the executive board.
- NGN (Next Generation Nations): This is a sustainability-based club of which I'm a member of. I'm on the empowerment team for the club podcast (we're on Spotify and Apple Music) and I've also competed in NGCC (NGN Global Challenges Conference) through this club. My group and I did research and created a biodegradable pad prototype for the competition.
- Physics Club: This club just started last month and we haven't had many meetings yet but in the next couple months we're gonna do some physics-related projects for fun.
- LINK Crew: My school offers sophomores to apply for LINK Crew for their junior and/or senior year. I applied and got accepted so I'm going to start this next school year. Basically, I'm supposed to mentor freshmen through their first year of high school. Including campus tours and welcome sessions.
- Girls Who Code: I joined this club for a year last year but I'm not in it anymore. I joined it to get an insight coding to prepare for the AP Computer Science class I'm taking this year.
- FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America): I was the vice-president for this club last year through online learning. But this club has now disappeared at my school due to not having enough members.
- Local Foodbank: I volunteer at my local food bank every Thursday (I haven't done so for the last couple weeks because I've been busy). This includes standing 2 hour shifts at the food drive during service hours and organizing the food to ready it for the service hours.
Suggestions for any extracurriculars or personal projects would be helpful.
You seem to like advocacy clubs, which often can involve article writing and knowledge sharing. You could try to create a virtual science or advocacy magazine that features topics of your interest. For example, you could create a science magazine website (showing your computer science, photography, and design skills) and then coordinate with members of Girls Who Code, Physics Club, Photography Club, and more students or subject matter experts. You could publish this website with articles and project videos from these clubs and people to impact the community around you. Monthly updates will show your commitment to spreading knowledge and dedication to your work. Hope this helps! Good luck!
You could try creating your own website based on women-empowerment? And then you could make cute tee-shirts/products that combine women empowerment with photography & design and sell them on Etsy or something :) then donate some of the profits to girls who code or another woman advocacy group
Your unweighted GPA, course rigor, and extracurricular achievement all make you a competitive applicant. I think that there are two things you should do to improve your profile:
1. Try to take the SAT or ACT as many times as you can until you receive a score that compares to at least the top 50% of accepted applicants at each school on your list.
2. Demonstrate an application spike, or particular passion, through your extracurriculars. This spike should translate into a specific career interest. You may need to add new extracurriculars to your list to enhance your spike, and make sure to show your spike through your essays as well.
Hope this helps!
I wouldn't stress too much. You still have 2 years and you've accomplished some great things! You can look into getting more volunteer hours or getting a part-time/summer job. I know one thing that can help is volunteering in politics. I don't like politics, but I have heard that volunteering or taking internships in politics can be good. I am also a sophomore and I'm struggling with ec too so don't worry!
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