10 months ago
Admissions Advice

Would reading count as an extracurricular?

I am a senior and I like to read a lot. I haven't done anything much related to this except taking 2 AP history classes and AP Lang. I read much more voraciously than the average person and some books I have read are Crime and Punishment, Pride and Prejudice, Les Miserables, The Brothers Karamazov, Valley Forge, Sense and Sensibility, etc. I have been reading since I was 2 or 3 and I can speed read like crazy. When I read slow I read about twice as fast as the average person, yet I am able to paraphrase and retain most of the information in my head. Could I put that I like to read on my college application as an extracurricular? I honestly can't quantify this very much, other than I read A HECK OF A LOT. I could easily finish 5 long books in a day. I didn't read as much when I started high school, but I am really getting into it during quarantine.


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2 answers

10 months ago

You could turn reading into an extracurricular activity, but the short answer is no. You could start a book club at your high school if it isn’t there already. You could start a program at the library where you make bookmarks about some recommendations for books of different generes. You can read to little kids in the library. You could even start a website on wix or Wordpress about summaries of your favorite books. Or you could see if there are some speed reading competitions in your area. I also know that many Quiz Bowls benefit a lot from people with a Literature background. Reading is an impressive hobby, but not something that can be put on college applications, mainly because colleges want students who are out trying to change the world rather than just reading in their dorm. Or try teaching children with learning disabilities how to read. During quarantine, there are plenty of things you can do related to this.

I hope this helps

Good Luck!

10 months ago

As @IvyLeagueGirl mentioned, no you shouldn't consider this an EC unfortunately. It's definitely great that you enjoy reading this much and have gotten back into it during quarantine but there are plenty of other students who also enjoy reading. Now, if you can turn this enthusiasm for reading into something more then I think you could consider putting it on your application. As others mentioned a literary blog is a good idea, you could do volunteer work at your local library (think reading to kids), you could volunteer to read for the elderly/blind, there are lots of options. One option that might be fairly unique on an application, but I'd imagine fairly difficult to get into, would be narrating books that are turning into e-books. There are organizations out there that can help you with this if you don't know where to start. https://librivox.org/pages/volunteer-for-librivox/ looks like the easiest to get involved with since you don't need to audition and if you're ok with reading books 95+ years old (which based on some of your book choices seems like it'd be fine) I'd give it a go. If I had to pick an option I think that would have the most impact but I'd recommend doing some research, see what's available in your area, and get started as soon as possible so it doesn't look like you just added something onto your app to fill out space.

Hope this helps and let me know if you have follow-up questions or questions about what I wrote.


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