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How can I make my independent learning meaningful to colleges?


Background information:

Ever since preschool, I've had a genuine love of learning, especially in the field of mathematics. In the 6th grade with the encouragement from my math teacher, I took it upon myself to begin learning mathematics on my own. My efforts paid off, and in freshman year and with help from my teachers, I got a chance to prove my abilities: I scored a 5 on the AP Calculus BC exam and a 4 on the AP Biology exam. The following year I independently took a multivariable calculus course, which I did well in. Recently, I've been getting anxiety over my college admission chances particularly because I feel as though my extracurriculars are weak. Will colleges respect my effort to learn or will my efforts seem meaningless since I haven't taken up any leadership roles and impacted my community positively?

TLDR: I take advanced math courses independently and love to learn for learning's sake; but, I haven't taken up other extracurriculars and I'm fearful that I will be unable to get into selective colleges. Should I be worried?


1 answer

answered on

Well unless you have something to show for your math learning, it can't really be seen as an EC. Simply learning math on your on your own isn't really an EC by itself. You would either have to create a club at school, compete in competitions, maybe start a blog or YouTube channel, tutor other students in math, etc. You could however mention your passion for math and how you've furthered your education in it in your essays. When explaining your academic interests and what major you want to pursue definitely mention this.