I'm a soon-to-be senior in high school and I'm trying to come up with extracurriculars related to physics / astrophysics / astronomy but in India the opportunities available are very limited. What are some ideas that will help aid my application for Ivy Leagues?
i agree with @MagicB - a club would be a very good option.
there are two types of clubs that could benefit you. the first: a club where you interact with people who share your interests and are about as knowledgeable as you. you could generate ideas for extracurriculars, go on group excursions (ex. to stargaze), and further each other's knowledge.
the second: you could try and teach others about physics/astronomy that don't know as much as you. since the options in india are limited, teaching others would hopefully help this subject gain more traction. this club would probably be formatted more like a class, or a tutoring session.
you could also combine the two and get multiple people who are willing to tutor others in physics/astronomy. this type of club is likely to grow more quickly than the others, because its target audience is larger, and you will have other people working with you to lighten the load. this is a win win for everyone. you get a leadership position, which ivy leagues look for. other students who want to apply for ivy leagues will probably be looking for leadership positions, so if you can prove that people are interested in your club, you can gain club officers rapidly. finally, people who are looking to learn or want a tutor will have your club to go to.
If your school allows students to start their own clubs, you could always start one centered around astronomy. Find a few other students who are interested, and meet every week or so to discuss and learn more about it.
You could also find online courses that teach astronomy/astrophysics and take one of those. This one is a little more challenging, as you might need a bit of budget for it, but it would definitely help your application. Just make sure that any courses you take are from a credible institution or taught by a credible teacher.
A third option would be to create content about astronomy/astrophysics, such a blog, youtube channel, or podcast. This would show not only an interest in and great knowledge of the subject, but also various other skills as well.
Astronomy/astrophysics is a relatively niche subject, so it may be difficult to find extracurriculars specifically related to it. This means that extracurriculars focusing on physics and science in general would also be beneficial, especially if you can mention in an essay that you're specifically interested in astrophysics.
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