leadership

Extracurricular Ideas for the Summer after Junior Year of High School

Summer is upon us. Ok, it’s not, but the time to think about and solidify your summer plans is certainly upon us.

We strongly advise against anything that could be considered what we like to call “resume building.” We are anti-resume building, and by resume building, we mean engaging in activities for the sole purpose of listing it on your resume because you think it will “look good.” Spoiler alert: admissions officers can tell when a resume has been padded by “look good” items and you attempting to hide your lackluster interest under a thing you did with a catchy cause or at an exclusive institution.

Does Community Service Matter in the College Application Process?

We get these questions a lot from parents and students alike: should I be doing community service? If so, how much? How does it look on my application? Unfortunately, there’s not just one answer because it depends on a lot of things, but our inclination without having more information is to say: “no.” Here’s why:

Six Things High School Juniors can do to Prepare for the College Process

The end of junior year can be one of the most stressful times of the college process. Everything begins to pile up at once and friends start to get competitive. You have to stay focused, organized, and do everything you can to alleviate your stress. To that end, here’s a list of the six things you should be doing at the end of the Second Semester to maximize your time and be efficient:

How to Become President of Every Club

You’re a leader even if you don’t know it yet. If you want to go to a highly competitive school, you already know how much your extracurriculars matter. But, it is the quality of those extracurriculars and your work within them that matters. Schools want leaders who are going to be excited about impacting their college community, not followers looking for a way to stuff their resume.

What are Colleges Looking for

Dear Aspiring College Applicant,

I know you’re telling yourself you’re not going to get into college. Everyone around you is so much more qualified than you are. You could have higher grades, better test scores, more impressive extracurriculars. If you had just put one more hour into studying, you would have gotten an A instead of an A- in that class. That class is the reason why you’re not going to get into Brown. You’ve convinced yourself you’re going to get rejected from literally everywhere you apply, leading to shame, embarrassment, and regret.

Things to do Freshman Year to Prepare for College

The college process starts earlier every year.  In our home base in New York City, it seems that it begins around age two when parents start looking at options for Pre-K. By the beginning of middle school many parents are already looking for independent college counselors, consultants, and ACT tutors. This approach might seem aggressive to some, and while we don’t think a ten year old should be thinking about college, ninth grade is an appropriate time to start talking about the future.  

How Important are Extracurricular Activities in the College Application Process?

Think of extracurriculars like a side dish at a restaraunt. They may not be the main event, but they’re chosen deliberately by the chef and without them you’d be disappointed and left with an incomplete meal. The extracurriculars are not the main portion of your application—your grades, scores, and essays will always be more important—but your application, like your meal, would be incomplete without them. You need to decide which activities are going to be the best for you, keeping in mind that they need to elevate you and bring out your best qualities. Colleges don’t want students who spend all their time in the classroom and the library. The more active a member of the community, the better you are as a candidate.