Lesson 5: Extra-Curricular Activities
We all know that grades are important for getting into great schools. But we must remember that colleges judge our applications holistically, and thus we must show them that we do some cool things outside of the classroom as well. Remember that your extra-curricular activities can be just as important as your grades when it comes to getting in!
Like Cornell’s Professor Schwarz said when I interviewed him: “You never know when Cornell is going to need a new bassoonist!”
This is a tough topic to prescribe links on because it can go in so many different directions depending on what interests you. My advice is to get your hands dirty. If you want to learn something, make it happen. If you want to join a club that doesn’t exist, found it. Set yourself apart!
No matter where you attend high school or college, we must always remember that our education is our own responsibility. It’s not enough just to show up. One must put a great deal of effort into their studies to make them pay off. Luckily, modern technology allows us to truly take hold of our education.
Athletics can be huge in small towns. They can also be a ticket to a top ranking university. My friend Sam Parker, who ran track and field at MIT for four years, details how to begin communicating with coaches while in high school in this article.
If you didn’t check out her story in Lesson 0, Yesenia is from a small town north of Denver. A first-generation student, she graduated first in her class in 2016 while participating (and often leading) a myriad of extra-curricular activities and clubs. During her college search, her success continued, as she was accepted to multiple prestigious schools and won the Gates Millennium Scholarship. She is currently pursuing a degree in biomedical engineering at Yale!
How did you like this lesson? Send me an email at any time (firstname.lastname@example.org) with feedback and questions!