Tag Archives: college applications

Extra Curricular Activities: Quality Over Quantity

“Wake Up To Politics is on hiatus while the Editor is at summer camp. The newsletter will return in August!” reads the header on a popular news blog. However, the Editor isn’t a summer camp counselor, nor is he away at one of the ever more popular adult summer getaway camps. The editor of Wake Up to Politics- a blog that has an ever increasing fan base- just finished 8th grade. That’s right, an 8th grader is writing a daily newsletter. The newsletter is sent out every week day morning before Gabe Fleisher, the sole editor, heads out to school. It’s been in publication since 2011 and, if you do the math, that means Gabe has been writing it since he was about eight years old. Granted, his only subscriber at first was his mom but still, it’s quite impressive.

Gabe writes Wake Up to Politics because following the news is something he genuinely enjoys. However, he will definitely be reaping the rewards of his hard work in just a few years when he is applying to colleges. Gabe’s extracurricular passion is something that will shine on his resume. Gone are the days where dabbling in every activity offered guaranteed college acceptance. Colleges no longer want well-rounded students: they want a well-rounded class.

What this means for students like Gabe and you is that focusing deeply on two or three extracurricular events (sports, hobbies, and volunteer opportunities) is better than briefly working on a dozen. In short quality reigns over quantity. After all, who cares if you spent a day or two working on a Habitat for Humanity project if you never did any other volunteer work? That day or two doesn’t really say much about who you are as a person. Maybe your parents dragged you there; maybe you volunteered because you had a crush on someone and wanted to impress them; maybe you really do care but you don’t have the drive to follow up.  Those two days don’t reveal a sterling character because it’s impossible to know why you were there. True commitment and character shines when you commit whole heartedly to something. For Gabe, that something is his newsletter. For you it could be anything: just show that you care by diving deep and colleges will be impressed.

If you want to check out Gabe’s newsletter follow the link below!

http://www.wakeuptopolitics.com/

5 Steps to Your DREAM High School Experience, by Intern Olivia Turk

  1. Decide

Determine how you want to craft your high school experience by taking various classes and participating in different extracurriculars. Some may want to attend an Ivy League school, while others may want to attend their parent’s alma mater. For example, if you want to attend college on an athletic scholarship, begin thinking as early as freshman year about how to accomplish that goal. It could mean playing on the varsity athletic team for all four years or participating in both school and traveling state teams. Everyone’s path is different, but be sure to plan out the steps early so that you can reach your goals by the end of your high school experience.

 

  1. Reach

Expand your academic and extracurricular activities to be the best that you can be. Whether that means taking more than one math course during the school year or adding Advance Placement classes into your schedule, take the most rigorous course schedule that YOU can handle and be successful in. Just because your friends are taking AP US History, does not mean that that is the class that you have to excel in as well. Of course, if you have the academic ability or want to stretch yourself by taking higher level courses, intermediate and advanced courses are great, but always be prepared for the work load.

 

  1. Excitement

Be excited about what you are learning in your classes. By being excited, studying for tests and preparing class projects becomes so much easier. The simplest way to have enthusiasm is to pick a class schedule with courses that have curriculum topics that excite your personal interests. Two of the biggest mistakes that students make when choosing their course schedule are choosing classes that their friends have picked and choosing classes that they think look impressive to colleges. Instead, pick classes because you are excited to immerse yourself in the curriculum.

 

  1. Achieve

This is where students will spend most of their time: studying for tests, completing homework assignments and preparing for standardized tests, like the ACT and SAT. The most important part of being successful in high school, and even other areas of life, is to put in the time and effort to receive results. Of course, students need to remember to spend free time doing other activities, like going to football games or hanging out with friends, rather than studying all of the time, but the primary focus of high school is the educational component and how to make the most of the opportunities offered to you at your high school.

 

  1. Making a plan of action

The overall consensus that I’ve gained from students is to plan ahead. As early as eighth grade, map out a high school curriculum that interests you. Take basic courses during your freshman or sophomore years in order to take the rigorous courses that colleges look for when you become an upperclassman. By taking prerequisite courses, you will be prepared to take the step into the Honors, AP or IB world. Also, creating a plan for your “dream college” should be completed early so that when the time comes for applying to schools, you are not stressed out with deciding where you want to spend another four years of your education.

 

With these five simple steps, you will be on the road to a successful high school experience!

–Olivia Turk is currently a High School Senior at Dublin Jerome High School.