Describing Extracurricular Activities In Digital College Applications Can Be An Exercise in Frustration

Students commit hours of their lives, year after year, in organized activities afterschool and on the weekends. (Their parents, as chauffeurs/Uber drivers, coaches, snack providers, co-chairs of every fundraiser, etc, equally spend years of their lives as their kids’ support team.) 

Thus, at the moment of capitalizing on their efforts, as part of the online college application activities & awards sections, students often wrangle with how to capture the pith essence meaning of such efforts. Then, to add another twist, the text boxes where said description can be added are character limited, including spaces. (Queue the Facepalm)

So, students typically (and unexpectedly) put forth greater effort to draft, edit, revise, re-draft, edit, revise (ad nauseum) to both accurately depict their experiences, as well as promote the lessons learned.  

During such drafting, reviewing, and redrafting, students often worry about including “necessary” information, so spend many hours speculating (really, guessing) what an admissions officer wants to hear—only building anxiety about not including the “right” information, thus unwittingly harming their chances of admissions

Suddenly, the seemingly simple extracurricular resume has transformed into a multi-day project, not only requiring effort, but also experienced counsel to focus their efforts. So, students should plan accordingly, then add even more time for unexpected twists inherent in trying to summarize their life’s work. 

For more information about how to navigate the complex college admissions process to prepare any student for the challenging global socioeconomic situation, contact us at Creative Marbles Consultancy

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About Jill Yoshikawa, Ed M, Partner of Creative Marbles Consultancy

Jill Yoshikawa, EdM, Harvard ’99, a seasoned, 25 year educator and consultant, is meticulous in helping clients navigate all aspects of the educational experience, no matter the level of complexity. She combines educational theory with experience to advise families, schools and educators. A UCSD and Harvard graduate, as well as a former high school teacher, Jill works tirelessly to help her clients succeed.
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