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As the college application cycle approaches, students around the world are looking for ways to fill up their application pages in the hope that it will make them look more impressive and attractive to the admissions readers. The activities page is one such area of the application where students feel the need or pressured to fill all 10 lines on the activities list.

From the mundane school activities of one hour a week for one semester to an insignificant reporting of their gaming time, this kind of listing does more harm than good. The impression it gives off is that you’re not very involved or engaged in school or in the community and that you prefer to spend countless hours on the computer battling online opponents instead of contributing to make a difference in the lives of others.

To avoid superficial application reporting, aim to report 6-8 concrete engagements and effectively describe them in ways that gives the reader a deeper insight into what you have done. As a result, it will enable readers to envision your potential for contribution and impact on their campus.

Below are some guidelines to a better presentation of you via your activities and avoid superficial application reporting.

  1. Limit your involvement to your high school (grades 9-12) experience. Colleges do not care about honors and awards won in primary school or middle school.
  2. Since most top colleges values the pillars of research, leadership, and service, aim your reporting of activities for fit into these categories.
  3. Prioritize and rank your activities based on their importance. If you have participated in research with faculty and the work gets published and acknowledges your contribution, then list that among your top activities. Definitely list it first if it aligns with your future aspiration to become a research scientist.
  4. Another way to help your rank and prioritize your activities is to examine your depth of involvement via hours spent per week and weeks per year and for how many years. This will tell a lot about what matters to you.
  5. Given the limited number of characters and words allowed to describe each activity, make sure you use adjectives that capture the essence of your involvement and don’t repeat them from activities to activities. Pay attention to making your description compelling.

Like the personal statement, the activities page also communicates who you are. Therefore, take the time to think through them and make judicious decisions on what to include and exclude so that you have a neatly packaged and consistent narrative with the rest of your application.

For more information, please visit Solomon Admissions Consulting.

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