If you have ever browsed through the website collegeconfidential.com, you have probably seen the phrase “weak ec’s”. To put that phrase into context for students have yet to see it, it means a student’s extracurriculars aren’t as strong as they could be or meet the standards for college admissions (in the eyes of the person commenting, not the colleges). But, are your extracurriculars weak? What really is the importance of extracurricular activities? Are certain extracurriculars valued over others?
Let me tell you!
Are your extracurriculars weak?
If you have seen the phrase “weak ec’s” thrown around before, it can be a bit confusing. It’s hard to tell if it is just someone internet trolling, or if they actually mean your extracurriculars don’t meet college standards. Regardless, the type of extracurricular you participate in doesn’t make it “weak”. What matters most is what you did, leadership roles you took, and what you gained from it.
What really is the importance of extracurricular activities?
Colleges use extracurriculars as an insight to the type of person they are considering for admissions. Your extracurricular activities are a direct reflection on your interests and who you are as a person. During admissions, colleges have to make a judgement call on students that will fit best in their institution, and extracurricular activities reflect the commitment, responsibility, and individuality of a student.
Are certain extracurriculars valued over others?
I would be lying if I said that all extracurriculars are of equal value in regards to college admissions. Some really do hold more value than others. It’s not so much the activity itself that is of importance, but what you did in the activity. Colleges are looking at what you put into the activity, leadership positions you took, awards, initiative, commitment, and most importantly, what you gained from it. Participating in an extracurricular means nothing if you don’t care for what you’re doing, so choose something that will mean something! I know I sound like broken record, but I cannot stress this enough.
An example of healthy, well-rounded extracurriculars for students:
Senior Student A: 3 years of varsity soccer, President of Creative Writing Club, Library Volunteer, 4 Years in Journalism
This is a good example of healthy, well-rounded extracurricular activities because Student A does not have an overload of activities, but enough to reflect the student’s interests. It’s fair to assume from the extracurriculars that the student has an interest in English studies, takes initiative due to the student’s leadership role, is committed through the length of time spent dedicated to the activities, and is philanthropic due to the student’s volunteer work.
Also, don’t overload yourself! Never bite off more than you can chew.
You join activities because it’ something you want to do, not something you think colleges want you to do!
Remember: It’s about quality not quantity!