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What is an easy extracurricular activity that also looks impressive on college app?

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Aug2-09, 04:10 PM
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I am gonna transfer from a CC to the state flagship university
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Aug2-09, 04:57 PM
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The Title: What is an easy extracurricular activity that also looks impressive on college app?


I am gonna transfer from a CC to the state flagship university
Volunteer translation, volunteer interpretation, public performance art, giving free tutoring or doing free or paid tutoring through a nonprofit organization, starting and running a business,... many other things...
Aug2-09, 07:46 PM
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Quote Quote by AUMathTutor View Post
Well, you could always start an organization for anything, and say you're the founder. Who cares if you're the only member and if the group never does anything. The fancier the name, the better. You could always lie about what the group does, or actually do some very small things that technically qualify...
At all costs, ignore this incredibly awful advice. You never know when such a lie will catch up with you, and when it does you are toast, and more or less forever.

I don't know if you are using this to bolster your chances of transferring from your community college to a state school, or using this to bolster your chances with some future employer. If it is the former, all it takes is one phone call to find out that your fake organization is fake -- and admissions departments know exactly who to call.

Suppose it is the latter. Suppose you get hired. The problem: If this lie catches up with you, you might well be fired, particularly if it was the extraordinary extracurricular activity was that gave you the edge over other candidates. After being fired, suppose you apply for another job and you list your ex-employer as a former employer. The companies to which you are applying will call your ex-employer to verify your employment.

In most circumstances, employers do not tell other companies the circumstances that led to a former employee's departure. In the case of a fraudulent job application, they do. Toast.

Aug2-09, 07:52 PM
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What is an easy extracurricular activity that also looks impressive on college app?

IMO, you should just do something you have a passion for. Why do you want to attend this university in the first place?
Aug2-09, 08:53 PM
P: 29
Becoming the editor of your schools art and literary magazine after only being involved for semester generally looks good
Aug2-09, 09:20 PM
P: 75
I am not sure if leniency varies by state, so this advice may not be applicable at all to your situation.


Generally getting into a state school from a community college is a lot easier than getting in straight out of high school. As long as you recieved decent grades, I wouldn't worry about making elaborate extra curriculars to make yourself look good.
Aug2-09, 10:56 PM
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Quote Quote by AUMathTutor View Post
Or, you know, start a real organization. That sounds like a hassle to me.
Maybe something in the middle. He/She/It could organization an organization awareness organization. This marginal organization could advance awareness of the plethora of marginal charities, foundations and organizations--all in a very organized fashion, of course.
Aug2-09, 11:03 PM
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Back to the OP: You are looking for a way to game the system. The problem is, quoting from,
Admission people are usually able to differentiate between the candidate who spends every Saturday tutoring at a storefront literacy center and the classmate who spent an hour on the Students Against Styrofoam Dance Decoration Committee.
Following AU's advice on gaming the system might well work. Then again, it might not. Exceptionally good credentials in some extracurricular activity can help change a borderline application into a very solid application. Bogus credentials can help change an otherwise solid application into a borderline one. The choice is yours, but remember: Admissions staff do not like to be gamed.

Much better is to follow the advice in posts #2 and #5. Do something for which you are passionate. Take a leadership role. The reason college admissions boards value extracurricular activities is because they show that you can do something that is hard and takes commitment. If you do something that you don't really like you most likely will not have the commitment needed to make your involvement extraordinary. If you do something that is easy, it won't impress.
Aug2-09, 11:44 PM
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Quote Quote by AUMathTutor View Post
I fail to see how the advice in #2 and #5 addresses the OP's question. Those things are hard to do. He wants something easy to do. How is volunteering and tutoring easy?

He didn't say he wanted to do something he cared about. He didn't say he wanted to mature. He said he wanted to game the system. I told him out to give it a shot. If he's serious about gaming the system, he can get away with it. I would write a self-help book about the subject, but I'm just too apathetic.

As a C.C.-to-State-Flagship transfer student applicant, this great state school could be looking for impressive extra-curricular activities as well as good (not necessarily great) grades. A typical state school would be less interested in extra-curricular activities, but would still expect reasonable grades for several courses of credit. Most of us direct SELFMADE to not misrepresent himself with exaggerated extra-curricular positions, since they do not truly make the applicant better than he really is. If you represent yourself this way in a job application, the managers may very well check on this or ask for reference information. If you misrepresented self or lied, then you greatly reduce your chance for the position. Same thing for a big-name state university application.

Some of those activities I listed in #2 are hard, and some are easy; either way, they are still time commitments. They also have real community value and personal development value, which is why they may be useful as extra-curricular qualifications for transfer application to a university.

SELFMADE, ask yourself this: Do you want to fill out your application falsely or misleadingly, or do you want to be real and offer truth in self-labeling?
Aug3-09, 05:49 AM
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Become well read in a classic author. If you want "easy" then maybe Charles Dickens. Perhaps H.G. Wells if you want a science bent -- you can skip anything but his science stories as they are not esteemed in academia. Note - you will really have to become well read in the author. And joining the "Dickens society", or whatever, would be useful, to show you really mean it!
Aug3-09, 09:56 AM
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I'll weigh in on this...

Misrepresenting your extra-curricular involvement makes you a poser. Last I checked, people can spot a poser from a mile away. As others have pointed out, false adverstising will eventually catch up with you, and the consequences can be devistating.

Rather than asking for "easy" extra-curricular activies that "look" impressive, the original poster would be better served by looking for extra-curricular activities that will increase the probability of achieving his or her goals, that fit within the amount of time and energy he or she is willing to budget.

So my advice would be to first figure out how much time you're willing to dedicate to such activities. Then find an activity you enjoy doing. Volunteering for something you don't enjoy just to log hours to prove dedication is not easy.
Aug3-09, 05:46 PM
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To address the OP (assuming he ever comes back to this thread...),

I agree with tutoring, especially if you can do it as a member of an honor society. My undergrad offered tutoring by Tau Beta Pi members in the Engineering department. Looks quite good on an application or even a resume. Not necessarily an "easy" thing, but it can actually be fun, depending on how sincere the student that you are tutoring is about learning.

You can also help out with a student organization like the Student IEEE club, or similar academic club if you have one. Often they are looking for help and members, and you can work your way up into one of the student officers' positions fairly quickly. It helps give you leadership skills and experience, and looks good on applications and resumes (precisely because it is good experience to have).
Aug4-09, 05:55 AM
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Quote Quote by note360 View Post
Becoming the editor of your schools art and literary magazine after only being involved for semester generally looks good
As a physics student? You would have to be Machiavelli reborn to get such a post as a physics student! How could you beat out the liberal arts students to such a post? I worked on my student newspaper, but I found a science angle, and was happy to be a lowly "investigative reporter" :-) For instance, I interviewed top scientific researcher on campus so that undergrads could find out what they were up to behind those locked doors. This was fun, and got me some kudos (and a job offer in the science writing field!)

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