Present the Best Version of Yourself to your Dream University.

The college admission process can be tiring, hectic, and overwhelming. There will always be a sense of uncertainty about whether you are doing enough to receive admission from the university of your dreams. Students try to dip their toes into several activities in order to strengthen their applications which could create a negative impression on the admissions officers. The admissions committee does not want students to take too much on their plate rather wants students to find their calling/passion during high school. They prefer to see a student who has spent large amounts of effort in order to develop one skill rather than having 10 incoherent skills.

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde

Here are some Do’s and Don’ts on the Profile building/Activities section of the Application:

#1 Build a story: The activities that one chooses should be able to tell the admission officers about your personality, your background, and your story. They should be able to tell the reason you chose to spend important hours of your high school duration to work/ take part in that particular activity. The activity itself should narrate a story about your development and progress through the past years in the activity and life. What motivates and drives you, is important as it says a lot.

#2 Jack of all trades, Master of none: Every student feels like they should be part of the maximum number of activities/clubs/societies in high school, but this could backfire as students are unable to grow or develop in any activities substantially. Dipping your toes in multiple activities could also affect your grades which is a major section of the application. A few activities that you have pursued in depth over a period of time is valuable as it shows time management, commitment and perseverance. In this situation being the master of one is better than jack of all.

#3 Do not start activities only for college applications: Admissions officers read thousands of applications and they are aware when students are taking part and joining activities only for application. This is showcased when a student starts an activity during the final year of high school with no concrete results and developments. Rather pick activities that you love and have been taking part in for several years with constant growth. Do not pick up any activity just because you are worried of being left behind.

#4 Be Different: This sounds preachy and unattainable as students feel that everything has been already done. Being different doesn’t mean you discover a new element or start an activity that has never been done before. It means that you add a unique twist to any activity that you do. Admission officers look for students who are creative and have made the common activities into something different, interesting, and unique. Being comfortable with who you are, and confidence are particularly important.

#5 Plan Ahead: If you plan to apply to top universities, you should plan out your timelines months in advance. You should write application essays months in advance. That will give you an idea of what achievements or facet of your personality you want to showcase to your dream university. Obviously, if there is a gap between where you want to be and where you are now, it will give you some time to build up and focus on that aspect.

About the Author: 

Aryan Ahuja is a sophomore at the University of Southern California (USC). He is majoring in Economics with a Double Minor in Applied Analytics and Business Finance. At USC, he is the recipient of the India country scholarship and is involved in several finance and investment clubs. He is a theatre and sports enthusiast and has been training in both for several years. He loves meeting and speaking to people from different backgrounds, cultures and stories.

Scholarly helps ambitious international students locate the right universities and courses to pursue their education. We provide college credit courses and research papers to students that want to learn more and differentiate themselves. We help students develop and present their best version to their dream university. Our recommendations are based on the student’s field of interest, academic performance, financial resources and career plans. We provide test preparation classes from the best teachers to help improve scores and thus the prospects for admission. We also assist students with their visa and loan applications to reduce the anxiety associated with international education.

For additional questions about international education, choice of majors, university selection or admission strategies please visit the Questions section of our website.

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