Perhaps you’re sitting and staring at your list of extracurriculars, trying to extricate whether or not it will be sufficient for the colleges you want to get into. “No, it’s not enough,” you worry. “Maybe I should start a club. Environmental Club? Knitting Club?” You’re wondering if doing so will be the extra boost you need in order for your college application to stick out.
If this is your line of thinking – don’t do it. The answer is short and sweet. Anyone has the ability to start a club, and top tier schools aren’t looking for someone who can turn in a form and whip up a few people who knit together every month. If you don’t care about it, it’s a long shot that you’ll be able to inspire others to care about it as well. You’ll probably end up dragging your feet to organize events and you’ll see your role as founder as a duty, not a privilege. If this sounds like it might become you, take caution. As a general rule, don’t do anything that you don’t genuinely care about and are passionate for just because you think it’ll shine up your application. Maybe you think this would be obvious, but it’s an easy trap for some to fall into.
Starting a club doesn’t show passion or initiative or leadership ability, which is the thought process many go through and hope to achieve. However, starting a club and then cultivating it into something great does show those things. A meager knitting club that dies off in the spring will only get you “Founder – Knitting Club”, which means zip. Instead, perhaps you’ve been knitting ever since you were a little kid, and you’re excited and eager to share the skill with your student body. Perhaps your club gets together every weekend in order to knit caps for those in need, or you sell knitted goods at lunch in order to raise money for a nonprofit. It’s that that shows passion and initiative and leadership ability. And the time and energy and drive needed is far greater in scope than just submitting the new club form.
Only form a club because your gut is screaming at you to do it, because the mere thought gives you a giddy sense of joy and motivation. Start a club because you truly want to. Then, your college application will reflect who you are to the core.
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