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Extracurricular Activities

"Some students feel so much pressure to get into the "right" college that they want to make sure they do everything "right" - even do the "right" extracurricular activities. Fortunately, the only right answer is to do what's right for you - not what you think is right for us.

Choose your activities because they really delight, intrigue and challenge you, not because you think they'll look impressive on your application.

Go out of your way to find projects, activities and experiences that stimulate your creativity and leadership, that connect you with peers and adults who bring out your best, that please you so much you don't mind the work involved. Some students find room for many activities; others prefer to concentrate on just a few. Either way, the test for any extracurricular should be whether it makes you happy - whether it feels right for you.

By the same token, some applicants struggle to turn themselves into clones of the "ideal" dream-school student - you know, the one who gets triple 800s on the SAT. Fortunately, cloning is still for sheep. What we really want to see on your application is you being you - pursuing the things you love, growing, changing, taking risks, learning from your mistakes, all in your own distinctive way. College is not a costume party; you're not supposed to come dressed as someone else. Instead, college is an intense, irreplaceable four-year opportunity to become more yourself than you've ever been.

What you need to show us is that you're ready to try.

- Excerpt from MIT Admissions Officer


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