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For example, if you have had 5 volunteer opportunities but none of them have been long term or for many hours, you many be able to combine them into one activity listing for volunteering.For most students, these three options will take care of any problem you have fitting the activities into the space provided.
Let's say you are short on space within the volunteer and community service section.
Perhaps you'd like to move one to extracurricular activities (if you have room there).
Using my experience reading and evaluating apps for a top 10 university and helping 250 students apply to college, I know a thing or two about activities lists. Last year I worked with a national figure skater who told me she only practiced something like ~15 hours a week, so we put 15 hours/week on her activities list.
I also recently read my old activities list and cringed. If you're uncertain what to write about one of your activities, comment below with some details and I can give you some advice! Later, I learned she traveled FOUR HOURS round-trip EACH DAY for practice. Count the flight time, but don't count sightseeing and sleeping time.
Speaking of things you quit, try not to put an activity that you quit at the top of your application. Don't overestimate your hours by lying, but don't underestimate your hours, either. Instead of: Member, National Honors Society Attend monthly meetings.1 hr/wk10 wks/yr Member, Spanish Honors Society... Say: Member, Honors Societies As member of the National Honors Society, Spanish Honors Society and Math Honors Society, I attend monthly meetings and tutor other students.3 hrs/wk15 wks/yr Instead of: Volunteer, Friends Society Volunteered 3 hours one Saturday making blankets for sick kids in the hospital.3 hrs/wk1 wk/yrand so on with multiple volunteer orgs...
If you quit something freshman year, you likely shouldn't include it at all, unless it's the most prestigious thing on your application, you didn't do many other extracurricular activities, or there are extenuating circumstances (questions? If you are in a leadership position, don't just count the hours/week where you are at meetings, but the time it takes you to prepare outside of meetings, as well. Say: Volunteer, multiple organizations Volunteered over 40 hours making blankets for hospitalized children, tending to donors at a blood drive, serving dinner to the homeless, and more.5 hrs/wk8 wks/yr Overview for the UC App There are 6 sections, each with 5 slots.You are given 50 characters for the title/position of your extracurricular activity, and 150 characters for that activity's description/your responsibilities. You do not need to fill all 5 honors/awards or all 10 extracurricular activities. Put your senior year leadership position within your title and the other positions within the description.Tips for the Common App Be as descriptive as possible about your responsibilities. If you've helped fundraise, how much did you individually and/or collectively fundraise? For example: Captain, Varsity Soccer Varsity captain 12th; Varsity player 11th; Frosh captain 9th, 10th. Goalie with the most conference shutouts in '17..pass_color_to_child_links a.u-inline.u-margin-left--xs.u-margin-right--sm.u-padding-left--xs.u-padding-right--xs.u-absolute.u-absolute--center.u-width--100.u-flex-align-self--center.u-flex-justify--between.u-serif-font-main--regular.js-wf-loaded .u-serif-font-main--regular.amp-page .u-serif-font-main--regular.u-border-radius--ellipse.u-hover-bg--black-transparent.web_page .u-hover-bg--black-transparent:hover. Content Header .feed_item_answer_user.js-wf-loaded . Overview for the Common App For the Common App, you have 5 slots for honors and awards, and 10 slots for your extracurricular activities. There's no room for wordiness, but also strive for clarity. What an oversight not to include that time in her hours/week calculations! Let's say twice a year you travel to national debate tournaments, accumulating tons of extra time. Write down that you have an 11 hours/week commitment, but include in your description something like "Attended 2 time-intensive tournaments" to convey that you incorporated those huge time commitments into your hours/week averages.You are given 100 characters to describe your honors. Don't use abbreviations or acronyms that an admissions officer would not know. Luckily, she hadn't submitted yet and we included that time into her activities list. However, during the regular season you don't do a lot of traveling, so your hours/week is much less than those two weeks in question. 6 of those weeks have 5 hours/week commitments, and 2 of those weeks have 30 hours/week commitments. Have multiple leadership positions over the year within one activity?Put your most time-intensive, most prestigious, and/or activities that most closely align with your intended major at the top of your activities list. If you've got fluff societies or fluff volunteering events, I recommend "bucketing" them (grouping them in related tasks).Societies and things you quit can go later in your list. It's a better strategy than filling all 10 slots.But there is a reason that the colleges only have 10 activities on the common app.Quality of activities is always more important than the quantity of activities.