Extracurriculars – Clubs
Community and global service clubs follow this trend. Most likely, unless you were the founder (as in you created and led the world movement for something like the betterment for Tanzanian poverty), it most likely does not matter. Yes, it shows that you are a kind person. But, selling T-shirts to your friends to “help” ameliorate the Japanese earthquake isn’t the kind of leadership and humanitarianism colleges are wanting. It has no “WOW” factor. Thus, being thoroughly involved in Interact Club, Leo Club, Key Club, etc. is pretty much… not the most efficient use of your time.
Most other clubs are pretty much fillers. Now let’s differentiate between “academic teams” and “clubs”. An academic team, which will be further elaborated in the next section, is basically a collection of gifted academic people who strive as a team to win some sort of Nationally-sponsored competition. A club, on the other hand, is like Best Buddies, Pre-Med, or Chess Club. They have a certain focus and get a group of people together with similar interests. You create and join them to show the colleges that you have an interest in certain areas. Aim for Presidency – they really don’t care for anything else. However you might want to have one or two Vice-Presidencies or Secretaries so it doesn’t seem you are spread too thin. Still, always keep in mind: the only thing that truly matters is Presidency – so be President of the biggest
Clubs, in general, are too small and too weak in high school to have a major impact on the world. Due to restrictions by the education board and a lack of funding, high school clubs are usually limited to meetings, with a few, simple trips to help “further develop and expand” the main interest. Even if you do a lot, how can the colleges know? How can they objectively differentiate your Chess Club or Community Service Club from the random high school in Minnesota with the same name – even if yours does infinitely more things than theirs does? Both are weighted the same. Therefore, I’d say be committed – enough to be a board member (President), but don’t expect to be doing very much if you plan to use your time wisely.
Great examples of completely lame clubs that you should not overly brag about to colleges are CSF, NHS, etc. These clubs are so generic and are simply “titles” – most schools really don’t do much with them anyways. However, to truly stand out, you need to become a leader of a club.