Extracurriculars

NWW005

Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2017
Messages
22
Recently, I have found an interest in service academies, specifically West Point, and I was wondering what extracurriculars I should be involved in in order to make my resume more appealing to admissions officers. Currently, I am on the wrestling team and plan to do track or cross country next year. I am also in French Club, Future Medical Leaders of America, and I play in the school orchestra. I occasionally do volunteer work, but I plan to do much more in the future. I am a freshman in high school, so I have not made and final decisions about college yet, but what can I do to bulk up my resume?

All suggestions and tips are greatly appreciated. Thank you :)
 

karebear

Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2016
Messages
74
You should pursue as many leadership positions possible throughout your high school years. Get out of your comfort zone and do things that you wouldn't normally to achieve your goals. Run for Class positions or Stud Gov offices. Commit to sports so you can eventually become captain by your junior or senior year. Attend Boys State in your junior year summer. Any leadership activity will help you a ton. In your volunteer work, see if you can also gain leadership positions and make sure to show a lot of commitment. If you're interested in the military, you can try out Civil Air Patrol or Naval Sea Cadets or something like that. There are a lot of things you can do that West Point would like. Debate, Dramatics, Speech team all are helpful in building your confidence as well as leadership abilities.
 

army2021

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2015
Messages
299
Nice! I'm a wrestler too! Good that you're starting early. First off, academics will be your most important. I know you're asking about ECs but this should be helpful. Take a great load of weighted courses next year, but you need to be able to handle it, to boost your GPA and class rank early. Second, sports. Keep on trucking with wrestling. Your goal should be to letter and then later in high school become a Captain. You don't need to be the best athlete to be a Captain, prove that you're a leader and committed and work to become a Captain in at least one sport. Next, cross country. I did this too. Very laid back compared to wrestling. I'd fully recommend. If you can, do XC in the fall and track in the spring. This will just get you more letters, keep you in better shape, and more chances at earning leadership opportunities. Also will teach you time management being a triathlete and taking a harder workload later in high school. Next, clubs. Most people say don't join a ton, it looks bad. I say no. What I did was I joined a ton of clubs, a ton. But I didn't stay as a member. I pursued leadership in each and every one. Join clubs but always, always try and become an Officer in them. The clubs you are in at the moment are good. Keep going for leadership in them. The big ones you want to be a leader in are Beta, National Honor Society, and Student Body/Counsel/Class. Don't be afraid to apply for positions. People always shy away. As a sophomore at a big school, I said screw it and applied for VP of the student body, I got it for my Junior year, then that led to becoming President this year as a senior. You won't know if you don't apply. I did the same with Beta and the odds were kind of against me with the election, but I ended up swaying enough votes to get Pres of that too. Apply for every opportunity that is available. Never, ever get discouraged. Greatest lesson I've learned. The only other thing I'd say to look into doing is joining JROTC if it's available. If it's not, look for local Civil Air Patrol units or even join the Scouts or something. Always load your application and take advantage of opportunities. Stay active with this forum and don't be afraid to ask questions. Probably more information than you bargained for but hopefully it helps.

PS: Jobs, internships, and volunteering during your summers are a great bonus. Also study the Whole Candidate System (WCS) West Point uses and use the Class Profiles as a checklist!
 

army2021

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2015
Messages
299
You should pursue as many leadership positions possible throughout your high school years. Get out of your comfort zone and do things that you wouldn't normally to achieve your goals. Run for Class positions or Stud Gov offices. Commit to sports so you can eventually become captain by your junior or senior year. Attend Boys State in your junior year summer. Any leadership activity will help you a ton. In your volunteer work, see if you can also gain leadership positions and make sure to show a lot of commitment. If you're interested in the military, you can try out Civil Air Patrol or Naval Sea Cadets or something like that. There are a lot of things you can do that West Point would like. Debate, Dramatics, Speech team all are helpful in building your confidence as well as leadership abilities.
Ha beat me to the punch with pretty much all my points! Well said
 

NWW005

Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2017
Messages
22
Thank you, karebear and army2021 for your advice! I feel like I have a better grasp of how I should go about participating in extracurriculars. I will definitely be pursuing leadership roles and joining the cross country/track team if I can.
 

time2

10-Year Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2007
Messages
1,718
Since you haven't yet decided which college you might attend, it is better advice to do things you: 1) enjoy, 2) can contribute to the success of your school and 3) help you grow as a person. Joining a lot of clubs with the idea you will elbow your way into a leadership position to help pad your resume is the wrong approach. Leadership is about being able to accomplish things, working well with others and getting the job done. As an example, at some h.s., student govt does very little and getting voted in tends to mostly be a popularity contest with few job responsibilities. Colleges know that, so you need to be able to actually describe what you accomplished and not just look for job titles. If you decide to attend something other then an SA, you will be far better off in the long run following your interests instead of just trying to make your resume more appealing to an SA.

The official WP website is also a great source of basic information if you are just now getting interested.
 
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