A Strong Foundation Building For Your Child Is A Must: Start Before It’s Too Late

Time Table With Extracurricular ActivitiesDoes this timetable look uncannily similar to your child’s timetable? Diverse activities packed across all day? In today’s day and age, there are so many activities to choose from and there is so much pressure on both parents and students to do more and more! 

As a parent, you give in to the pressure, because all you want for your child is career success. You do not want to leave any stone unturned and end up pushing your child to participate in any and every extracurricular activity.

Too Many Extra Extracurricular Activities Can Be A Waste 

The number of extracurricular activities in your child’s schedule is NOT DIRECTLY PROPORTIONAL to his/her college admission chances.

Here are 3 reasons why too many extracurricular activities are not going to help your child secure admission to a top college: 

1. An All-Round Personality Is A Myth:

When Grade 12 marks started soaring, parents realised that marks were not going to be enough to get into TOP colleges with acceptance rates less than 10%. Then, the race to join their child in every possible extracurricular activity to develop an ‘all-round personality’ began. 

This worked for a couple of years, but what ended up happening is that every profile that a college received looked the same! It was a mix of standard extracurricular activities and great academic scores. 

Colleges moved away from the all-round personality concept to find candidates who are truly passionate about the subject they are applying for. If you want to apply the all-around personality concept for your child today, it is like rolling the dice for their college admission.

Being well-rounded is one of the most overrated things that a student can be. Every university is looking for a dynamic incoming class. We are not necessarily looking for all well-rounded students. Grace Kim former admissions officer for Stanford University

2. Be A Specialist, Not A Generalist:

A year of Cello, six months of blogging, a few classes of French and on & off dance classes. If your child’s profile showcases four extracurricular activities like this, college admissions officers don’t look at it as four activities. They look at it as someone’s profile who doesn’t have clarity on what he/she wants to do.

TOP colleges today are not looking for students who have tried everything but haven’t excelled at anything. They don’t pay attention to the number of activities your child participated in, but how well he/she followed through.

How many hours did he or she spend on it? What was the consistency like? “Jack of all trades, master of none,” is something that does not work when your child applies to top colleges. 

If your child says he/she is passionate about something, that needs to come through in the extracurricular activities. Watch the video to understand what we are saying better.

3. You Might Just Tip Your Child Off Balance:

As parents, sometimes you might have unconsciously pushed your child to participate in a plethora of extracurricular activities just to increase their chances of college admission success.

You might boast to your friends about how your child participates in everything, right in front of him/her. This takes a toll on your child. They will end up feeling like they are doing too much or they are not doing enough.

This could result in sleeplessness, anxiety, bad performance in academics etc. So, as a parent, you need to make sure that you don’t push your child to a tipping point. 

Dr. Shimi Kang, a Vancouver-based psychiatrist and creator of Dolphin Kids, a children’s achievement program says, “Start by making sure your children’s day includes enough time for the essentials.” 

40% of kids are sleep-deprived because they are too busy and that is unacceptable, Kang reiterates.

Spending too much time, energy and most importantly money can go in vain if you don’t have a plan in place. You are losing out on precious time and opportunity for your children by just doing ‘what everyone is doing.’

What if we tell you that:

  • You can reduce the number of extracurricular activities your child is pursuing
  • Spend the same amount of money you are already spending or even reduce it a bit & double the chances of your child’s admissions
  • Most importantly, maintain a great balance between school, activities and play for your child

It is all possible with Super-Curricular Activities!

What Are Super-Curricular Activities?

Super-curricular activities are essentially extracurricular activities with a PURPOSE. The purpose here is to gain admission for your child to a TOP college. These activities help your child deeply explore and understand a field or career before deciding to pursue it in college.

Having extracurricular activities in your child’s profile demonstrates a deep interest in admission officers.What Do Admission Officers Look For?

Your child can easily demonstrate this evidence of passion with super-curricular activities. 

What Makes An Extracurricular Activity A Super-Curricular Activity?

There are a few parameters for a parent to identify a super-curricular activity, which will increase their child’s chances of admission considerably.

– Alignment To Your Child’s Dream College:

When an extracurricular activity is aligned with what your child’s dream college looks for in an applying candidate, then it becomes a super-curricular activity. 

Example: If your child wants to apply for Ashoka University, which looks for leadership qualities in a student, then any activity that showcases leadership qualities becomes a super-curricular activity. 

If your child started a non-profit for child rights or volunteered in the community for many years, then it becomes a super-curricular activity to gain admission in Ashoka University.  

– Consistency & Commitment:

TOP colleges often thoroughly check the number of hours a student spends on a certain activity. This according to them determines their passion, commitment and discipline.

Ten thousand hours is the magic number of greatness Malcolm Gladwell

TOP Colleges look at a student’s profile from Grade 9 onwards to check for consistency & commitment

So, if your child wants to pursue music at The Juilliard School, then his/her profile should showcase proof of passion for music from early years consistently. That proof of passion with consistency from early years will make it a super-curricular activity.

– Accolades, Expertise & Innovation:

Top colleges aren’t convinced with a candidate who tries their hand at something and moves on and keeps repeating the cycle. They want students who showcase excellence in the extracurricular activity they are pursuing to make it a super-curricular activity.

“The competition to stand out and make an impact is going to be much stiffer, and so if they’re going to do a popular activity, I’d say, be the best at it,” says Sara Harberson, a former undergraduate admissions dean at both Franklin and Marshall College and the University of Pennsylvania who is now a college admissions consultant.

TOP Global Colleges That Focus On Super-Curricular Activities

Top Colleges

These are just some of the top colleges around the world that look for demonstrated and deep interest through super-curricular activities in the subject a student is applying for.

Super-Student With Super-Curricular Activities – 1

Student Name: Kaveri N
Joining College: MIT
Joining Course: Computer Science
Super-Curricular Activities: Kaveri decided that her goal is to study Computer Science at MIT very early on. She took her interest in computers and converted them into super-curricular activities.
She demonstrated a deep interest in the subject she is applying for. Kaveri analysed government education data sets of Indian students to study the correlation of social factors on academic performance. MIT looks for students with a collaborative spirit. To showcase that and to dive even deeper into computer science she was a RISE intern at Boston University. She undertook a Comprehensive 6 weeks program to explore research across disciplines in Science and Engineering under expert guidance. 
Another quality that MIT looks for in students is innovation. She showcased that by developing a Machine Learning tool under her professor’s guidance at Boston University which is in the process of being granted a patent. 

Super-Student With Super-Curricular Activities – 2

Student Name: Riya
Joining College: NIFT
Joining Course: Design
Super-Curricular Activities: Riya has been inclined towards design & fashion since her childhood. Hence, it was almost a no-brainer that her goal was to become a designer. She wanted to showcase deep interest in the subject she was interested in and hence undertook a summer programme on ‘Introduction to Textile & Fashion Design’ at the University of Oxford. Her dream college NIFT takes a keen interest in students with work experience. Knowing this, she interned at Vogue India.
NIFT also values students who give back to the community. She combined her love for children with a social cause and volunteered at CRY – a leading child rights organisation. 

The Process Of Choosing A Super-Curricular Activity

1. Goal Setting: Setting a career goal and deciding the course, country, and college is the first step in the process of choosing a super-curricular activity. 

2. Make A List Of Interests: Once you and your child decide on a career goal, make a list of extracurricular activities your child is interested in.

3. Mapping Of Activities With The Dream College & Course: Once you have the list of your child’s interests, you need to map it to the attributes that his/her dream college looks for in a candidate. Based on that and the subject chosen, you can decide on the activities. 

These activities go on to become super-curricular activities! Three simple steps and your child’s super-curricular activities are ready.

But, these three simple steps require a lot of expertise and experience. To convert extracurricular activities into super-curricular activities one needs to understand college admission trends, map it with your child’s interest, and prepare a perfect and personalised roadmap. We can provide your child with just that with ProMap – short for profile mapping. 

ProMap is an algorithm that helps your child build a profile filled with super-curricular activities. ProMap is created by eminent counsellors from all around the country and Univariety together. 

It helps your child crystallise his/her goal at an early age. Then we sift more than 500 curated programs from around the world to create a personalised roadmap filled with super-curricular activities.

Conclusion – Start Your Child’s Super-Curricular Activity Now

As an admissions evaluator at Brown, we really had to keep up a rigorous reading pace with the regular decision applicant pool. We were expected to read five applications per hour, which equates to 12 minutes per application. In those 12 minutes, I reviewed the application, standardised test scores, the transcript, the personal statement, and multiple supplemental essays — all while taking notes and making a decision on the admissibility of the applicant. Erica Curtis, former admissions evaluator at Brown University

Top colleges around the world do not give more than 15 minutes to review each student’s application. This meant and out from the rest of the competition. What are you going to do differently to help your child secure admission to his/her dream college?

Content Manager at Univariety

Sneha Mashetty is a former journalist who covered state politics. With a degree in Journalism & Masters in Electronic Media, she combines her research techniques, versatility in writing for the web, and love for education at Univariety. She has written extensively for International schools, Ed-Tech products, emerging learning technologies for half a decade. An avid reader, a travel lover & a movie buff who loves to have meaningful conversations


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