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In my opinion, I think CAS is a good thing. It pushes students to have extracurriculars and volunteer experience so they at least have something to offer colleges. However, since CAS is a requirement, do colleges see through it?


I'm concerned because I have extremely inconsistent EC's under my belt.


-Actor in the school musical & lettered in drama (whole year)

-Writer for the school newspaper (whole year)


-Swim team (two months)

-Member of a selective film jury outside of school (two months)


From these two years, I have an idea of what I like to do and don't. The thing is, I'm starting the IB Diploma Program this fall and I feel like colleges will think that my new and improved activities were only initiated because of IB requirements.


Will I be seen as a "late bloomer"? I don't want to mention most of my freshman and sophomore EC's on my college applications because I think they'll be perceived as excess with no depth and solid dedication, and because there's a year gap. Tell me if I'm wrong though because the activities that I've planned for junior year are connected to my freshman and sophomore ones (e.g. I'm continuing acting and the film jury). I'm also planning to do a different sport that I'm more interested in than swimming.


Yes, I still have two years left until college but mind you, we start applying for college in the beginning of senior year. That technically means that my new extracurricular activities are only 1~1.5 years long versus a kid who's been doing the same activity for 4 years of more.


I guess what's bothering me is that, I have my interests but I haven't been doing them since freshman year. I'm worried that it'll shoot me down when I apply for college. What matters most, quality or length? Or both?


Hopefully any of you could offer some insight, input, advice, or any help at all.

Edited by McLovin
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I can't speak about all countries, but it those, where I know the admissions procedure (UK, Sweden and Poland), nobody cares about what you did for CAS, unless you mention these activities in your personal statement/motivation letter. If you have your diploma, it means you've done your CAS and that's enough for them.

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Of course, I'm not very familiar with the US school system, but I've not heard of a case where this was a problem. You're not supposed to know exactly what your interests are at 14; if anything, it shows that you have experimented and had the courage to try new things. Do your ECs with passion next year and you'll have plenty to write about in your statement. Good luck!

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From my experience no, they do not care.

The CAS system is quite restrictive so in my mind it was all about filling the hours with w/e and doing stuff that actually matter in spare time.


Going to lectures, visiting different places and doing things that are relevant to you is what universities are going to be interested in, even if the do not fall under CAS.

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