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Are sports more beneficial on a college application than clubs? Which one do colleges and universities regard more highly?

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This fall I'm entering the pre-IB program, and even though college isn't for a while, I like to plan ahead. I currently play a sport but I don't want to do it competitively in high school because of the time requirements - I'd basically have no free time for other activities between IB and a year-round sport. 

I was wondering whether or not colleges actually care about clubs. Two clubs I want to get involved in are photography and science club. I'll still do the sport recreationally (great CAS hours), I just won't compete or dedicate my life to it. I know here in America sports are everything to a lot of people, and especially to a lot of colleges, so I feel as though not playing the sport competitively will knock me out of the running for any sort of college scholarship.

My grades have always been exceptionally high, but I've heard nowadays that's not enough for colleges and universities. I'm hoping that being in IB, in a few clubs, and still playing a recreational sport will help me, but I'm not sure. 

Thanks to all who answer! :)

Edited by introspectivebeat

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What colleges want to see is not how well-rounded you can be in academics,athletics, and the arts. Rather, they want to see who you are as a person. So, who are you? 

Find your passion and involve yourself. Most importantly, create an impact in your community around your passion. For instance, a girl at my school wants to work in journalism. So what did she do? She got on our school journalism team and she made her work better quality than the others. She showed dedication and passion to her work and that is what made her different than the other students who only wanted to do it out of having a video broadcast to the school that had their face in it. She got an internship being our school's social media person. She did personal videos and covered major events in our small town. She incorporated journalism into her life to the best of her capability. Where is she now?

She is attending a university where she is basically paying nothing to be there. She is doing what she loves and is on the verge of being paid for it before she even has a degree. 

So find your love and passion and make your mark!

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12 minutes ago, Merril889 said:

What colleges want to see is not how well-rounded you can be in academics,athletics, and the arts. Rather, they want to see who you are as a person. So, who are you? 

Find your passion and involve yourself. Most importantly, create an impact in your community around your passion. For instance, a girl at my school wants to work in journalism. So what did she do? She got on our school journalism team and she made her work better quality than the others. She showed dedication and passion to her work and that is what made her different than the other students who only wanted to do it out of having a video broadcast to the school that had their face in it. She got an internship being our school's social media person. She did personal videos and covered major events in our small town. She incorporated journalism into her life to the best of her capability. Where is she now?

She is attending a university where she is basically paying nothing to be there. She is doing what she loves and is on the verge of being paid for it before she even has a degree. 

So find your love and passion and make your mark!

 

That's really great advice - thank you so much! 

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And you have the luxury of building up your resume full of what you love and do because if Im no mistaken, you are probs a Freshmen and that puts you in a great position. Make sure you focus on grades being as good as possible, take the ACT at least once to see how you preform, and volunteer alot doing things for the community as well as what you love to do. I am volunteering for my church and a hospital showing my love for medicine and administrative work!!!  

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Speaking as an IB graduate attending a U.S. university in the fall, most schools care about extra curricular stuff. The Common App, the application you will most likely fill out unless you apply to a state school, has a plan for your extra curricular stuff. So even if schools 'don't care' they get a copy of your list anyways. Joining clubs are not only a way to meet people that share a similar interest, but they do look good on college apps. Leadership roles look even better. U.S. universities care about a lot of things so it's hard to game the system in terms of knowing how to be the best applicant.

While in high school I was involved in a few clubs (History club, National honor society, National Spanish honor society) and no sports at the high school level (I took horse back riding lessons for fun). In terms of admission to colleges, I don't believe it was really a hindrance.

As someone who's been through this before, do whatever clubs/sports are enjoyable for you. Don't do something just because it looks good on a college app. 

 

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I know its hard to think about - not being able to have enough time that is. But I strongly recommend playing a sport competitively during your IB years. It gives you a break from the textbook and makes it more effiecient for you to retain information that you've studied. I don't intend to boast, but I never thought I could keep up national team track cycling throughout my final two years of school. Ive missed a month of school once in IB1 and once so far in IB2 for the world championships, train 19 hours a week and still am predicted a 41. I'm in a relationship and I we all do CAS too :P There is always time. It's just a matter of efficiency studying. You can do it!

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