Imagine that you're an admission officer at a highly selective college, and let's say that it's just minutes short of midnight. You've already read 37 of the application folders on your coffee table, and the pile doesn't seem to be getting much smaller. As you study the open file on your lap, you see that the candidate is in the Spanish Club, on the Debate Team, and a member of the Model U.N. Didn't the last application say exactly the same thing? No, wait, that one said the French Club. You yawn twice and wonder how you'll ever survive the stack in front you. But then it's on to the next folder. What? This student doesn't seem to be in anyschool clubs. Could this really be? Your heart skips a couple beats and you start humming Ode to Joy.
While admission officials do want students to be engaged outside the classroom, the role of the school club is vastly overrated. Sure, being a star athlete is one of the biggest admission “hooks" around, but the more typical teenage undertakings are so commonplace on applications that a candidate without them might actually have an advantage in the selection process.