Preparing for College

Is Dropping Orchestra Okay?

Question: I was in the Honors Orchestra at my school freshman year, but am not sure I am interested in continuing for the rest of high school. How important is it for college admissions that I stick with orchestra for all four years? Though I am a good musician, I am by no means outstanding and probably would not be participating in programs such as the All-County Honors Orchestra.

It's not at all important that you stick with orchestra. Colleges just want to see that you have interests (or, better yet, passions) outside of the classroom, but it matters little what they are. In fact, the top schools tend to have tons of applicants who list orchestra high on their lists of extracurricular activities, and thus admission folks actually welcome more uncommon pursuits. So, don't feel guilty about bailing on your musical career but do find something meaningful to do with the time you free up.