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Do extracurriculars really matter?

A photo of parachutes parachutes
Some say that extracurriculars don't really make a huge difference on your university application unless you're applying for the ivy, and some say that it's gonna create a life and death difference on your application.

Is it really worth going through all the trouble to make your extra-curriculars look pretty, and how important is the extra-curricular list that universities have you fill out?

I'm not quite at the university application stage yet, but it's never a bad idea to start planning early :albino:

So help me out here? Based on your experiences of applying to uni, how important are extracurriculars?

btw I'm hoping to get into U of T Life Sciences or McGill Life Sciences in the future, if it matters :)

thanks so much guys :)
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A photo of inthemaking inthemaking
Not that important for science. UTSG life sci doesn't even ask for your ECs, they just look at your marks.

ECs are definitely important for business programs though.
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A photo of Ephemera Ephemera
It really depends on the program, the university, and whether there is a supplementary application. I can tell you what what I have had to fill out for each of the respective programs and universities I've applied to:

McGill: the application does not even have a section to write about EC's let alone a supplemental essay/paragraph

UofT (St.George): the Life Sci program app does not have a section to write about EC's but I think the engineering program has a supplemental application form. Also, if you apply to Trinity College/Victoria College for residence considerations you will have to talk about your activities/interests BEYOND the classroom.

Queens: a personal statement of experience (five lines for award/distinctions, five lines for EC's, five lines for work experience) + a 300 word paragraph on what you hope to accomplish at Queens

UBC: a personal profile in which you have to describe five EC's (sports/leadership/volunteer/arts etc..) + the following questions REQUIRED for all programs

1) Tell us more about one of the activities you listed above, explaining what your goals were, what you did to pursue them, the results achieved, and what you learned in the process. (200 words max)

2) Tell us about an experience, in school or out, that caused you to rethink or change your perspective. What impact has this had on you? (200 words max)

3) Explain how you responded to a significant challenge that you have encountered and what you learned in the process. (200 words max)
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A photo of taiwen taiwen
hey,


For every application that I've had to fill out last year, there was a spot for profile where you would write about your experiences from helping out in the community to participating in school activities. Universities are looking for people who are participating in a variety of activities. Keep in mind, there is a huge difference between the quantity of extra-curricular activities that you join in comparison to the quality of the activities. You can be in as many activities that you want but they do ask what your role is and how long you have been in the club/sport, etc. For example, if you were the president of a club for 4 years and it was your only activity, it is showing that you have the leadership skills and confidence that they are looking for. They want you to be dedicated and show that you care.
Also, It is a huge help to have extracurricular activities because say if your average was a 79 and you had a ton of extra-curricular activities, you would have a higher chance of being accepted for one of the last spots for the school's program in comparison to someone with a 79 average that has not shown any enthusiasm in their school environment or community. Join something you like, join something you'll enjoy. It kills two birds with one stone when your having fun and you get acknowledgement for it. Don't forget, you can also use the extra-curricular information when you apply for scholarships. A lot of scholarships are offered to students who are involved, have a high average and can demonstrate leadership skills.

Join the extracurriculars, you'll have fun and get to meet a whole bunch of people. :cat:
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