Extra Curricular for Mesivta Bochrim

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    Yes i understand if you want to go straight to kollel this thread isnt for you, but for those who wish to go to college, and a good college, what are some extra curricular things that look good on a college application that they could do.


    Social activism

    Community service

    Debate Team


    You get the picture


    Try sitting on the wrong side of the mechitza


    Learning Torah counts as something that makes you exotic if combined with good academic accomplishments in western subjects. Universities like diversity, and someone who is a relic from the middle ages (from their perspective – remember a yeshiva is very much structured like a medieval university) is valued. Remember that in most universities, studying classical texts with medieveal commentaries – in the original script, is usually done only by graduate students.

    Completing college level work in diverse subjects via AP or CLEP look very good (shows you are smart and can work independently in all subjects). It shows you can function in the competitive environment (remember yeshivas are non-competitive, unlike universities where only a certain percentage are allowed to do well). If you have a vocational goal, something related to that helps. A wife and child help from a diversity perspective and make you eligible for lots of financial aid.


    A wife and child for a mesivta bochur! Now thats forward thinking!


    Community Service

    Tutor other kids (high school or elementary school) in subjects; be a mentor

    Volunteer or work for a nonprofit organization like Chai Lifeline, Ohel, HASC, Camp Simcha, etc…

    Take AP exams. If your yeshiva doesn’t have them, sign up to take them in a school (public school, for example) that offers them

    Form a yeshiva basketball team and include it in your resume (I’ve seen this before)

    Debate team (you can give a chaburah and call it a debate, because there’s no way for a college/university to refute your claim unless they come to inspect the yeshiva)

    Take computer certifications (there are a number of them through Microsoft)


    I think it’s very important to be realistic about what kind of college you really envision for your child. For many people who post here, the types of places they are likely to go for undergrad are not the kind of places that are looking for tons of extracurriculars. For example, the CUNY system, Touro, FDU, etc., will not really care about extracurriculars as long as the applicant did reasonably well in high school and on the SAT or ACT. If your aim is to get into Columbia, Cornell, maybe even NYU, or other schools like those, then the story may be a bit different. That being said, I have to unfortunately disagree with akuperma with regards to your child being inherently desirable just because he is in a religious school. Trust me on this one – they don’t see it that way. If anything, it could even be the opposite depending on which undergrad it is.


    Study (Learn Torah) overseas

    Join social protests (in Kikar Shabbos)

    Community service (teach Torah to underprivlidged youth)

    Debate (what is Brairah)



    Be a big brother to kids from unstable homes

    Make beer and bread and pickles


    Get Smicha and become a Rabbi


    Its truly a shame that nobody here mentioned normal extra curricular activities like playing a musical instrument.


    Its truly a shame that nobody here mentioned normal extra curricular activities like playing a musical instrument.

    That is obvious. It is because it is Assur. Only the bums get a heter to play an instrument, because otherwise they might join Nachal Charaidi.


    That is obvious. It is because it is Assur. Only the bums get a heter to play an instrument, because otherwise they might join Nachal Charaidi


    But seriosuly Ive always wanted to have some sort of entertainment capabilities to entertain the Chasson/Kallah at a wedding.


    “Its truly a shame that nobody here mentioned normal extra curricular activities like playing a musical instrument. “

    Why not say stamp collecting.


    Stamp Collecting is a hobby not an extra curricular activity.


    I’m officially not here for the duration (of what? Probably my life, unfortunately, judging by the amount of schoolwork I’ve got) but as a recent college applicant who got into the college of her choice, I just want to weigh in as I had a similar problem.

    I applied to honors programs, where this was very important, but FFG is right, otherwise- if you have the SATs and grades, you’re in at many to most colleges. If your program is very competitive, then yes, this is something to worry about, I guess.

    APs are a great idea, though if you’re in twelfth grade already it might be too late if you haven’t taken any yet (though you can certainly write down that you intend to take in May), and if you’re in beis midrash I’m not sure you’re eligible. CLEPs are good in that case, but probably not going to be considered advanced because they’re intended for high school graduates anyway.

    In general, there are a lot of good ideas above. One of the first things my teacher told me when I started applying was to write down a list of EVERYTHING I’d done over the last three years and was likely to do this year and then put them into categories. I was able to put things I’d never really thought of as ECs down on that application feeling good about it. Tutoring, playing an instrument, public speaking at school events, being published- I’d never thought that could work.

    Try to see what you’ve done and do now- EVERYTHING- and put it all into categories, like hobbies, school events, academic (were you on the honor roll? That counts too), volunteering, etc. Then devise a one-sentence explanation for each one that you think will make you sound unique.

    If you’ve been sitting around your whole life playing basketball, then put down basketball as one of your extracurriculars, but there’s not much else you can do. There’s a reason why selective colleges WANT these things.



    You don’t have to prove you are interesting or unusual, since a yeshiva student is be definition quite unusual (“weird” as they would say) from their perspective. You need to prove you can do academics since at a good university (meaning in New York, Columbia or maybe NYU) you are competing with the best of the best. Do lots of APs and CLEPs, all of which you can prepare for independently.


    @gavra_at_work I find your comment quite offensive. Do you actually belive that the worst thing a “bum” can do with his time is spend it defending his brothers and sisters. It is disturbing that someone would risk their life fighting to defend yours and instead of thanking them you call them a “bum”


    Assaf – Sorry you didn’t realize that was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, because that is what some people (like NK) would really say. I guess Poe’s law said I should have put a smiley. ZD did get it as meant.

    P.S. I’m a [email protected], not an @Gavra_at_work. Certainly the middle at (or @) is superfluous.


    Gavra_at_work sorry I didn’t realize that you were being sarcastic in your comment without lots of previous knowledge about these fourms its not easy to spot sarcasm in a written post. About the “@” ot may be a little outdated but I’ve seen it used as shorthand alot on inrernet blogs as a way to adress previous posts by the username of the poster


    You need to clarrify what your point in participating in extracuricular activities is.

    1. Just for fun.

    2. Mental stimulation

    3. Looks good on transcript.

    4. Inherently interesting.

    5. I want to be a rebel.

    6. I want intersting.

    7. I want to be mevatel torah.

    8. I need a break from learning.

    9. Career practice.

    10. Exposure to different things.

    Depending on your motive, it is easier to suggest activities.


    App Development.

    It’s fun and pays well even w/o a degree.

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