A late starter of extra-curricular activities

I live in Japan and I was thinking of only applying to Japanese Universities till the beginning of 11th grade. Japanese universities do not require extra curricula’s and is only based on a paper test so I had no special activities till then.
From my first semester of the 11th grade I worked really hard on all the activities and awards(Of course they were all the things I was interested in.) and I have quite a bunch of activities now(Currently in the first semester of the 12th grade year.)
At this moment, I thought my application will look unnatural because my junior and sophomore year has a very small amount of activities. How would the admission officer see this and is there a way to make the application as a whole in a good way?

2 Replies


I do not think this is necessarily a bad thing. Admissions officers tend to focus on two things: achievement and commitment. You will certainly be dinged on the basis of the second as you have not done the activites for as long as some of your peers, but there is no reason why you will be dinged on the first if you did go hard during the second half of college.

Regarding presentation, I would be very up front about how you turned it on in the second half of high school and have some compelling reason as to why you decided to focus on it then. You will need to convince the admissions officer that this is more predictive of your future behavior than the totality of your high school resume, which includes some time when you were not as productive. That is what your story has to bring out.


Thank you for your reply!

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