Updated: Jun 3, 2020
In an ideal world, we would be able to pursue our interests without worrying about competing for honors, recording number of hours, and filling every spare moment in our schedule. Unfortunately, that's not the case. When you apply for college, the Common App limits you to specific metrics (for instance, recognition level and timing of participation) for your activities and honors.
Because of this reporting style, you must keep this point in mind:
You can only report up to five honors for the Common Application. It doesn't matterif you received ten different awards from your school. What matters is the level of recognition you received, whether it was school-wide, regional, national, or international. The more national and international level awards there are among the five you include on your Common App, the stronger your application will be.
It's like eating a 12-course meal at a Michelin star restaurant. Each dish is tiny but jammed packed with flavor. This is much tastier than a larger plate of leftovers from home.
Quality > Quantity
I recently posted a video explaining how to plan extracurricular activities, given the structure of the Common App. Be sure to watch it.