This is a tangent from Ivy League admissions. Has anyone started "packaging" for college? With this whole Harvard lawsuit, it brings up the packaging done for college. Whether you focus on community development, rowing, specialty interests, is your kid creating a package? There were 2 kids accepted into Stanford from DD's school. Toronto based school. One, is American, a world champion speaker, perfect SAT scores. The other one is Canadian, decent in her extracurriculars, except she was elected co-captain (no president of student council, just 2 co-captains that oversee more than student council) 98th percentile in SAT, essay was OK, but she had been involved in an indigineous people's research project since 8th grade with a professor at the university. So this was definitely holistic admission. Showing leadership and initiative.
I am going to admit, we are packaging. DD is going into 10th grade. She is focused on a specialty area within technology and spending time in a this specialty in a camp this summer. Also sailing competitively. Has a plan. She also has great scores (knock on wood). Was perfect on her end of year math exam. But I hear about others doing rowing, the extracurricular du jour, which was fencing 10 years ago.
Maybe it is a function of starting this process in NYC, where planning starts at birth. And now being in Toronto within an academic private that is 80%+ Chinese.
I will add that the plan has evolved and changed with DD's interests. It just happened that we are on Lake Ontario, she loves sailing and it is a great recruiting sport. And her academic interest is unique and requires certification in certain things so shows your application of effort in your interests.