The student news site of Adrian Wilcox High School in Santa Clara, California

The Scribe

The student news site of Adrian Wilcox High School in Santa Clara, California

The Scribe

The student news site of Adrian Wilcox High School in Santa Clara, California

The Scribe

To Hunt an Extracurricular

Yusuf Perwez


I’m Clark Jones, and I’m writing to document my journey in the heart of the newly-opened College Board Extracurricular Hunting Grounds. I’m at a 4.0 UW GPA in junior year summer, have captured 5 years of coding competitions to satisfy club participation, tackled 12 AP classes, write for a non-school tech magazine to show independence, and set aside a neat 6 hours weekly of family time to harvest personal app stories — I might currently be able to make De Anza’s waitlist. I hope to change that. Rumor is, something big lurks in the middle of the Hunting Grounds. An EC that’ll raise even MIT eyebrows. The Big One. And come applications in two weeks, I intend to walk out of the Hunting Grounds with it.

DAY 2 

Not much of note happened today. I came across a few other hunters: a super senior hoping to cover for his ChatGPT’d essay, and a PoliSci major trying to seem human by hunting some personal extracurriculars. There were a few ECs roaming the Hunting Ground boundaries, but empty secretarial club positions and “independent content publishing experience” (AKA failing YouTube channels). I plan to go further in tomorrow. 


Something’s wrong. I just finished wrangling down a published novel and my supplies were all awry — someone had gone through my game bag. Two of the three ECs I secured in the Hunting Grounds are gone. I’ll write again once I’ve found the culprit.

DAY 10 

I cornered the thief with a Business kid that also had ECs stolen; turns out he was STEM. The poor guy seemed dazed, didn’t quite understand what was happening. Said he entered the Hunting Grounds weeks before, as part of the first batch, and learned midway through that ChatGPT had just figured out C. It must’ve broken him. He was Asian, planned to major in CompSci, was going to write about COVID for his common app — he never even stood a chance. I let him keep one of the stolen ECs. He needs it more than me. 

DAY 13 

I’m getting close now; I can feel it. I came across one of the societies today that’ve popped up deeper in the Hunting Grounds. It belonged to the art majors — their grove was beautiful, but the ones inside couldn’t stop gloating about how they switched off STEM before applying. The not-so-lucky ones roamed back and forth outside the grove, their 3.99s a smidge too low for any self-respecting art program. Some of them might’ve also been looking for the Big One. I’m going to follow the footsteps I saw around the grove boundaries. 

DAY 15 

I found it. The Big One. It was a coding position for some endangered species halfway across the world. But more importantly, it was a non-profit, independent, niche-fulfilling, diversity-pushing side gig — 4 years of it, no less, just enough to avoid seeming like a nepotist, but still across the threshold of full commitment. More than that, it’ll soon be the only organization of its kind throughout the world, since the animal will almost invariably be extinct in a few months anyway. I could feel the CompSci major grove staring me down as I walked back out of the Hunting Grounds. Even the art majors seemed infuriated. With this, I’ll be able to get into any college I want — MIT, Harvard, Stanford, they’ll all cry tears of joy when I tell them about my mission to preserve Nurse Sharks on the common app. Take it from your future Google CEO, Clark Jones: college apps are 100% skill based, for those skilled few who can hone their entire identity for the Ivies. I’ll be submitting apps tomorrow. Just watch the UCs grovel at my feet. 


Applicant Name: Clark Jones


MIT – Rejected

Harvard – Rejected

Stanford – Rejected 

UC Berkeley – Rejected 

UC Davis – Rejected 

UC Irvine – Rejected 

UC Merced – Waitlisted 

SCU – Waitlisted 

SJSU – Waitlisted

De Anza – Accepted

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