Be careful that you are not selecting activities just because you think they will look good on your medical school application. Leadership roles are very important. Spend a significant amount of time doing things that you enjoy — and do them well. Admissions committees are looking for quality over quantity. Find a balance that you are comfortable with and that combines academics, extracurricular activities, work, and family. No one wants you to give up your entire life to prepare for your medical school application, so continue doing the things that are important to you.
Remember, there are only 168 hours in a week.
Be sure, when you are adding up your school work class time, extracurricular activities, shadowing, and research experiences, that they do not add up to more than 168 hours. Be realistic, truthful, and accurate when filling out your activities page. If you have a lot of activities and your grades have suffered as a result of overextending yourself, this will not work in your favor.
This post is excerpted from 101 Tips on Getting Into Medical School by Jennifer C. Welch, who has served as the Director of Admissions at SUNY Upstate Medical School since 2001.