Activities from distant past--include or not?

So I’m starting to put my biographical info together, both to put into my application next month and to submit to my premed advisor who will be writing my committee letter. The form my premed advisor gave me tells us to list various achievements and pursuits that go back as far as high school.
Has anyone else been asked to do this? I graduated high school in 1991. Even my college years are getting to be pretty far back. Should I just leave that stuff out, list some of it, or list it all, in all its faded glory? (And believe me, it’s faded. I’m originally from a small midwestern town, where I participated in every form of cheezy hometown organizing known to humanity. The less of that I have to rehash, the better.)
I presume that on the AMCAS application I’ll have to be pretty selective about what I put in. Hopefully I have enough recent stuff to fill in most of the application. But if I don’t include enough stuff from the past, then maybe it’ll look like I wasn’t doing anything back then? And there are a couple things I’d like to include. On the other hand, going way back into the past could also sound kind of desperate. I mean, I’d NEVER list the extracurricular activites I did during my freshman year of college on my resume…it’s so outdated. So how do older applicants go about choosing what to put in?
Another thing along the same line is that since I’ve been out of college for a long time, I haven’t participated in organized events, such as sports teams, as much. But I’ve kept up a lot of my interests in an informal way. Is there a way to get these interests across? Or at this age, are they not important enough?
Well, maybe others have thought about this? Any advice on would be really appreciated! Thanks in advance…

I may be wrong but amcas states somewhere that they want post-secondary activities or something to that effect. They do not want HS stuff, but if you have things that you did during undergrad I would possibly include some of that. I think there are 19 spots or something for EC’s so hopefully most will be recent for you, also you do not have to fill out all 19 spots. Just put in what is relevant to your life now…

High school??? That is just crazy. Neither AMCAS nor AACOMAS want anything from high school. I can’t believe they want something from high school.
I wouldn’t include it.
I would put anything down that shows your interests but I wouldn’t embelish for the sake of filling out the space. If you are an older student, who you may not have as many things as the younger folks playing intermurual sports and greek clubs are going to have. Hopefully you can put down some things but don’t obsess about it to much.

The request for “activites since HS” is a grand example of how the application process is exclusively geared toward our younger bretheren. If you are older, then I would only include pertinent & worthy activities. Hell, when I applied, HS was almost 15 years ago! No way was I putting down some of that crap. In fact, I omitted everything from my first trip to college & to RT school. I only listed recent & applicable stuff from my return to Ugrad era. In my humble opinion, if you list some 15y/o “cheesy” (love the WI metaphor) activity it will make you look like your desparately trying to ‘fill’ your app & CV.

I graduated from HS in 1980. So I had 23 years’ worth of stuff to cram into my AMCAS app last year. I think I put too much in there.
My advice (same as others) is to be selective and include only the most relevant stuff in detail. Condense other things together as e.g. “23 years of community service, including performing arts, etc. etc. etc. organizations”. Otherwise, the reader gets overwhelmed by the vast amount of stuff on your application and misses the stuff you want them to focus on. Remember, they are used to seeing the typical undergrad app.

Yeah, I’m thinking along the same lines as everyone here. My premed advisor wasn’t really pushing for high school stuff, it’s just that the form he gave me implies that the relevant time period is from high school through college (certainly with a stress on college). Ok, even college is a bit too far back for me to dredge up every stupid petition drive or whatever. As far as older things, I’m only going to mention things if I am really proud of them and they still seem important. I guess med schools must realize that older applicants are focusing on current stuff–which doesn’t mean they were just vegetating in earlier years!
I tried to log onto AMCAS but it looks like May 1st is the earliest you can open an application. I think it will be easier to put my list together once I SEE the form.
Thanks again!

I was just starting to do the same thing. I am condensing some of what I did – I started campaigning for local candidates when I was 10 so that is going into my personal statement because that’s 24 years of activism!
I spent some time going over what I did in college and added a paragraph about that in it too, as part of my explanation for my past issues.