Apply yourself

by Michelle Yousefzadeh



At the last junior class meeting of the year, while


stuffing our faces with doughnuts brought by my


dean, all the kids in my dean group stared up at


the projected image of the Common Application


— a maroon tinted questionnaire that if filled with the


right answers, letters and scores would ultimately grant us


acceptance to the colleges of our dreams.


As I read through the different categories that I would


have to manage to fill during summer, I couldn’t help but


think of which words would have the most impact on a


college admission officer, and how I could get those words to


describe me. I must not have been the only one thinking this


because I’m a part of a student body who’s choosing how to


spend our time based on how many of those blank lines the


activity would fill.


The form asks for positions held, honors won or letters


earned for any activities that the applicant dedicates time


to. This especially makes me question what the colleges


are searching for — are they looking for students who are


passionate or students who are leaders, and if you’re not a


natural born leader, where does that leave you?


It leaves you with a bunch of blanks that mock your


“noninvolvement”. Instead wouldn’t a space for “what have


you contributed to the activity” be a more appropriate


column heading?


It seems to me that when given these objectives to live up


to, students will spend their time doing activities that they


know they can earn leadership positions instead of thinking


of what new input they can give to the club or project to


make it better than before.


I’m not saying that by holding a leadership position a


student can automatically be convicted for having alternative


motives than the betterment of the club, just that students


should consider that they can be a part of an activity even


without being crowned “leader.”


There is more to life than getting a leadership postition.


Students should look beyond superficial titles and instead


become involved in clubs that they are truly interested in.

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