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.