If you have been to any college tour or presentation lately, I am sure you have heard the words, “It is not just about your grades. Colleges look at everything.”
These words are supposed to be comforting, yet they just add even more pressure to over-worked high school students. By indicating that more than grades are going to decide a student’s admission, it reinforces that he or she must be good or involved in everything, not just school.
Well to students like myself, “everything” includes before and after school clubs, sports teams, volunteer work, SAT or ACT scores, a part time job, and of course grades describe just some of the things that fit into this category.
After working all of these activities into part of my day, I am told that colleges do not just want to see me involved, but rather taking a leadership position. Realistically though, there are only so many leadership positions to be given out.
The pressure that colleges put on students today is overwhelming and unrealistic. On the other hand, the pressure students put on each other is even harder to deal with. Students today push themselves beyond their limits to keep up with their peers.
Grade point averages have become a bigger part of life than necessary, causing jealousy and animosity between friends. Students need to realize that joining every club just to show up another person is not what high school should be about.
With colleges having extremely high rejection rates, students are becoming so competitive with one another in every aspect of high school life. Competition can now be seen within the school, on the sports field and within the community. Students should be doing volunteer work and other activities because they like doing them, but they need to stop doing everything just to build a better resume than the person who sits behind them in chemistry.
The competitive atmosphere that students put on one another has become almost too overwhelming and we all just need to realize that we need to follow our own path and in ten years, honestly, no one from your high school class is going to care if you attended Normandale or Yale for college.