Ready… Set… I’m Not Ready To Go

Sedrek Kovar

The Common Application is a website that allows students to input the majority of their important information into one application page, as well as giving access to most of their desired colleges applications to make the process easier. Credit: blogs.providence.edu
The Common Application is a website that allows students to input the majority of their important information into one application
page, as well as giving access to most of their desired colleges applications to make the process easier. Credit: blogs.providence.edu

“It looks good on a college ap­plication” is a phrase that many high school students have probably heard time and time again throughout their academic careers. The Com­mon Application has also made it easier to standardize students.

They are encouraged to join clubs, play sports and assume an “ac­tive” role in their community so col­lege admission boards will see them as more favorable candidates.

But what does it truly mean to be favorable? Does it mean that some­one is of more worth than someone else?

To answer this question, one must assess the concept of merit. According to college admissions of­fices, the worthiness of a person is determined primarily by GPA, SAT scores, and extra-curricular activi­ties. But do these qualities encom­pass the full capability of a person?

While strict academic standards do create a filter of sorts, intelli­gence is not quantifiable. It is an ab­stract concept with a certain plastic­ity that cannot be defined by an “A” or a “B”, or any other alpha numeri­cal representation.

Too many students get caught up in the whole “packing process,” the constant struggle to become the perfect student. They join clubs that they have no interest in simply to create an illusion, a list of accom­plishments to put themselves ahead of their peers.

“College applications force you to act like a suck-up, instead of actu­ally doing what you want,” senior Dalton Luffey said.

It seems that many other students also feel the same way about getting into college.

“The applications are impersonal; they only get a look at a single side of you, not the whole picture,” se­nior Jordan McCarter said.

While colleges do offer essays, personal statements and interviews, not many students truly take advan­tage of these opportunities to differ­entiate themselves from everyone else.

While essays give the student an opportunity to give insight into the person behind the application, college admission boards keep get­ting the same boring topics year after year (“How my mission trip changed me” or “Recovering from an injury”).

Society considers the concept of higher-level education mandatory in order to get a good job. However, college is not for everyone and there are other options.

Instead of going to college imme­diately after high school, many stu­dents work for a year or two to min­imize the burden of student loans. If college seems unaffordable, there is nothing wrong with jumping right into the workforce, or even the mil­itary.

According to the Bureau of La­bor Statistics, only about six out of every ten high school graduates at­tend a four-year institution, so there is no need to feel obligated to go.

Students should not feel pres­sured to follow a path that they do not wish to explore; they should in­stead be encouraged to create their own.

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