This does not “look good on your application”

Jocelyn Leal, Editor-in-Chief

“Be a well-rounded student.”

“Join as many clubs as possible!”

“Colleges like to see you volunteer.”

“This looks good on your application.”

As the end of the year approaches, seniors are getting accepted into college, juniors get to think about applying to schools, and underclassmen are starting to think about their futures. The students who are worried or stressed about getting into college are trying to make their applications flawless in order to impress admissions offices, especially juniors who are so close to that next step in their lives.

While this constant stigma of applying to colleges is continually pushing students to be involved, it also is a big cause for stress as they go through their hardest years of schooling, and by pushing students to all join multiple clubs at the school and play a sport and volunteer at every event, the actual interests that people have are pushed to the side so they are more like the whole. So they can become “the perfect student” on paper. The student that colleges want.

To be brief, pushing students to do things they are not passionate about will negatively impact them in the future.

Just think about all of the artists and musicians and writers, who did not get to follow their dreams- follow their passion- because “it won’t make you any money” or “you will not be able to support yourself” was constantly being thrown at them. The push for people to get the best job that makes the most money starts here. It is the reaching for the end goal without stopping to look around.

Students spend their whole high school career trying to get into their dream school- which is a great goal- but if that is the only thing that the student is driven by, what will happen when they finally achieve it? When they do not have to be in five clubs and play two sports all for the sake of the acceptance.

All of these responsibilities and goals are the reason students keep going, so when that is finally over, finding a new source of motivation can be difficult. Through all of their schooling students have been pushed to college, college, college and suddenly they make it and there is no more bright light to guide them anymore.

If students have a passion that they want to reach themselves, it is so much easier to find that motivation, because it is going toward something they love to do, and in the end, the hard work was worth it and they were happy along the way.

Students instead should be pushed by peers, parents and teachers, not to always be looking for the next resume builder, but for the things that make life enjoyable. Students should be taught to foster their passions and dreams, because life is not about going to college, getting a job, and working until retirement, it is about living.

As a student who is a resume builder, and is constantly pushed to be the best, I have started to look around me, and question my motives the things that I do.

And looking back, the realization comes that life is not just about school and college and work, it is about finding the things that fulfillment.

I want to be happy, I want to hang out with my friends and do stupid things and I want to make art and experience it.  I want to play softball because I love it and I want to join clubs that suit my interests and I want to volunteer where I can make a difference. Not because it will make me look better.

And students should be pushed to do the same.

Because in the end, students keep running toward recognition, and end up growing up too fast. So stop thinking about the application process. Stop thinking about the job that will make you the most money down the road. Stop living for the end of the line. And start thinking about what makes you special, what your passion is, and what will make you happy, what you want to work for.

And the roads to success will find you.