Are College Applications Products of Human Selfishness?


You can’t judge a book by its cover, but college admissions can judge you by your application. For many teens, crossing the threshold into high school begins the race to the top among their peers. Our generation has gone to extremes to set themselves apart from the rest.

Volunteering is an outlet for many students applying to colleges way out of their league. Community service has since become a product of our human selfishness. Students known as “academic alphas” suddenly have to step up their game because near-perfect scores will only get them so far and are seen as a dime a dozen. Colleges take note of students who are well rounded and community service oriented. But, where do applicants draw the line between sincerely aiding others and helping others only to better themselves?

Every student will “bite off more than they can chew,” especially regarding extracurriculars or clubs. College admissions counselors stress the importance of depth, not breadth. Countless students sign up for clubs they have little to no desire to be in. If potential applicants can count how many meetings they’ve attended on one hand, then it’s clear there’s little dedication present. Most likely joining a single club more than a peer won’t set an individual apart in the eyes of admissions. Colleges want to see commitment in extracurriculars because out-of-school activities accurately indicate interests and tell admissions who the applicant is as a person aside from academics.

When applying, college admissions don’t want to see applications bursting with falsehearted attempts in an effort to please them. In the eyes of the deciding voices, quality involvement is key. With the bleak cloud of college applications hanging over this generation’s head, many lose sight of what is truly important when applying.

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