The College Game: It’s All about Quality, not Quantity

As I begin my senior year at Pascack Hills, the one question I am constantly being asked is “what colleges are you applying to?” For most seniors this is a question, we’d rather not answer, as we nervously wait for those decisions to come rolling in. While every guidance counselor will tell you that having the right grade point average and  S.A.T. scores gives a student the edge when applying to a specific college, they also remind you that those things are just pieces in a much bigger puzzle. After going on college visits spanning the East Coast and out to the Midwest, and attending our school-hosted college visits (which I highly recommend), there are two words that stick in my mind as being just as essential to a college applicant’s chances of being accepted: continuity and passion. College admissions representatives will tell you over and over again that they don’t want to see a student hopping from one club to another from year to year, or joining a long list of clubs and activities that are all over the map. They’d rather see you join one or two clubs and participate in activities outside of school that are focused on something that you are passionate about. This shows that you really have an interest in a certain area rather than being a career “club joiner.” In fact, the speaker at one University’s information session I attended went as far as to say that if you say you are planning to major in nursing, they expect to see that you volunteered at a hospital (or something similar) while in high school. And if you say you want to be an engineer, you should probably have been a member of the robotics team or math league. Now, I don’t want to give anyone the impression that there’s anything wrong with joining a club, realizing it’s not for you, and dropping it. That’s all part of the process of researching the numerous, wonderful clubs are school has to offer. Just take the time to think about what you really love to do, what satisfies you, and jump right in. Whether it’s a school-sponsored club or an activity in your community, become involved for all the right reasons.


Editor’s Note: Congratulations to Jesse Mautner for his acceptance to University of Wisconsin.