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The student news site of Lake Forest Academy

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The student news site of Lake Forest Academy

The Spectator

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Gabby Wang, Staff Writer • February 13, 2024

Picking activities for you — not the college

The+College+Counseling+office+celebrates+as+students+turn+in+their+applications.
Photo by Harry Luo
The College Counseling office celebrates as students turn in their applications.

The first round of applications – Early Decision/Early Action – ended on November 1st. The majority of the senior class took advantage as they gave themselves the best chance of admission to the most selective colleges and universities.

 

Students have put effort into standardized tests, essay writing, and maintaining positive academic trends. Ben Wetherbee, Associate Dean of College Counseling, stated, “The vast majority of seniors should find solace in the fact that they’ve put their best foot forward in their applications.”

 

On the other hand, it is also essential to “realize that there are things outside of your control in this process,” said Wetherbee. Colleges cannot accommodate the many students who are beyond qualified and would undoubtedly thrive in the community. When I look back at my college application process, the most vivid events that appealed in my essays were activities that I was passionate about. Therefore, since much of the college decision process is out of our control, spending time doing things that would look solely “good” for the college transcript, if you’re not passionate about them, is not worth it. Most of the time, colleges aren’t looking for the most “success” or “resume-wowing thing;” they’re looking to see that the applicant has found something they love and are dedicated to it–no matter how “insignificant” the activity is. This could potentially surface when students receive decisions, where some might find themselves in surprising positions; however, looking back as a whole, a question to ask is, did you really represent yourself during the process?

 

Despite the potential of disappointments, “It’s important not to take the decisions colleges render as an indictment on you, or your potential to find success in college or life thereafter,” said Wetherbee. It is never too late to change, and life isn’t defined by what college you attend. Instead of reflecting on the past and what you seemingly did wrong, it is essential to look forward to and work towards the future. Each institution looks for different qualities an individual carries as they evaluate if one fits their culture. The endless loop of praising organizations by trying to shape yourself to be a perfect applicant never ends, since I’m sure applications do not end after high school; thus, accept where YOU are, who YOU are, and BE YOU.

 

Just as Mr. Wetherbee concluded, “You live busy lives, and it’s important that they’re filled with activities that are meaningful to you.”

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