Attacking the extracurricular craze at Liberty

Anne Wu, Senior Writer

“I was in two years of Art Club, Key Club, Robotics, Ping Pong Club and MUN,” your fellow classmate says proudly, “and I volunteered at the Seattle Children’s Hospital on the weekends.”
In preparation for the impending terror that is college admissions, many students are taking “well-rounded” to “bursting at the seams.” They cram their schedules full with unrelated activities, in hopes that the length and breadth of their resumes dazzle college admissions officers and clinch them the golden prize: an acceptance letter.
But, to me, such resumes do not show well-roundedness in the least. If anything, it screams: “I have no clue what I like or what I want to do with my life.” I’ve been there before. I would know.
What many students don’t realize is that college admissions officers would rather see significant growth and accomplishment in one area rather than mediocre participation in numerous areas. This means, for instance, attending science summer camps and clinching the position of club president.
These activities not only show that you are diligent and motivated, but are indicative of your potential to become a leader in that field.
But most importantly, taking part in clubs and volunteering is so much more than looking good for colleges. Clubs are a means through which students can explore their interests and develop a deeper understanding of themselves. Clubs like Robotics teach skill sets that typical classes never touch upon. Others apply what we learn in school to the real world without the constant pressure of grades hovering oppressively above our heads. But, unless you are truly passionate about the club, you’re not going to be reaping many benefits.
Likewise, by using volunteering as a weapon for college admissions, people undermine its primary inspiration and purpose: giving back to the community.
It’s never been – and never should be – about benefiting yourself.
Moral of the story? If you choose to join a club or volunteer, don’t do it for college apps – do it for yourself and your desire to help others.