It’s up to you


Haley McCoy, Editorials Editor

      On every single college application that seniors will see, there is a section to list any and all extracurricular activities the student was involved in during their high school career.

      And on every single college application that seniors will use, they will struggle to think of the things they did over the past four years.

      Other students in other areas of the country do not have this problem. While a senior in Illinois was sitting on their computer, procrastinating a very simple vocabulary assignment, a student in Michigan was creating a non-profit organization to benefit the homeless people in her area. A senior in Wisconsin could read a book through SparkNotes while a senior in Minnesota is writing his own book.

      Particularly in this area of Northern Illinois, students are lethargic. They have no desire to get involved, participate in their community, or try to make their lives easier in any way. The simple task of being Secretary for a club or showing up to football games is too much for many students when, in reality, those tasks are barely anything at all.

      This is incredibly detrimental when going on into the future. Resumes, applications, scholarships and the like all ask for something notable, something you did that no one else did. They want you to set yourself apart from the herd. But students around here often find it impossible to come up with even one small thing they did to make themselves seem different.

      It’s really not difficult, and these colleges aren’t asking for much. Become President of Key Club, volunteer weekends at the Pet Shelter, become team captain of the Cross Country team. These aren’t monumental tasks or insurmountable feats. They are things that make a student more well-rounded, smarter, and more attractive to future schools or employers.

      However, the time to start getting involved is not during junior year. Colleges also like to see longevity. If you were a member of a club for one year before you applied, that does very little in the eyes of those higher up than you. Become a member as a freshman, work your way up to a leadership role, and those colleges and employers will see you as dedicated and eager. They will take more kindly to someone who sticks with one thing for many years than to someone who got involved in five things during one year.

      Take it from a graduating senior who wishes she had gotten involved in high school more than she did. Be active. Take pride. Ten years from now, you’ll be thankful.