By Aneal Singh
It’s Saturday night, and the deadline for the application of Cal State Fullerton is ending in 37 minutes. You have submitted your grades, SAT score, and your personal statement, however, you know something is missing. Actually, a lot is missing; to name a few you are missing volunteering hours, leadership roles, and more extracurriculars. Millions of American seniors apply to college each year, but the question is, are they are doing it right?
When applying to college, an application consists of four general criterias: grades from 9-12th grade, SAT/ ACT scores, school participation, and a personal statement. The most vital part of this process is to maintain one’s grade at an acceptable level. Whether one wants to go to Yale or a UC school, it ranges to how much commitment one wants to put in their grades. Out of the people I interviewed, a freshman, junior, and UCLA student, grades did not seem as much of an obstacle as many think. For example, if junior Luz Gomez saw that she did not have desirable grades, she would approach the teacher that taught the subject and discuss alternatives. “Just do it,” Luz Gomez says as she is now an AP and honor roll student.
Furthermore along with the foundation ,(testing and grades), finished in an application, colleges now expect extracurriculars on top of that. “ When entering this school, I felt that there were countless opportunities to be incorporated with it,” freshman Ciaran Carmak said, as he now aims to join a club this year. By entering clubs, sports, or being involved with one’s community, it shows admissions officers that you play an active role at school. To enter a club, it is very simple and people are open to all levels of skill. For example, when Luz Gomez was a freshman at Samueli Academy, she was a shy girl with a bright future ahead of her. Now a junior, she reflects on herself as a freshman and wishes that she would of played an active role in her school. It was only until her mid way sophomore and junior year that she truly embraced the clubs, cheerleading team, and numerous other activities home to Samueli Academy. Now you can see her everywhere between on the field and in the classroom. If one wanted to take a challenge at another level of school participation, they may want to try-out for a sport. However, in a try-out they might not make the team, but that only leaves you with more time to volunteer and join clubs. Nonetheless, the most vital part into getting accepted in more rigorous course colleges, volunteering is a necessity. Though before volunteering used to be an “optional” extracurricular, through the eyes of your dream college make that a “mandatory”. Especially if you know what career path you want to take, narrowing down volunteering hours to that specific field assist in the process. Even internships accumulate as volunteering, which everyone has to do to graduate, so there is a substantial amount of hours to earn throughout the four years of high school.
At the end of your application, a personal statement that represents who you are will help to make you unique amongst thousands of applicants.“I think that my biggest challenge was with the mission statements and trying to stand out and not be generic,” UCLA graduate Ravenna Mann said, “However, I found my grove and wrote about what I loved.” In an application, there may be some short-essay questions, one usually containing a personal statement. Within the prompt of a personal statement, the application may narrow the concept down to an interest, personal adventure, or interesting attribute about yourself. Moreover, a personal statement is not established for a person to tell fables about themselves, but to prove why they are worthy enough to be apart of the student body at that school.
Overall the application process for college can be a demonizing process, but remember that each and every person is unique; no matter what college one goes to, it does determine the course of your life, it is the determination, perseverance, and strive to reach for gold that does. What makes one special when applying to college is be yourself, and present it in the best light possible. Before, college used to be not an option for many, leaving students with an early job and acceptable life. However now, society has made it to be a standard that applying to college is a necessity to live a “good life “. Without going to college, it will lead to a hard of jobs, as do many require a college graduate diploma as a standard. Nonetheless, an application to college is “normal” in today’s society because the benefits provide more than any of your wildest dreams.
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