College application epiphany

The admission criteria for college varies amongst schools.<br />Photo Credit: April Bitanga
The admission criteria for college varies amongst schools.
Photo Credit: April Bitanga

As I sit in my nursing class listening to my school counselor talk to the current junior class about the college application process and what is required, my subconscious thinks about how far behind I am from everyone else in my graduating class.

One of the many topics that came up during the college discussion is being an “outstanding” student. Immediately, one question pops into mind, “What exactly does that even mean?”

A lot of students believe that being “outstanding” is having a high grade point average. A friend of mine attended college meeting and found the golden answer to all of our problems: grades are not as important as most students believe.

Most colleges are interested in a student that stands out. If you’re an average student that has a few B’s instead of straight A’s, then you still may have a chance of being accepted to the college of your dreams.

However, this does not mean students should slack in class. Colleges look for the shining pupil that tries to foster their abilities. A person that has the ambition and self motivation to push themselves through any obstacle can never be a disappointment. Those are the kind of people that colleges want on their campus. Don’t underestimate your intelligence or be lazy. Take the challenge and learn more.

Most students are afraid to take advanced placement classes because their afraid they’re going to fail the class, therefore lowering their grade point average. In reality, the college board is more interested in the student that received a B in their AP class than the student that has an A in a regular class; he or she took the initiative to challenge their abilities.

Not only does challenging yourself in the classroom appeal to colleges, but being an outstanding student outside of the educational environment is important as well. Making your college application look fantastic is similar to developing a job resume; you have to know the right people and be part of the right crowd.

Students have the mindset that participating in a lot of extracurricular activities could also help you appear as an extraordinary person. Take all the students that participate in DECA, HOSA, or Key Club. There are more than a hundred members in each of those groups that believe they could increase their chances of getting into college because they participated in extra curricular activities. I would have participated in the group as well, but I don’t have the time or money. So does that mean I don’t have chance to attend the college of my dreams?

That’s when I realized that I don’t know the right people or the right crowd.

What do you believe most colleges look for most in students?

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But, that’s when the bright idea popped into my head: I might not be able to travel out of state to win awards, but I do know what it’s like to work hard. Being a nursing student taking all AP and honors classes, striving to make the school yearbook and newspaper interesting, working a part time job, and taking care of my household shows that I can be a hardworking individual.

Talking about applying for college and what I need on my high school transcript used to make me feel constipated, but knowing that there are more alternatives to standing out makes it easier. You don’t have to be the student with the highest grade point average, or participate in all of the extracurricular activities. As long as you show that you’ve challenged yourself and grow to become a better person, you’ve shown that you are an outstanding student.