September 17, 2015
I remember, as a freshman, taking my first steps onto the Diamond Bar High School campus. At that moment, two thoughts existed in my mind. One, I am finally a high school student, a big boy as my mother would say. And two, I need to join at least five clubs, become president of three of them, and then start another five clubs, leaving a legacy so that colleges see that I am a star.
Fast forward three years; I am a senior in his last year of high school, spending night after night filling out the senior profile for my college application. Reality hit me hard as I looked back at the dreams I had, at what little I truly knew and understood at the time. My first feeling when filling out my application has been regret. I had wasted so much time moving from club to club early on in my high school career, never fitting into a single one and finally giving up on many. The result? My activities column for both my senior profile and my common application in general looks like a joke. It seems impossible for me to fill out the given ten spaces with clubs that I actually participate in.
It is very easy to be dissatisfied with the extracurriculars portion of the college applications. Jealousy stabs bitter holes in my heart every time Club Rush comes around and I see so many students running the booths as officers of their respective clubs. The competition at this school is extraordinary, and at times I feel like I have achieved so little. I regret the things I could have done, such as trying out for the boys soccer team and showcasing my awesome skills or vying for a spot on the mock trial team where I could learn how to talk so that I’d actually win an argument with my parents.
And yet, it is after I had completed the activities portion of my application and my senior profile that, despite the regrets, I have begun to accept everything that has happened. By thinking out what I had accomplished, by analyzing the responsibilities that come with my current activities when I fill out my common application, I have come to feel proud of what I did and truly share my achievements with pride.
I am pleased that I decided to step out of my comfort zone and compete in a technology debate with my wonderful partner at the Technology Students Association Nationals. I am proud to have helped start a club with my hardworking co-founder that raises money to educate underprivileged children in developing countries. Most of all, I am grateful that I have the opportunity to work with a group of talented individuals whom I call family every month to create the school’s newspaper.
For every individual out there struggling with the activities portion of the college application, learn to be proud of what you accomplished. Every single Brahma has done wonderful things, whether that be pouring blood and sweat at football practice in order to represent our school, or spending days under the hot sun putting beautiful works of art onto poster paper for class committee, or even taking the time to carefully tutor a student in need and shedding light on a particular subject that he or she might struggle on. Finding the right activity you have accomplished is easy. The hard part is being proud of what you accomplished and sharing that pride for the world to see. Once you learn that, the activities portion of the application should be a breeze.