Resume Builders are Overrated

A common theme in today’s high school environment is the idea that students must be involved in as many activities as possible. This ridiculous notion comes largely from an overly demanding sense of needing to be a “well rounded” student. Colleges and universities from across the country stress the importance of being well rounded and take it into consideration when making admission decisions. Personally, I am involved with the WEB, Thespian Society, Tech Crew, Speech Club, Chorus, Boy Scouts, various church commitments, and the planning committee for the Battle of the Bands. On top of these, the daily grind of school takes up 7 hours of my day plus the time spent on homework and studying in general. I know that I am not alone on the amount of commitments I have, and many students surpass me by a huge margin. The result of resume builders wanting to be involved in so many activities is that a small group of seniors run the vast majority of a school’s activities. These students are consequently so swamped with all their commitments that they are not able to devote enough time and energy to any one group in order to produce a quality club. In fact, the overall quality of the school’s clubs and activities is diminishing as students only put effort into an activity until it is “good enough”. The benefit of the current system of mediocrity is that the students that run all of the clubs have a lot of “resume padding” that will help them get into a good college. All that the colleges see on an application (especially colleges that use the Common Application) is the student led/started/participated in a club. There is no evaluation section to show whether or not a club was legitimate and actually did something. The way applications are handled by colleges and universities gives the very strong impression that, when it comes to extra-curricular activities, quantity is valued over quality. However, there is a work around solution. If a student sticks with only one or two clubs or activities and devotes the time to them that would otherwise be divided up between many activities, that student can accomplish something that is legitimately significant and fill their resumes that way. In fact, several elite colleges say that they would rather see this type of passionate student instead of the overburdened student involved in everything possible. The ability to effectively manage your time and maturely choose which activities you consider worth your time and effort show as much if not more on your resumes than filling out every available line in the extra-curricular section. The sooner we all come to realize we really don’t need to be involved in as much as possible, the sooner students will stop being overburdened by too many commitments, and the sooner the general quality and enthusiasm of the activities at Ames High will increase.