It’s midnight. You gave up on deducing how much hours of sleep you’re settling for. With a full paper to finish and three exams to study for, you start questioning if it’s even worth it. Yet a little string of hope pushes you to finish. You finish the work by 4 a.m. and you crash into bed for a brief “nap”, dreaming about walking through the Harvard campus, laughing and smiling at the old high school days.
Whether with apprehension or excitement, most high school kids start to progressively acknowledge the umbrage of College. They reason that College is the gateway to adulthood life and should be treated as such. Most start picking up the slack by Junior year, joining sports teams, taking on harder classes, and committing to jobs. The more ambitious students have started way earlier in Freshman year; by Junior year they are already leading sports teams and clubs, ranking above their classmates, excelling at standardized tests, and stacking up impressive community service hours. That should do for a solid resume.
This same solid resume would get a solid rejection from prestigious Universities that some of us dream about. At that level, there needs to be contrast of the thousands of applications sent each year, all with the same academic, standardized, and extracurricular achievements. So how do we make ourselves stand out? The answer is simple: literally stand out.
We all have passions that exist deep in our heart that we might not even know to pursue due to our self-imposed educational workload. I feel like there is excessively more focus on what we can do as students over what we can do as leaders, visionaries, and creators. The reality is that students who dread over high school with unreasonable academic expectations get rejected over others with average grades but unique commitments.
I recently met a Senior in my school who got accepted into Princeton University. “What do you think made you stand out?” I asked. Her reply was “Oh, you know, I’m just a world champion at fencing”. I assumed she must’ve also excelled in academics which is why I was shocked when she couldn’t remember her exact rank “it’s about 100 something or so”. The moral of the story is that Colleges love passion and you should take advantage of it. When you do what you really love, you excel at it naturally because you are willing to put in blood, sweat, and tears into that craft.
FBLA can help you find that craft and turn it into reality. If you are a driven individual, you will find success and you will create a name for yourself. Whether it’s through devoted membership, competitive events, or leadership, you have the opportunity to develop your own unique interests and put them into practice. It’s never too late to start following (or finding) your dream, and why not do it with FBLA?