Join the Club

What does it take to get into college?


photo by Valerie Davis

Simply being a good student is probably all the insurance we need for receiving an offer of admission to college.

Valerie Davis, Co-Editor-in-Chief

I’ve always been told that grades, GPA, and extra-curriculars are the absolute most important part of my resume, especially when applying to college. More specifically, clubs like National Honors Society and Key Club are thrust upon us as freshmen and juniors when first entering NAI and NASH. I remember asking my ninth grade self: will being a member of these clubs really make that much of a difference on my resume?

Even as a junior, I have looked up to the students involved in National Honors Society. And let me just clarify, I have a lot of respect for the people who are inducted into NHS. It is truly an amazing accomplishment, and I commend all of those who apply, are accepted, and receive awards and scholarships because of this achievement. However, is it really worth pulling all-nighters and taking too many hard classes just to be inducted into this club? In my opinion as a second semester senior who has seen and felt an abundant amount of pressure firsthand, it isn’t worth it. Let me explain.

I consider myself a very busy person — sometimes too busy. Sometimes I take on more responsibilities than I can handle, but the task always gets done. However, it hasn’t been easy. Even when I think I have a day or even just a few hours of free time, it seems like there is always something that needs to be done. I’ve always struggled with knowing whether it was just my personality or the fact that I actually have many things to do, but this is my life. And I constantly think of the next part of my day.

Going into ninth grade, I decided to put my passions and happiness before “academic clubs.” I auditioned for the spring musical, tried out for the lacrosse team, and started applying to jobs. While I did focus on my schoolwork very much and strove for greatness in all of my classes, I decided that my happiness was also important. However, in my years at NAI, I was worried. Would colleges appreciate all of my extra-curriculars, even though they’re not “academically challenging?”

What I wish I had known as an apprehensive and anxious ninth grader was that it would all work out. Colleges would, in fact, accept me — even without National Honors Society or a number of other honoraries on my resume.

So, is putting yourself through hell and back worth the simple tab on your resume that says you are a member of a prestigious organization when it’s likely you’re in a lot other prestigious organizations, too? In my case, it wasn’t. Of course, if it’s for you, then go for it. But don’t stay up all night throughout all four years of high school just to pad your resume. I promise, everything will be okay, even if you can’t get into the club.

As long as colleges see that you are trying hard at everything you do, it will pay off. In my opinion, pursuing what you actually want to do is way more beneficial in the long run.

Years from now, I won’t remember the pre-calc test I stayed up all night studying for, but I will remember dancing on stage or celebrating after winning a lacrosse game.