… About Something Other Than Yourself

When colleges review applicant information, officials look for candidates with a demonstrated interest in things that matter … things that matter in different ways. While they want students who work hard and are focused on their academics and personal futures, they don’t want students who are so self-absorbed that they fail to help others or society as a whole.

These days, colleges and universities look for positive character traits, and among the things they look for is some form of charitable activity.

However, we all know that high school students have busy lives and between school classes, homework, and appropriate self-serving extra-curricular activities leaves little time for yet another requirement. But adding this item to a student’s ‘MUST DO’ list isn’t that hard. 

Some examples of caring beyond one’s own self-interest would be:

  • a student who is very good in Mathematics can tutor friends who need help (after securing the approval of all key Math teachers),
  • a student who loves animals can foster an older cat or dog who is in an animal shelter waiting for a forever home (no kittens or puppies — they often demand 24/7 care), or
  • a student who codes can develop a website for a non-profit organization.

These are just a few suggestions. But most importantly, whatever a student decides to do must be done well and hopefully documented with a letter of recommendation or certificate of thanks from adults who are appropriately connected to the undertaking.