The Issue: Brophy students often partake in a plethora of activities, athletics and AP classes.
Our Stance: Student involvement is commendable but only if done for the right reasons.
Throughout the college admissions process, one word recurs with startling frequency: holistic.
Colleges like to boast that their selection criteria take a “well-rounded” approach, likely in order to incentivize unsure students to apply.
But this pressure to be well-rounded has manifested itself through students who value breadth over depth.
These students try and dip their feet into every AP class, club and athletic opportunity available.
And while a small handful of students each year may find the workload to be a breeze, the rest are spread so thin that they find themselves unable to reach real depth in any of their activities.
The extent of students’ academic and extracurricular activities is the hallmark of the Brophy experience and what makes this school great.
At the same time, this drive to be busy can be unhealthy if it is motivated by the wrong reasons.
Unfortunately, the desire to simply impress college admissions committees can be a strong incentive for students to take difficult academic course loads or seek leadership positions on campus.
In contrast, the underlying incentive for student involvement should be genuine passion.
If you’re going to be taking AP classes, make sure you at least have some sort of interest in learning the subject. Too many students who absolutely loathe certain subjects take classes and then spend the majority of the year complaining about having to do work in that area.
The same goes for activities—we’ve heard plenty of students outright state that the reason they joined certain clubs was to pad their college resumes.
This is especially disconcerting for service-based clubs, since it makes it seem like recognition is the sole incentive for community service.
While some men of many talents may have both the time and the passion to explore their interests so widely, it’s worth it for everyone to take a second to examine how we spend our time and how deeply we really value these activities.
This is not to discourage students from doing many things, but rather to encourage them to do things because of genuine passion and interest.
In the end, chasing passions and learning what makes you tick will make your extracurricular life more satisfying, and college admissions are likely to take note.
The true holistic students, such as the excellent men chosen for The Roundup’s Man of the Year Award, are those who understand themselves and the role that they are called to play in the community.
Instead of caving in to external pressures like reputation and college admissions, their drive and satisfaction come from within.
And that quality can, aside from being attractive to colleges, make better use of everyone’s time.
Staff editorial written by Julian De Ocampo ’13 and Aakash Jain ’14.
Staff editorials represent the view of The Roundup. Share your thoughts by e-mailing email@example.com or leave comments online at roundup.brophyprep.org.