Let me start by saying, high school students, that I don't envy you. In fact, in my line of work, I find myself saying, "Wow! I'm so glad I went to high school when I did, and not today"... probably at least once per day.
A student recently asked me, "How do volunteer work and service-related clubs look on applications? Do they, too, strike admissions officers as a sign of a complacent student whose main goal is to look good? What kind of specialized service opportunities TRULY give kids an edge in college and beyond?"
I'm about to give you some free advice. I'd normally charge a lot of money to tell you this. But since it's my sister's birthday, I'm feeling generous.
As a Palo Alto resident who has worked with countless Paly and Gunn students, I have followed the mental health situation with rapt concern and attention. In accordance with my 80-20 rule (research/learn/consume 80% of the time, create 20% of the time), I have published multiple blog posts on this topic, including:
The best thing about running Paved With Verbs is how many engaging young people I get to work with every day. For example, last week, I met with a student who was writing his “Why do you want to go to Purdue” essay.
We talked about his interests – he loves technology, but he wants to be a doctor. Hearing this, I told him to check out the Purdue Research Park.
“You’d be a perfect candidate,” I told him, “Because medical breakthroughs aren’t happening in the field of medicine anymore. If you want to disrupt medicine, you need to take an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach. You’ll need to work with chemists, psychologists, engineers, doctors, and computer scientists.”
And going to a state school doesn't mean you won't get a Stanford education.
Eva Glasrud completed her B.A. and M.A. at Stanford. She is now a college counselor and life coach for gifted youth.