There's More To Life Than Building A Resume
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There's More To Life Than Building A Resume

Passions over accolades

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There's More To Life Than Building A Resume
Photo by Heidi Sandstrom. on Unsplash

When I was a freshman in high school I was under the illusion that I had to participate in every activity my school offered in order to build a resume that would catch the attention of my potential colleges. Choir, athletic and academic teams, debate, theatre, student government, you name it, I was there. But maybe I shouldn't have been.

As I continued my high school career, I started to quickly feel burned out and spread too thin by all of the activities in which I was participating. The problem was not the volume of activities in which I involved myself, the problem was my reasoning behind why I was participating in these things. When the motivation was simply to build a resume, it became easy to become disenchanted and very complacent with the activities that were consuming my time.

It wasn't until after the concept for doing things for the life and purpose they bring you and not just for the sake of lengthening a list was brought to my attention that I paired down my list of extra curriculars and only stuck with the things that, when engaged in, gave me a true sense of joy and life and vitality.

If everything you do is to just get somewhere else, what's the point? Maybe you've done the very most and gleaned all that you can out of your current institution. But if, in doing that, all you do is burn out and become complacent, isn't that more of a disservice to you more than it is anything else?

I was encouraged in my junior and senior years of high school to strive for quality of experience over quantity of experiences. When you are in the pursuit of something for a deeper meaning, for personal growth, to challenge yourself, the experience astronomically increases in value.

So you might be asking, "what about my next college/job/etc. position?." Well here's the thing: In my experience, people like to hear stories more than they do lists. College admissions boards, career executives, they're all people. Maybe people in a position of relatively high power, but people none the less.

And while I've never sat as a company exec. or on a college admissions board, I can tell you that if I did, I would most certainly be able develop a more correctly informed opinion about the kind of person someone is by hearing about what their possibly fewer, experiences meant to them than I would if I were to hear them rattle off a list of meaningless attendance in a plethora of clubs.

Often in applications, the person reading your application is really just trying to get a sense of who you are as an individual. The best way to convey this is through a description of the things from which you derive passion and life and how those things have impacted you, how they have forced growth upon your character, if and how they caused your world to shift.

In my opinion, life is too short to be wasted on things that don't cause us to grow, to question, to be challenged. There is not time to be wasted on things that are devoid of life and vitality. At the end of the day, I would rather be surrounded by the knowledge that I, to the best of my ability, am leading a life full of chasing color and wonder and choosing to pursue passions over accolades.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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