All star quarterback? Captain of the chess team? Editor-in-chief with a 4.0 GPA?
If there is one thing my time in the college admissions lottery has taught me, itâ€™s that we, as an educational system, have reached the era of the super resume. No longer can simply having good grades and being well rounded get you into a good college. Resumes need zing; they need flavor and pizzazz.
They need a point.
Iâ€™ve heard this expression more times than I care to. â€śWell, golly, this guy sure is well rounded, but where is his point?â€ť I swear this thought has gone through the mind of many of the admissions counselors that had to read through my application.
Being diverse, having a list of clubs and academic achievements out the wazoo used to be enough. In fact, many college counselors still teach that the pinnacle of achievements is being deemed â€śwell rounded.â€ť
Itâ€™s not. Evolution is at work. The college resume, as we used to know it in all of its circular glory, is gone. In its place is the menace that every student now has to wrestle with: the cone.
Simply having the shining in school criteria wonâ€™t get you very far in the highly competitive world of top tier schools. The stuff you do in school has to be flawless; thatâ€™s a given.
Now, however, you have to build a spire from a circular base.
You have a perfect 4.0?
Throw in a missions trip to Africa for a summer.
Editor-in-chief of your high school newspaper?
Southeast Asia needs a new hospital built by volunteers.
Captain of your high schoolâ€™s debate team?
I hear Princeton professors are looking for summer lackies.
The simple truth is colleges expect the best of the best, and that best has evolved. Over a few generations of â€śone moreâ€ť and â€śpush the bar a little higher,â€ť we have finally reached the next stage of the top tier selection process.
Now where does that leave us? Thatâ€™s the question Iâ€™m asking you, dear reader.
The way I see it is that evolution is a one way street. Education and selective competition are never going to digress. It will never be easier to get into an ivy league school than it is as you read this sentence.
Iâ€™m not trying to complain here; Iâ€™ve played the game since I began high school just as much as the next guy, but the way I see it is that there will eventually come a point where either mankind is going to transform into its next stage in a freaky X-Men type thing, or we will eventually reach a point where kids are expected to sell their souls for an acceptance letter.
My money is on the second one, and I think we are almost to that point. I have many friends who wake up, work, and go to sleep, with nothing but resume fodder in between. They have no personality, no compassion, and no desire to step outside of the recipe for admission.
Iâ€™m not really sure what is going to happen in the next twenty years, but it sure is going to be interesting. Is there going to come a point where colleges or some outside force will say enough? I doubt it.
I do think, however, there will be a point where the decision will have to come early. To sell your adolescence for approval from an admissions committee, or keep the adolescence at the expense of prestige.
In fact, we might have already reached that point.
Or maybe not.
Thatâ€™s where you come in, reader. What do you think is destined to happen in the upcoming years? Is there actually resume pointillism in college admissions?
Let me know in the comments below.