The Competition Complex

Jackie SizemoreAdvice

Warning: some angry language in the article

My main takeaway from this article is something I try to convey when I speak with students about college admissions. No one is unique. This is not a bad thing. To be unique means to be truly different from everyone else. You can be a special, hardworking, and determined student… this does not make one unique. It makes you a good student!

So much of high school is this build-up of when you do this, then you get this. When you get a perfect score on the SAT, then you get into Harvard. I hate to be the one to break the news, but this is not how the world works! Nor is it the way college admissions works.

It can be hard to fight against the increasingly competitive nature of high school, middle school, etc but remember that not every activity has to be about winning. Finding an activity that truly means something to you is just as important, if not more, than finding an extracurricular you can succeed ‘enough’ in that it will be a gold star on your resume. Honesty and genuineness are extremely important to the college admissions process, and those are not things one can fake.