Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Race to University

Today, I was thinking about what getting into college has become as I reminisced about my days of community service at my old elementary school. It is a given that we must do community service in order to get into college, but has it become a chore because of it? I admit, I rarely do community service anymore. I throw a five in various homeless folk's directions, donate old books and clothing to the library and goodwill respectively, but what does that say about me? I am unwilling to donate my time to much of anything because I'm in college and it is no longer required of me.
Let's take a look back at the last time I did community service (I admit I had to think pretty hard to even recall the last time I did it). It was back when I was going to school up north and I decided it would be a great idea to work for the local animal shelter. I needed an outlet for my anxiety, and I thought, "what better way to cheer myself up than work with adorable puppies." Mind you, the shelter wasn't one of those sad we-kill-dogs-after-five-days kind of places, they kept "adoptable" dogs until they were sold to an owner. No sad puppies allowed. Anyhow, So I had to go to an initial meeting, then 4 hours of training in order to even volunteer. I go through with everything and go to the shelter for the first time before my 9 am class (or whatever it was--translation EARLY) and it wasn't fun, and by no means was it glamorous. No, it involved taking every single dog you could out of their pens and walking them so they could poop. How fun? I was over it just like that. The four hours of training and two hours of volunteering were the extent of my time at the animal shelter. I had no incentive to stay, only incentive to not leave, go home and pick up my own dog's poo.

What I am trying to say is that getting into college has become a race. A race to see who can attempt to have no life better. Whoever does the most hours of community service, has enough time to come up with some sort of sap story to woo the admissions committee with your college essays, and maintain their sanity will win their entrance to STANFORD (assuming you have the grades, are an ethnic minority, and have a 4.7+++ GPA). I say most of this half-jokingly, but the truth is that I felt like I was in a race with all of my classmates. Once the applications were in and you had mentioned "I applied to a, b, and c schools," when the admission decision letters start rolling in and you have been--dare I say--rejected when your friend has been accepted, they have won the race. Maybe I shouldn't feel like it is a competition; I don't anymore because, well, I'm in college and have little to worry about at the moment other than pursuing my dream career, right? Wrong, very wrong because grad-school is just around the corner and it will be just like senior year all over again, though I'd like to hope that by then we'll all be beyond that by then, I have reason to believe that it won't ever end, ever.

Until next time, K

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