Honesty in Accessing Accomplishments

Madeline - Hinsdale, Illinois
Entered on October 27, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in honesty when assessing your accomplishments. These days, honesty isn’t valued as much as it should be, especially in the competitiveness of college entrance.

My older brothers are the main reason I came about this belief. Three out of four of my older brothers attended Central and coasted through high school not at all concerned with their futures. All three of them figured that everything would fall into place without any effort on their part. They thought it didn’t matter what their grades were because my parents would know some sort of connection to get them into the college they wanted to go to. Their main focus was sports, and friends and not on clubs, academics, or school-related activities. In fact, I don’t think any of them ever attended a club meeting all four years at Central. When the time inevitably came for them to write up their applications for college they realized their lack of attempt to become involved in things around school that colleges strongly urged. Because of this, they didn’t become involved or try to better this void but rather lied about the things they took part in. They wrote that they had been passionate members of the clubs Habitat for Humanity, Athletes Committed to Excellence, and one of them even went on to say he was in JKB, a leadership club in which its members go through an extensive selection process.

All three of them got into their first choice schools with just mediocre grades, a stellar athletic history, and a whole lot of my parents connections. Coming into high school it seemed easy to follow in the path of my brothers, especially when their tactics had proven effective three repeated times.

I chose to not go the route they went, but rather opted to do the complete opposite. Following in my own path, and taking accountability for only the activities I do become involved in gives me the ability to take ownership for the things I take pride in accomplishing. Now that I am starting the college application process, I have made a point to do everything honestly and independently. I feel that if I am going to get into a college it is going to be for my actions and nobody else’s. I have asked my parents to not interfere with any of my applications or essays. I am adamant that my college entrance will reflect my truthful accomplishments and not those that I lied about doing.