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Being "Well-Rounded" is Shameful Now?

curiouscollegescuriouscolleges 2 replies2 postsRegistered User New Member
edited July 15 in High School Life
It's become obvious that the more selective colleges look for someone that are passionate about one thing rather than being involved in many, since that just makes them boring. Much to my dismay, I fit that "well-rounded" criteria. I am involved with sports and music, which adds to this "well-roundedness" that colleges are trying to avoid, and I also work on our school's literary magazine, as well as our school musicals. However, I've noticed that students who are considered "well-rounded" have maximized their activities and pursue none to a great extent. A student like that is called, "A Jack of Trades, A Master of None." I don't mean to brag, but I do have leadership positions in a majority of the clubs I've done, and I contributed quite a bit to them from which my school has greatly benefited. (sports captain, music band president, etc.) My teacher has described me as being "passionate about many things."
Dedication and contributions to the clubs one does is important, but I still feel like that doesn't make up for the "well-roundedness" that admissions consider, "the kiss of death."
Any thoughts?
edited July 15
4 replies
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Replies to: Being "Well-Rounded" is Shameful Now?

  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22440 replies14 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I don't agree with your interpretation. Which colleges have said they don't want a student who is well rounded?

    Schools do want to see achievements and most students have one or two areas where they do stand out, and usually a few where they are members of the choir or group and not the start. They usually don't want to see students involved in so many actitives that they really aren't involved at all. There are only so many hours in a day, and if a student lists 9 clubs and 3 sports and 4 musical instuments, then he probably isn't really involved in all of them to his fullest potential.

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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 28777 replies56 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    That’s not quite true. It’s not the “kiss of death”. There are just many more kids that fit your profile than there are spots in the schools you all want to attend. Kids like you tend to want to go to the most selective schools. By definition, that high selectivity which attracts you, by definition, means many if not most of you are excluded.

    There was a time that these schools were selective in that you had to have the connections or come from a feeder school to gain acceptance to them. Now that they are open to everyone, they have to select who they can accept because there isn’t enough room for all who want to go there.

    So the schools in opening up admissions, want variety and diversity. They want excellent students, first and foremost but in selecting among so many of them, they look for things that they, as a school community, want as well. No big deal tradingva few points on the test and grade numbers for some kids that have done some interesting things. Bring in legacies for continuity, the athletes to keep the sports programs going, the different parts of the country to be represented as well different countries. Some celebrity children for the connections they can bring, development for the money. Different races, ethnic groups and religions. Have the academic departments all filled— can’t have all engineers and pre meds.

    So that’s where it gets tough for those who are excelldbtbstuffbtd but don’t stand out. These schools are filled with student council officers, presidents even. Now the big thing is that published research paper, starting a business, an internship (in highschool!). It used to be the unusual community service abroad. Always looking for something different until it catches on and becomes more the same.

    But your academic excellence is what brings you to the admissions table, and a bunch of you will be accepted that are very well rounded in excellence. The best of that bunch. That still is the foundation of the top schools. Just not all can be accepted.

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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 672 replies8 postsRegistered User Member
    "Shameful" or "a kiss of death" is something I've never heard. Who/where said that?
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 1954 replies26 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Don't confuse "well rounded" with "jack of all trades". They aren't the same thing. Plenty of successful applicants are going to have three or four varied activities in which they are deeply involved year after year, and have progressed, and made meaningful contributions. This is much different than someone who joins a bunch of clubs one year and drops them all each year for different clubs, and at the end of high school has an unruly resume with no cohesion, no accomplishments to show for their efforts.
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