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Finding pages full of statistics about perfect ACT scores, GPAs, and incredibly impressive extra-curriculars when you research how to get into a 20 university can put a damper on any eager applicant’s excitement. But I believe that you can get into your dream college, and without finding a cure for cancer, at that. It will take everything you have, but if you have a passion for some sort of hobby and an absolute determination to get into your college, you can achieve the seemingly impossible.

To get into your dream college, people are going to say that you need to focus on your grades, your test scores, and your extra-curriculars. And while I do agree with that, I also believe that most people get rejected from their dream schools because they do not have the single most important aspect of an application: a theme. What I mean by a theme is, essentially, a passion. More and more colleges are looking for a student’s thoroughness and dedication as opposed to anything else, and by creating a central theme through which you can weave your extra-curriculars and essays, you can give those admissions officers what they want while still staying true to yourself.

To begin implementing your theme, first just think of your absolute passion. Everybody has at least one, whether it is something as popular as soccer, as seemingly trivial as watching Netflix, or as simple as drinking coffee. Ask yourself what you would spend all your free time doing if you were given the choice, or what you would research and blog about if you had to choose one topic.

Then comes the next task, which is finding ways to infuse your theme into your activities at school. For people whose passion is a sport, getting involved in your theme may be easy. But say your theme is something more obscure, like watching Netflix (and when I say that, I mean you should be a genuine Netflix connoisseur). There are so many ways to get your passion for Netflix involved at school, but you have to be creative about it. Taking advantage of clubs or the student paper in some way is a good place to start. School is the easiest platform for getting involved, and it is where you should try to obtain some leadership opportunities pertaining to your theme.

The last step is also the most important one, because this is where you can truly take your theme outside the box and stand out to college admissions officers. All you have to do is channel your passion into an extra-curricular activity. Going back to the Netflix example, if you are truly passionate about helping people find television programs that they love, you could find a magazine or website that reviews TV shows and movies and become a writer for it. Or you could join a children’s mentorship program, helping kids find educational television shows that will help them learn and enjoy it at the same time. You could start a film festival for charity or find some sort of internship related to media. Create your own TV show, even, or volunteer at a retirement home, helping the elderly find their next favorite television program and watching it with them every week. In my opinion, most impressive accomplishments happen when someone has true passion and dedication toward achieving them.
Putting your own thematic twist on typical volunteer activities is how you will really impress those college admissions officers because what you are doing is showing them that you are so passionate about your theme that you will find any possible way to share it with the community. And whatever decision you get from your dream college, if you use your passion as a theme, you will never look back on your high school years and regret wasting time with your activities. You will know that you have changed the world on behalf of something you truly love. You will have helped connect people to something you passionately believe has the power to help them for the better. And that, I think, is a reward more fulfilling than any Nobel Prize.

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theblondechickThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
today at 12:27 pm:
This was very helpful! Thanks!
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