TCHS Rampage

Temple City High School


June 6, 2016

Squat to satisfaction, Brit by Brit


Finally, fall of senior year came around, when I eagerly filled out my Common App—until I encountered the Activities section. I was supposed to list at most 10 activities to showcase my talents, hobbies and leadership roles, but each time I tried, I merely stared blankly at the page. What had I even done these entire four years?

I could’ve tried to take 15 APs, be captain of two varsity sports, and become president of three clubs, essentially following the formula to guaranteed acceptances, but I didn’t, because I told myself as a freshman that I would only do what I liked.

I had this mindset that high school was supposed to be a happy four years. Well, it turned out that I like very few things. I joined a couple things that seemed fun, and quit everything that was either boring or unpleasant.

During the entirety of my high school career, I watched my smart, motivated friends succeed in so many aspects: achieving great GPAs, being incredibly involved in extracurricular and becoming teacher favorites.

While they came home late in the evening after varsity games, worked on competition projects after school and rehearsed for shows for hours, I came home, working to become the next television aficionado.

Sure, I was involved in a couple things, but even when I felt pressure, I was thankful that I was not under the same weight that my friends had to deal with. I didn’t feel like I was in any position to complain. Plus, I was pretty happy being so lazy.

In spite of my leisure, I eventually started to stress out about how little I was doing. I was surrounded by ASB Presidents and SciOly medalists who constantly amazed me, but there I was, taking three hour naps after school, only waking up to eat dinner. I remember the times that people would ask how I had the time to sleep so much and waste so many hours watching Scandal during hectic junior year, and each time, I awkwardly laughed and shrugged it off.

I started to regret my rule of only doing what I liked, and envied those that had the perfect resume. They worked hard to become leaders, superior athletes and top students, even though they likely did not enjoy half of it. Because I was stubborn, picky and lethargic, I was going to end up less successful.

By the time I realized this, it was pretty late in the college game—I couldn’t magically become the ideal student, the shoo-in for top schools. So, I carried on, trying to live each idle day with some contentment and settling for less because I felt inferior.

Throughout the college application process, I wasn’t very stressed, because I expected so little from myself. It was actually comforting to settle for less, because I had no hope in the first place—how could I possibly be disappointed?

However, while the rest of my friends endured the application process with me, I learned that pretty much all of them felt inferior to others in one way or another.

These insecurities were across the board, like wanting a higher GPA, a higher SAT score, or a more compelling essay. Despite the fact that they were all stellar students, they all felt weak in some area, and thus also settled for less like I did.

I was quite surprised to see this, since I thought they would definitely have great applications, but I was even more surprised to hear that they thought the same about me. Though I was still unconfident, it was helpful knowing that basically everyone felt the same, whether for the same reasons or not.

In the end, we all got into pretty good schools, like Berkeley, Cornell and NYU. In my case, I might’ve gotten lucky.

But, after acceptances came out, I became more aware of my strengths in my high school career, which my friends had already known. I just never listened. I didn’t follow the formula, and I certainly didn’t accomplish as much as some others had, but I began to acknowledge that I had been neglecting what I had achieved in high school.

I never sweated or toiled, but I had strengths in other areas, being academics, test scores and perhaps my personal statement. I actually did work hard in those areas; yes, I slept a lot and watched a lot of TV, but I still always did my homework.

Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, and what I learned while applying is to really highlight those strengths. You can choose to follow the formula for that sense of confidence during college season, or you can do what I did and sort of just do whatever seems fun. I’m pretty glad that I chose to do what I liked, because I ended up just fine.

Some people look back at their high school years and reminisce about all the great leadership roles they had, or all the basketball games they won, and others like me look back and remember all the great TV shows they had the pleasure of binging. It all works out in the end.


About the Author

Bobbins Moose
Bobbins Moose is the mascot of Rampage. He represents all alumni that have come and gone through Rampage program here at Temple City High School.


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