The importance of picking a theme

If you haven’t read our Theme article on the main page, then you might be headed down the dreaded path of the “well-rounded” student application. You are probably aware of how this looks: high grades, high test scores, varied extra-curricular activities both academic and physical, and perhaps some community service for good measure. But did you know that this is not 1995 and times have changed? Do you know what top colleges are looking for?

Consider for a moment the advantages of having a single well-rounded class versus thousands of well-rounded individuals. While thousands of well-rounded individuals would be great at polite conversation and any number of ordinary activities, colleges much prefer students who are singularly enthusiastic at honing expertise in a specific field. Think about it: what good is Model United Nations for a chemistry student? What good is speech and debate for computer programmer? What good is the school newspaper for a degree in industrial design?

For students who are truly interested in admission to the top colleges, it is important to present themselves as an ideal candidate for a single department rather than just an all-around smart and talented person. If you haven’t already, check out our articles on Theme and Extracurricular activities to make sure that you are on the right path to a top college!