Padding The Resume: Student Joining Clubs to Impress Colleges


Olivia Chewning

Clubs for College: Junior Leah Overstreet comments about the issue of high school students signing up for clubs and sports only for the credibility on a college resume.

This article started out solely focused on clubs and extracurriculars, however, as I conducted interviews, such an overwhelming amount of people admitted that they didn’t actually do these additional school activities because they enjoyed them. Rather, all this way-impressive after-school endeavor is taking place because students are — gasp! — padding their resumes to impress the colleges they aspire to attend.

Many students said they felt pressure to continue doing a sport because they had done them for so long. “I’ve been doing it since I was five and it would feel like a waste to quit now,” said one student who wished to remain anonymous.  

A majority of students, however, joined only because they wanted to look good for college applications. And it’s not just seniors either. Students of all grade levels are signing up for sports and clubs they have no interest in, simply because they think colleges will be more drawn to them because of it. “I feel a lot of pressure to keep up with the sports I do because it’s my senior year and colleges like that stuff,” a student said.

In reality, many colleges seek students that are passionate about their extracurricular activities rather than students who spend time on several different things that mean less to them. It is all about quality over quantity, however, so many students are still spreading themselves thin in an attempt to appear diverse. “People are so busy trying to look good for college that they waste their entire high school career doing stuff they hate,” said one student.

Joining clubs in order to beef up college apps is not only detrimental to the student but it also prevents colleges from seeing students from who they truly are. “Doing things for college applications is great but students just need to make sure they actually enjoy what they are doing,” one teacher said. “You want to look back on your high school experience and not feel like you wasted your time.”

After-school activities are supposed to be for us and no one else. After eight hours of school, four hours of homework, and however many hours of additional work, students deserve to be able to dedicate time to clubs that actually make them happy.

So do what you love, Warriors, and the rest will follow.