Student Learns that the Coalition App Only Takes 8 Extra Curricular Activities, Questions Life Choices

By: Molly Schreier
Features Editor

The student was at a calm place.  With a cup of tea at her side, she planned to spend the evening doing the mindless but rewarding work of completing the personal questions of her Coalition Application.  After spending forty minutes entering every class she ever took in high school, she got to the extracurricular activities page.  Finally, she thought, the chance to prove to college admissions officers that I’m a well-rounded student, with my high school and club sports teams, honor societies, after school clubs, and volunteer work. But the application only went to eight.


Senior Madhu Nallani expresses frustration at the college application process.
Photo credit: Molly Schreier

“You are allowed to list a maximum of 8 activities. Don’t worry that you won’t be able to include EVERYTHING you do outside the classroom. We are most interested in those activities that you have engaged in a meaningful and productive way. So please be selective in your activities and choose up to 8 activities that are most important to YOU.”

The student, who participated in thirteen extracurricular activities, went into shock.  However, after ninety seconds of staring at the screen with her mouth hanging open, her shock gave way to anger.

“You think I participated in extracurricular activities that were NOT meaningful and productive?  You are going to limit me from telling you the activities I participated in JUST to put on college applications?”

“I suffered through club lacrosse for four years–just to show I’m a committed person!  I drove to Carroll County twice a week!  I played tournaments in rain, snow, and sleet!  I don’t even LIKE playing lacrosse!”

“I paid over one hundred dollars in dues for honor societies my colleges will NEVER see!”

“I picked up trash along the side of the road on a Saturday morning.  I could have been sleeping.  Or studying for the SAT.  OR SLEEPING.”

The student took a moment to catch her breath.  Then, she slowly climbed down from the table, closed the Coalition tab, and sent emails rendering her resignation from four clubs.  And then she took a nap.


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