Do It For Yourself

As the spring begins to settle in, we see the effects of Senioritis, Tenni-Golf and Spooning take over the Senior class. With the oldest class leaving us, it is time for a newer class to take over. In a few short weeks, the Class of 2010 will graduate and the Class of 2011 will become Seniors. From club board turnovers to a brand new Student Council, Uppers are stepping up to the helm. However, with this transition of power, a whole new issue arrises: who will succeed the Uppers? Who will be the next Phillipian associates? Who will be the next Model UN board members? Most importantly, how will the Class of 2012 fare in taking charge of Andover once the Class of 2011 leaves? I understand that this might be a premature look into the future, but every year, as the Uppers move to fill the shoes of the Seniors, the Lowers must move to fill the shoes of the Uppers. As club presidents slowly begin to write us their last letters, as club boards change and as we all receive a barrage of applications from different clubs, which shoes do we choose to fill? The option of becoming a “board member” or an “associate” is much more apparent to us now than ever before. Which positions do we truly want, and which just look good on paper? Some people might ask, “What’s the difference?” Allow me to elaborate. Typically, Juniors have few interactions with the Senior class. We see the President speak and the Blue Keys cheer. And then they leave. We don’t live with them, nor do we go through their hard times and live in their stressful environment. To us, they are a group of people who show us where we could be in four years, but little else. One experience we don’t see them go through, since Juniors are isolated in their own dorms, is the college admissions process. We do not see their stress, their happiness or their sorrow. We are not with them when they submit their application nor when they open their acceptance letters. We don’t share these feeling with them because we hardly know them. However, as Lowers, this all changes. When we move into upperclassmen dorms, we grow closer to them and feel similarly about shared experiences. I have certainly felt some of the joy and disappointment of the college admissions process despite my own inexperience in the process. Indeed, this feeling is shared by many of my fellow Lowers. So, with the idea of college now beginning to play a role in everyone’s mind, some people express their panic by going through a process of résumé-padding. Such a phenomenon is when a candidate packages his or her resume to convey a falsely impressive impression. Such a candidate molds the resume to how he or she wants people or institutions to perceive said candidate. Around this time Lower year, positions start opening up all around campus. Some people start considering what is suitable for them or what isn’t in relation to their passions. Other people start considering what is suitable for their image. When people start thinking about what is suitable for their image, they forget what they really want and start to focus on what other people want. These people are the ones I would deem résumé-padders. These résumé-padders only package themselves for club leaders and universities and take away positions from the people who really want them. This is all done for the sake of their image. At Andover, this is especially apparent. I have heard one too many people tell me to participate in community service for college or to get a leadership position in college. However, once they get their own position, they fail to make use of it. My question to this is, “Why?” We all came to this institution because the people at Admissions thought that we were the most suitable students for this school. Our combination of extracurriculars, academics, athletics and our individual uniqueness are what attracted the Admissions office to our applications. The reason most of us enjoy the Andover experience is because they accepted us for us rather than someone we were pretending to be. It is me, Uday, who attends Andover, not someone I am pretending to be. It is understandable that someone would want to make themselves seem more appealing to colleges and universities, as long you do something that represents you. As long as you’re taking positions you love and being board members, presidents and representatives of things you honestly want to do, the image you are projecting is genuinely your own. If not, you will be caught in a place you don’t want to be or the place you know you don’t deserve to be in. If you keep pretending to be someone that you are not, and you get into the school of your choice, how do you survive? Obviously they did not choose you, but instead they choose the applicant they saw on paper. You were not selected. The person on paper was. Do you have what it takes to be the person that you claim you are? If you can’t stay afloat, you will eventually sink, and life, the great equalizer, will give you a huge reality check. Applying for Community Service Coordinator to get into college isn’t community service, it is self-service. I am not saying there is anything wrong with doing something for yourself, but I am saying it is wrong for someone to take a position of leadership away from a person who genuinely would use it rather than someone who just wants to have it on their resumé. As my race for Upper Representative begins, I find myself among a variety of other candidates. Some candidates promise greatness while others promise another sticker for their résumé. Many people are just running to run, but there are others who truly care. I have spoken to candidates who are serious and others who are just plain apathetic. The issue here is not their apathy but their willingness to run for a position despite their apathy. So let’s bring an end to these résumé-padders and false title-holders. Let’s give these positions to the people who truly care, the people who will make a difference. Whether it is in voting for a representative or picking a new board, let us steer the future of this academy in the right direction by picking the people who will genuinely endeavor to improve our school. Uday Singh is a two-year Lower from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.