Don’t be a title collector

In their efforts to impress colleges, a lot of students become title collectors. 

They're driven to accomplish things so they can list them on their resumes.  And when they apply to college, they can't wait to rattle off their list of leadership positions held, awards won, and total number of community service hours completed.

But titles aren't unique.  They're everywhere.  You're not going to impress a college with a long list of titles alone.  It's much more important to make an impact. 

Every school paper has an editor-in-chief.  But not every school paper has a section editor who takes a journalism class at a college and then offers to share the material with the rest of the writers on the paper once he completes the course.

Every basketball team has a captain.  But not every basketball team has a point guard who organizes informal practices during the summer so they can run the team's new offense.

Every student body government has a president.  But not every student government has a treasurer who researches examples of effective high school student governments and shares ideas with the president about how they can better serve the students.

Every high school musical has a lead.  But not every high school musical has a lighting tech who hosts a viewing of the Broadway production of the musical (on DVD) at her house the weekend before opening night. 

Every orchestra has a first chair violinist.  But not every orchestra has a second chair oboe player who convinces the conductor of the local community symphony to come to one of their music classes to talk about life as a professional musician. 

Every high school physics class has a student with the highest grade.  But not every physics class has a B student who organizes an all-star team of classmates to compete in the county-wide high school physics Olympics. 

There's nothing wrong with titles.  A lot of them are bestowed upon hard-working, passionate students who are making an impact.  But don't become the editor or the president or the captain just so you can say you held the title.  Your goal should be to make an impact first. 

The collection of titles will almost certainly follow.