Sam is a seventeen-year-old from Montgomery, NJ. When she isn’t obsessing over the New Jersey Devils, Sam is doing charity work, reading magazines, and hanging with friends. She also wishes to make an imprint on the world in the future.
As the college application process winds down for the Class of 2012, I have started to reflect on my experience. Looking back on the frantic conversations with my peers, I noticed how the conversation always turned to other students and their grades, their extracurriculars, their essays and their reputation within the high school hierarchy. Using the aforementioned qualifications, I figured out that we applicants are like pieces of toast in a breakfast buffet. We are placed in front of a group of starving admissions officers, curious to see what is under that silver lid. Underneath the lid could be three different kinds of toast:
Applicant One: The White Bread Toast
This seems to be everyone’s favorite kind of toast at first glance; crispy, golden brown, with a perfect square of butter on top. Even the brands of bread used to make the toast, like Wonder and Pepperidge Farm, sound like crowd pleasers. This is the popular student who seems like the perfect candidate for any top college: high test scores; high GPA; academic, athletic, AND artistic activities. What’s not to love about this applicant?
Unfortunately for this kind of applicant, their personal attributes could not shine through, and the journey to their dream school ends with a rejection. Perhaps these breakfast connoisseurs want something a little more dense and a little less bland.
Applicant Two: The French Toast
Okay, so maybe these officers are craving something eggy. And drizzled in maple syrup. And generally delicious. French toast is almost as beloved as white toast for its sweetness, flavor, and its ability to satisfy one’s breakfast palate. In terms of the college-bound high school student, this is the applicant that is still well-known and admired for doing things slightly out of the ordinary. Maybe it’s playing the euphonium, maybe it’s starting a freelance photography business, but in any event this candidate, like the white toast candidate, should be a shoo-in.
Yet, there is a downside to French toast. While it may be yummy and complex on the outside, at the end of the day, its core component is nothing more than the same white bread used to make white toast. Thus, the French toast applicant fails in conveying himself or herself accurately where it really matters, especially in essays.
Applicant Three: The Whole Wheat Toast
At the end of the breakfast buffet stands the last silver lid. Inside are rows of whole wheat toast: rich brown slices with hearty and filling grains. However, compared to its white and French counterparts, the wheat toast is usually the most untouched and the most unapproachable. This is the dark horse applicant who may not have high enough SAT scores, or predominantly does activities outside of school, or the one that simply seems to have the smallest chance of getting in.
However, whole wheat toast uses all parts of a grain of wheat (germ, bran, and endosperm), which gives the toast more flavor and more substance. As a result, the applicant in this category is able to reveal themselves, their passions, and their personality throughout their entire application. Admissions officers get a filling taste of a student and leave their breakfast satisfied.