By Leslie O’Connor, College Counselor

College Corner appears in the Wyvern Weekly with suggestions and dates to help make the college search and application process as stress-free and enjoyable as possible. We have a number of college events coming up next week! Note: All college visits not otherwise noted take place in the College Resource Room on the Downtown Campus.

Monday, October 29th

  • University of Kentucky – 10:00 – 10:30 a.m.
  • Ohio Wesleyan University – 10:25 – 10:40 a.m.
  • The University of Alabama in Huntsville Prospective Student Reception at 7:00 p.m. at the Louisville Marriott East at 1903 Embassy Square Boulevard. Click here to RSVP.

Wednesday, October 31st

  • Oxbridge Summer Programs – 10:00 – 10:30 a.m.

Friday, November 2nd

  • SAT registration deadline for Saturday, December 1st test
  • ACT registration deadline for Saturday, December 8th test

Saturday, November 3rd

  • SAT
  • Preview Day at Miami University (Oxford, OH) at 9:00 a.m. Click here for more information.

Tuesday, November 6th

  • Career Exploration Workshop for High School Students from 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. at Jewish Family and Career Services at 2821 Klempner Way. The cost to attend is $225. Click here to register online. For additional information contact Erin Heakin at 502-322-1934 or

Thoughts On Building a Resume
One of the most frequently asked questions I hear as a college counselor is, “Am I doing the right activities?” I know the idea of building a resume for college can cause stress among students and parents. There is no “magic list” of activities colleges expect to see and, more importantly, students should not decide what activities they participate in based on what they think looks good on a resume. It’s easy to get caught up in the myth that if I do X, Y, and Z, whatever that is (climbing a mountain, conducting research at a local college, juggling and playing the violin at the same time), then the result will be that I will be accepted into a particular college. There are many factors that go into an admission decision, and that criteria often changes from year to year, so it is better to be doing what you truly enjoy.

I like to use the expression “depth vs. breadth” when advising students on how they spend the precious free time they have after school, on weekends, and during breaks. Colleges want to see a commitment to a few things rather than a laundry list of dozens of things. A substantial commitment to a few endeavors is admirable.  

Another issue that can be difficult for some students is the idea that colleges are looking for leaders, which students can interpret to mean captain of a varsity sports team, student council president, or editor of the newspaper. Although these are great leadership opportunities, only a few students can, and will, be able to hold these positions. Leadership comes in many forms and colleges are interested in how you as an individual contributed your time and talent to a cause or organization. That can mean participating in a fundraiser or a walk, or organizing signatures for a petition. It can also mean that you stood up for a friend when s/he was being bullied or you helped an elderly neighbor by mowing her lawn. Try to make an impact in whatever you are doing; that is what will be worthwhile.

It’s also okay to quit an activity that you no longer find enjoyment in or to shift your priorities to another activity. Colleges expect you will be developing and changing interests in high school, so if freshman year, you decide to no longer be part of the swim team because you want to perform in plays, that is a fine choice. It’s also not expected that you will be amazing at everything you do. If you love singing but get cast for the chorus, not a lead role, you are still integral to the performance and hopefully enjoying the experience.

Lastly, many students have to balance school with work and/or family responsibilities like caring for a sick parent or taking care of younger siblings. Many students don’t have the time or financial resources to be part of some of the organizations that require fees. Colleges understand those circumstances and certainly acknowledge that as a valid and important part of your life. Don’t hesitate to talk about those things in a college application.

If you are unsure of how you are spending your time, ask yourself “Am I really interested in this and willing to commit my time and effort to this activity?” If the answer is “Yes,” then you are making a good choice.