Meaningful Involvement

Principal’s Guide by Grade:

Experiences that will help shape the future and build a resilient mind and body

9th Grade

  • Look for activities and classes that appeal to the real you. Consider where (in your free time) you spend your energy and find joy. What are you doing when you don’t notice time passing?
  • Don’t be afraid to expand your friendship group. You will find new ones that share your interests, and you won’t lose true friends that you already have.
  • Pick one or two activities and teams. You can do everything you want; you just can’t do it all at the same time. Colleges look for students who demonstrate discipline in making choices that encourage their growth.
  • Colleges want to see students who pursue their interests in depth. Rather than students who scatter time and attention among many things, they look for students who know how to persist in acquiring deep knowledge and expertise in areas of interest.
  • An officer title means little to college recruiters.
    • Admissions officers don’t look for students with long lists of titles; they look for students who demonstrate leadership in their actions, who show an ability to work with and influence others, and those who get things done and can write about their learning and resilience experiences. They expect students to cite specific examples in essays and interviews.
    • Writing college essays requires describing experiences that presented difficult challenges and the growth you experienced as a person and as a learner by persisting through those challenges.

10th Grade

  • Begin to narrow and focus your involvement to activities that suit you.
  • Seek out classmates that share your purpose and your interests.
  • Begin learning to build a network of people who will support you and the goals you want to achieve.
  • Avoid the temptation to do too many things. We can do everything we want, but not all at the same time.
    • Universities and employers want people who can pursue a goal with focus and perseverance.

11th Grade

  • Consider ways to demonstrate leadership. Leading is not about holding office. Leading is communicating, building a collaborative team, and helping guide that team to an objective.
  • Narrow your leadership to one or maybe two things where you can demonstrate accomplishment through teamwork.
  • Colleges look for students who can lead without the authority of office. Learn about collaboration & effective team work.

12th Grade

  • Pursue experiences out of your comfort zone.
  • Test your sense of Purpose (that goal that gives your life a sense of meaning).
© Thriving Teens 2020

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The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.