“In college, time is different—that is, you have it.” During my interview with an admissions officer from Kenyon College, that statement was by far the most intriguing.

She had asked me what I disliked most about high school, and I told her that the need to demonstrate commitment to activities kept me from trying out things I might have enjoyed. She pointed out that, in college, I’ll have fewer classes per day, and, although there will be a lot of work, managing it on my own time will be different from spending eight hours per day at school. And with hundreds of clubs and organizations, college is the perfect time to explore new interests.

But in my case, it’s not so much about exploring new interests as revisiting old ones. When I was younger, I was in choir. I was in every school play, sometimes with lead roles. I spent hours each week ice skating with my best friend, although I was never dedicated enough to learn any fancy figure skating. I practiced the piano every day, went to karate two-to-three times a week, and occasionally took art classes outside of school. Somehow, I still managed to fit in a lot more time to relax than I do now.

In high school, I’ve kept up karate, piano (although I don’t take private lessons) and art, although it can be hard to find the time for those activities. For the most part, I’m happy with the way I spend my time, but every now and then I feel wistful about the things I’ve given up.

In information sessions with various colleges, I’ve learned that it’s better to have a couple extracurriculars kept up all through high school than to have a long list and no consistency. I understand that colleges need to see that we’re capable of sticking with things. However, it’s counterintuitive that people are expected to know what interests them and dedicate themselves to it in high school, but generally have more freedom to explore in college. It would make more sense to try a variety of activities throughout high school, and focus on just a couple later in life.

Regardless, I’m looking forward to being able to act again, or relearning how to sing. I’m hoping that having more freedom to manage my own time will mean more variety in my life. It’s strange that higher education will be my chance to have a little less structure, but I’m not complaining.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email