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Let’s Be Honest About Fun

This week, I asked a student what matters to him most about college. His answer was “having fun.”

Was this the wrong answer? Since students have fun at many colleges, it’s an easy requirement for me to fulfill as I build a list. Of course, I need to know more than that–but what if the student doesn’t know themselves? I appreciated this answer from a very authentic 17-year-old.

So I don’t need to dwell on the “campus life fun” aspect of building a college list too much. I prefer to focus on the colleges’ priorities–engagement with academics.

If you’ve spent your high school (and maybe middle school years or earlier) developing an interest in aspects of science (COVID has encouraged a wider interest in epidemiology and the history of pandemics), then immersing yourself in this information is one type of “fun.” Are you enthusiastic about following the markets and learning about companies in a particular sector? That’s your type of “fun,” whether you’re investing real money or not. Do you want to pursue a degree in Computer Science because you love to play video games and enjoyed a CAD course? Dig deeper into how the parts of the games you love come together, build an app or even a computer (lots of great how-to youtube videos), and create a website–it will provide hours of “fun.” I could go on with examples from many fields, but you get the point.

Going to parties and attending or playing games is fun. But the fun described above reflects curiosity, perseverance, critical thinking, and goal setting. These components are pure gold in your essays and applications–they literally jump off the page. That will make our work together smoother, easier to complete–and certainly more fun.


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