It’s back to school time. This time of year for high school students is focused not just on current school work, but how to be admitted to the very best college or university. Kids work tirelessly trying to get the highest grades they can, prepare for the SAT and ACT to get the highest scores possible, as well as join multiple clubs and sports teams and volunteer organizations just to stand out from the crowd.
And they are not the only ones working hard; parents are spending countless hours driving kids to and from activities and spending a lot of money to make all these things happen for their kids. And although a strong GPA, high test scores, and being involved in charity work seems like it is enough to have you land in your dream school, character and personality are also important factors for college admission.
Colleges are looking for dedication and leadership skills. This has led many organizations to offer expensive leadership seminars, which can cost thousands of dollars, with a promise that it will ‘look good’ on a college application. The problem is that they are not part of a student’s everyday experience. The truth is, those few hours at a leadership seminar might help get you started, but real life application of those skills is what will really matter. And not just to get you into college, but in real life during college, career or other activities.
What is going to be important is who you are in real life and your dedication to a particular activity and vision. It’s not simply the leadership skills that were taught in some random seminar that are important; it is the results of the leadership skills that were learned through activities the student is passionate about that will make the difference.
Like other sports offered through schools, martial arts is an opportunity to join a group activity. What makes martial arts different is this group is really working on personal skills. If your child isn’t one for “traditional” sports, the martial arts family at Lehigh Valley Martial Arts might be a better fit.
Plus, this sport isn’t a ‘toss this on my application’ solution so common in our quick fix society. It provides the basis, the fundamental principles, needed to form the habit of success in all endeavors throughout life. Be it school, work, relationships, even parenting, success starts from within us and then with our ability to influence others.
Our philosophy for martial arts training happens to be aligned with many of the values and skills that colleges are looking for. Our students don’t advance in rank because of only time spent in the dojo. Those students with the self-discipline, the non-quitting spirit and the inner drive to push themselves beyond their limits are the ones who advance. They have put in the effort to master those character traits as well as the physical skills. A black belt isn’t something you have, or even something you earn, a black belt is something you become. And that is what makes you stand out in the crowd.
Getting good grades, high test scores and being involved at your school is excellent, but doesn’t necessarily define who you are. What defines you is your inner strength, self-discipline, respect for yourself and others, your determination, your leadership ability and your character. College admissions officers are looking for those types of students to bring those qualities to campus.