David mentioned in one of his posts that some of the best of EphBlog is what arrives in the comments. I agree, and note that it is sometimes from anonymous, and seemingly intermittent bloggers.

In the spate of athletic posts, an incoming freshman, “MT”, made an appearance. He said he was an athlete, and he expressed chagrin at the tone of the thread and wondered instead why athletes weren’t encouraged and applauded for their success at “balancing a challenging school with a time consuming passion.” 

In the comments that ensued was one by “Reader”.  I thought it’s gentle wisdom perfectly captured the positive aspect of pursuing and balancing one’s passions, whatever they may be. 

Thank you to “Reader” for saying so much in so few words, no small thing after all, especially here on EphBlog. ;-)

MT –

In my experience the “best”, most well rounded, most interesting, most successful people are those that have seemingly disparate interests – athlete/scientist, musician/historian, etc., etc. And they are not necessarily the ones who work their butts off to get straight As because they find other things interesting and worth spending their time on. There is a real advantage to being an athlete or a musician or an artist whose major is not phys ed, music or art at an academically rigorous school like Williams. These students have a variety of things to focus on; to be trite – they really do learn how to work and play well with others, to develop priorities, learn how to manage time etc, etc. There are many student who can put the study time in and get great grades at places like Williams; labeling anyone as an underachiever based solely on academic performance is doing them a huge injustice.

I would much rather hire/work with a person like this than one who is an academic achiever with “appropriate” ECs.

I hope that the school you [chose] to attend offers you lots of opportunities and that you take advantage of them, not to become a stellar academic, but to let you grow as a person.

Good luck


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