Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Selling Yourself To College


Samantha Corona, Reporter

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Seniors Will Duerr and Evelyn Lamond, and juniors Lucie Combredet and Genesis Maciel describe their semester in one word.





Sometimes it can be quite difficult to think about colleges. It can sometimes be even more difficult to think if you’re doing enough to get into your dream college. 

Staying calm and not stressing yourself out is easier said than done. But in the end, it’s worth it. Students at Venice High are putting in the work to show colleges what they’re made of.

Students looking towards their futures have already realized the challenge of that this semester.

Colleges are always ready to accept students and bring them onto campus. But they aren’t looking for someone who is traditional. They want someone with that spark, to see what they can bring to the table.

Lamond, a Venice High senior, believes that the essay portion of the application is the most important.

“I think a strong essay is a must…regardless of your grades or extracurriculars, when you write a good essay, you can showcase your drive and personality,” she said.

“Colleges are looking for students who will thrive in a new environment and who have something to offer that’s never been seen before,” said Combredet. “Colleges also look for students who academically excel and will help their school prosper as a community.”

Everyone knows the most hard-working kids in high school are the 11th and 12th graders.

“I would say a lot of students that I’ve been meeting with so far definitely seem stressed out in terms of trying to balance it all,”  says college counselor Vick Garcia. 

Sometimes it can be overwhelming balancing your whole life out with sports, work, school activities, and homework. 

Duerr, a Venice High senior, is one of many students who are dealing with the stress of maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

“Keeping your head straight and not losing sight of your dreams and aspirations is probably the hardest part of this high school year,” he said. 

“When being pushed, it’s hard to stay hopeful and motivated, but making sure you do is important to personal growth.”

Maciel, a member of the Girls Swim Team and Tennis Team, has experienced struggles with managing the little time left outside of school to work on academic coursework. 

“I think the hardest part of being a junior is time management,” she said. 

“There are so many things I have to balance between homework, multiple sports, and work. Apart from these things, I still need to find time to socialize and rest.”

Not only is it difficult to balance school and your personal life, but it can be hard to keep yourself from being distracted. Luckily, these superstars know the way around that struggle. 

“Organization is important,” said Maciel. 

“I think that organization is a crucial part of staying focused. When you have your priorities set, it is easier to focus on what you must do.”

You need to cut out the distractions, too, according to some students. 

“I avoid going on my phone while doing homework to not easily get distracted,” added Combredet.  

Lamond also had some advice to add.

“Honestly, there are a lot of distractions in school and I personally think a lot of time is wasted. Luckily, I’m pretty good at time management and not procrastinating, which I think has benefited me a lot.” 

While Venices’ hard-working students keep themselves on track, they also make it their top priority to include themselves in many clubs, sports, and other activities. 

“Participating in school sports is very important to me,” Maciel says. “Not only is it a way to involve yourself, but it also promotes physical health. It’s beneficial for our mental well-being and self-esteem. 

“Commitment is also a huge part of sports in school. Sports help teach self-discipline, teamwork, and responsibility.”

Combredet, a member of the girls’ tennis team, has a similar perspective.

“I really have learned so much from being a team and helping your teammates,” she said.

“Sports do look good on college applications but I believe there’s no reason to stay on a team if you don’t even like the sport. Being committed to your team is pivotal and very fun once you start to work as a team.”

When choosing extracurriculars, Duerr advises doing things that you love to do.

“If you can’t commit then don’t do it, it probably means something,” he said. “Only commit to the things that you love to do. Don’t force yourself into playing football or soccer just because you think it will make you look good. Get involved with the things that make you happy, it will get you further.”

These juniors and seniors participate in a lot of extracurricular activities. 

“I’ve played varsity soccer for all four years,” Lamond says. “I’ve joined a few clubs throughout my time at Venice and I’ve done some volunteer work outside of school as well as jobs.“

Combredet and Maciel both play in three sports; water polo, tennis, and swimming. They’ve also participated in the same clubs; Heal the Bay, Chatelaines and Esquires, CSF Delphians, Venice Boardriders, Interact club, and UCLA EAOP.

Duerr is involved in many extracurriculars, including BoardRiders. 

“We are working to help low-income skate and surf communities and also I’m organizing a mural project on skateboards to showcase the talent in Venice’s community,” said Duerr.

“I’m doing a lot but it’s not time to take my foot off the gas.”

These students have also already started their college experience early through community college classes. 

“I found it interesting and it’s a great way to expand your knowledge and help with future classes,” Combredet says. 

Positive relationships with teachers are also helpful.

“When you can advocate for yourself and engage in class, teachers are more likely to understand what you need help with and provide support,” Lamond said.

“Our teachers have so much to share and forming bonds with them will help you better understand not only that specific subject but more about learning and its importance,” said Duerr. 

“Be nice to your teachers. They only want what’s best for you.”

All the stress of trying to balance school, work, extracurriculars, as well as your social life is overwhelming and complicated. But for what? Why do all this? 

“I commit to working efficiently and well during my high school years to have good chances later on and to make myself and my family proud,” Combredat says. “It teaches that nothing is given, to be able to be successful, you have to put in the work.” 

Once all the hard work has paid off, Maciel says that there are great things that lie ahead. 

“I do all of these things for myself,” she said. “I want to ensure I have a successful future. By making sacrifices now, I will be able to enjoy the benefits later.”