Question: I am finishing off my junior year at a smaller, rural high school where I am currently in the running for the number one spot of our class as well being involved in athletics and other activities. However, next year I am going to live with my grandma and will be attending a larger high school. With a 3.93 GPA I doubt I will be Valedictorian, and I also don't think I will be able to make it in varsity athletics, knowledge bowl, and other activities with the higher selection. With a 29 on the ACT (planning to retake), I'm not expecting to go to an Ivy league college, but I am still worried about how the decreased involvement would look. My question is: How can I make up for this, or am I worrying about nothing?
Switching from a small school to a big one in your senior year will definitely be a challenge. As you suggest, in your new school you may not be the valedictorian, and you might not make the sports teams or other selective activities that you enjoyed at your previous school. However, this transition could be an excellent topic for your main college essay—one that would enable admission officials to understand why you don't hold school offices or star on sports teams and which could tell them a lot about you as they read how you've weathered this significant change.