Leon Jacob (Class of 2017)

How do you feel about TAMS coming to a close?

“My junior year, I was totally ok with TAMS ending. I was like wow, summer’s coming up, I’m happy, I’m gonna go see my Flower Mound friends again...this year it’s so different. I don’t want to leave. Its ending in three weeks or something. And that’s actually kinda sad..it’s terrible. I don’t want it to end.”

What are some of your favorite memories from these past two years?

“So junior year it was the region triathlon trip. That was one of my favorite ones. We camped out and it looked like Narnia, there were a bunch of different tents set up everywhere and it was kinda like a battlefield, but everyone was friends. We raced the next day, and that was probably my best race ever. This year, it was totally prom. Prom was so lit. That and the trip to Dallas I took with two of my friends, the beans. We went to the Dallas Museum of Art, and then we played frisbee in Klyde Warren Park where one of my friends almost threw the frisbee out of the park, over the bridge, and onto the highway below.”

What are you looking forward to in the near future?

“Well, if I go to UT, I’m gonna do a half ironman [triathlon event], and so I’ll start training for that starting in a couple weeks. Besides that...summer! It’s gonna be fun! I’m gonna cook a lot, and I might even travel to the Netherlands which is where I was born, but there is a very small chance that I will go and visit my homeland.

What is an important lesson that you have learned?

“I think people are what matters. So take time to understand other people, and connect with other people, because that's the differentiating factor between us as humans and everything else. It's our ability to really connect with people. We have this distinct privilege of being human so we should utilize that privilege and really try to connect with others.”

What have you learned from the college admissions process?

“The college application process was mostly logistics, and sorting things out--so being organized and keeping track of what you’ve done and what you have left to do. Except for the essays. The essays were so much art, its was crazy, it was just all about trying to be artistic and convey who you are in a creative sense.”

How have you dealt with acceptance and rejection?

Dealing with acceptance is very easy to do. Dealing with rejection, is, well for me it involved writing down my thought process after rejection. You come to some conclusions, and whether you like them or not they exist. You just have to remember that at the end of the day you should judge yourself on absolute standards instead of relative standards, as in relative to other people’s perception of you. And that matters, but at the end of the day it shouldn’t matter as much as your intrinsic self worth.”

What advice would you give to juniors beginning the college admissions process?

“One, create a logistics system that is as fail-safe as possible. Two, the biggest thing is that you don’t have to start writing, but start thinking about what you want to write. If it simmers in the back of your head for long enough, really nice ideas will start popping up later. If you wait until the day before, you’re gonna write something down but you might not get the chance to really have that spark in your writing.”

What inspires you?

“What inspires me is not what I want to do with my life, but what I feel that I have to do with my life. For example, campaigning for animal rights is something that I feel compelled to do. It’s not like I want to do it, but I feel like it’s something necessary, and that my life will, if not go primarily in that direction, at least take up a big portion of my efforts in the future. And that’s just an example. A lot of people say ‘I want to do this, I want to do that’, but I read this book, and it’s called The Road to Character, where the guy basically says screw whatever you want to do, do what you feel as if you have to do. And that’s called a vocation, or a calling, or something like that. And so finding that vocation is what inspires me.”

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