This poem discusses the overwhelming pressure that is put on students to justify their right to be admitted into universities or to receive scholarships based on their extracurricular activities. Many working-class, first-generation college students are unable to participate in organizations and programs that offer students a more well-rounded college experience. This can lead first-gen students, like the author, to feel isolated, inadequate, or illegitimate. "Applications for Dummies" expresses Sanchez's incessant fear that she will never be able to compete with other students who were given the opportunity to build more worldly resumes, despite her strong academic commitment and intellectual potential.
Sanchez, Carla M.
"Applications for Dummies,"
First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience: Vol. 3
, Article 9.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/fgv/vol3/iss1/9