There’s more to the story of You
Sometimes, you can get so focused on “telling your story” in your college essay that you forget to include a strong portrait of the current you, your present self, with your present aspirations.
So don’t be surprised when we pitch “meditation”; it’s the amp to your music, optimizing everything you do and bringing out your best, now. Which is exactly what you want to show schools.
Take a big breath.
Who’s breathing? Sounds like a ridiculous question, yup. But– it’s You.
This you is the person colleges are saying YES to. The one they want to meet and to know.
When colleges accept you, they are banking on your future, not your past.
Right now is the path to the future
What you are doing with your time, energy, and enthusiasm right now is a better predictor of what you will be doing in one, two, or ten years (when your alma mater can brag that you are its graduate) than any story you might tell.
Why? Because it’s what all that story stuff has led to, the young adult person choosing a direction (or many) in the world.
So your core stories are still key, are still your power vehicle for showing your strongest personal qualities and what has shaped you…but don’t drop the potato there.
In your essay, point toward the future, and be real
What are you up to right now? What matters to you, what are you committed to, what are your short and long terms aspiration? (We all know those can change: that’s fine.) These questions help you define your present and point towards your future.
Plus, it’s great for self-knowledge
Asking these question leads to greater self-knowledge– something colleges look for in applicants. But it’s not a service you can pay someone else for, Kaplan doesn’t have bubble sheets to help you get there; it’s DIY, develop-it-yourself, through introspection, and it’s a premium quality of good leaders.
Not sure how to get started on self-knowledge quest? We recommend basic meditation, available guided for free from this radical and relatable teacher, Tara Brach. Which you can begin as soon as you finish reading this blog post. Or you can deem it more important and pressing, and so skip the rest of this post entirely. We won’t fault you for being clear on your priorities.
Show colleges who they are adding to their “team”
I don’t know about you, but if I’m picking players for my team, I want those likely to stick around when the balls repeatedly foul, or when the crowd surges the field, or when it’s time to strategize– not someone who sits like a lump on the bench thinking about games past, hoping the world makes things work out for him or her.
And who you are becoming…
So tell your story, and tell it well; and then remember, schools are reading you like a Magic 8 Ball for the person you’re becoming, and that’s who they are choosing for their community.
Here’s some wise advice from my colleague crush
Rebecca Joseph, fabulous and smart admissions advisor, inspired my post with this article. She gives suggestions about what to include in your college essay that will help the admissions officers see who they’re betting on–You, now, You, tomorrow, You, Writ Large.
So look closely at the present, and unlock a better tomorrow. (That cincher is corny, tweetable, and, yup, accurate. But you can write a better one. And if you think you can’t, or you want a little guidance with that self-knowledge thing, contact us. We’d love a break from meditating on our baby’s poopie diaper output.)