Self-awareness and finding your passion goes a long way on your college application and in life

Post By: COYD Staff

success in collegeToday, we are going to discuss a very important component of the college admissions process that is not on your admissions checklist: self awareness and finding and following your passion. As most of you know, the most selective colleges want to admit the nation’s future leaders. They want to see prospective freshmen that exemplify greatness. We hear from the most successful people on Earth that the only way to do great work is to be passionate about what you do.

Well how do you figure out what you are passionate about? First, you need to figure out who YOU are, NOT who your parents want you to be, not who your friends want you to be, not what society says you should be. When you don’t know who you are, you will not be fully capable of figuring out what you are most passionate about. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you should know the exact career you want to go into before college. Passion and career work hand in hand but they are not synonymous.

So how do you figure who you are? In a previous post titled “How to get the most out of college: Figuring out yourself and making a plan” I gave advice to soon to be college freshmen on this very subject. I think this post is relevant and beneficial for soon to be high school seniors as well because it will not only help you during your college career but also help getting into college as well. In this post, I cover the following 3 things: figuring out your Myers Briggs Type Indicator, finding your values and passions and finding your skills. Go to this blog posting to learn more about these three things. After you read this post, another important thing is how to show that you know who you are on your application. Even though your intentions are there, how you communicate them are just as important when it comes to the college admissions process. Below are two things you should show on your application:

1) Your application should be organic and show consistency

Every part of the application should organically come together. The essay, the resume, your letters of recommendation need to be consistent with each other. If you say that you are passionate about something, it should show throughout your application. For instance, if you write an essay regarding your passion for children when you went to Mexico to build an orphanage, you should show other instances of your passion for children throughout your high school career or else it just looks like you went to Mexico to pad your resume.

2) Your application should show growth and maturity

Not everybody expects you to know exactly who you are when you are a freshman in high school. However, by senior year, you should show that you have grown. That every experience contributed to who you are today and that you learned from every experience. Like Aldous Huxley said, “Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.”


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