Uncovering Your Story: Embarking on Self-Discovery
The college application process is about so much more than your academic performance. Yes, it’s true that grades carry the most weight when it comes to making admissions decisions, but there are so many other components that will be considered. So, when admissions officers are reviewing a pile of applications filled with students with stellar grades, what’s it going to take stand out from the pack?
At the end of the day, self-discovery can be key to setting yourself apart for all of the right reasons. Colleges will affirm applicants who know exactly who they are, what they’ve accomplished, and what they want to achieve next. However, figuring this out for yourself and articulating it in your applications isn’t always easy, which is why we’ve compiled our top tips for embarking on your own journey to self-discovery.
Put Pen to Paper
Journaling is an excellent way to get in touch with your thoughts and emotions while also honing your writing skills. Carve out 5-10 minutes, ideally every day, to reflect on how you’re feeling and write down what’s really on your mind. It can be challenging at first, but try to make it part of your daily routine so you can get into the habit of it. After a few weeks, reread some of your first journal entries to see how your thoughts are evolving and look for any reoccurring ideas, which can help you learn more about where your priorities lie. There are even apps like Day One and Diaro, which you can use to take your self-discovery journey even further.
Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone
Sometimes we learn the most about ourselves when we challenge ourselves to take a break from what’s familiar and try something new. Whether it’s getting out into nature and going for a hike or trying out a new hobby, give yourself some time to experience something totally outside of your status quo. After you finish your activity, reflect on what you enjoyed most, the thoughts that were going through your head, and what the most rewarding part of the experience was for you. Trying something new can help you along your journey to self-discovery by revealing more about how you adapt to changes and challenges.
Sit Down With Family and Friends
It can be hard to figure out who you really are, so why not surround yourself with the people who know you best? When you’re working to learn more about yourself it can be helpful to ask questions and do your research, just like you would for any other subject. Sit down with some of the people you’re closest to and ask them to describe you in three words. Take note of the phrases that come to mind, and maybe even write them down so you can identify which words come up most frequently.
Self-discovery is challenging, and it’s going to be even harder if you’re sleep-deprived, exhausted, or totally run down. Make sure you’re eating nutritious meals, getting in plenty of physical activity, and giving yourself ample time to relax and reflect on your days. When you’re feeling your best it will be a lot easier to sit down, think about your goals and what you’re working towards, and pinpoint what sets you apart.
Self-discovery is challenging for everyone, but it can be a major advantage throughout the college admissions process and even as you look into future careers. If you’re getting ready to apply to college and searching for more insights into the process, our team of expert admissions counselors can provide guidance throughout your journey.