Updated: Apr 17
“The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.”
- Neil Gaiman
Did you know March 14 is National Write Your Own Story Day? I’m a strong believer in the power of stories. They connect us to one another and the world. The idea of telling your own story can be daunting, but you know what? It can also be empowering and show you things about yourself that you never realized before. As you think ahead to applying to college as a senior, being able to tell your story with confidence—and really showing what makes you unique—will help you make a strong impression during the application process.
In today’s increasingly competitive college admissions process, it’s not enough to have stellar grades and extracurriculars; you have to stand out in your application essay and in scholarship interviews, telling the story of what makes you…you. This doesn't need to be an overwhelming process, especially if you start thinking about it now.
Your story matters, and you can use this time to write down what's important to you.
Here's how to use National Write Your Own Story Day to kick start your college application essays (no, it's not too early!):
1. Download my free Key Messages worksheet.
2. Fill out as much of it as you can, listing details on your academic achievements, extracurriculars, work & volunteering, and background & family.
3. Look for patterns or themes in what you’ve written down so far.
4. Use the second page to scope out key messages to define themes about you as a student, a family member, and a community member.
5. If you’re feeling inspired, take things one step further to begin to actually articulate your story. You can even find common application essay prompts online and try your hand at storytelling by starting to draft responses to a couple.
When you're finished, take a moment to acknowledge all you've already accomplished in your high school career. Be proud of how you've challenged yourself and grown in your talents and abilities. There's likely more than you give yourself credit for, and hopefully telling your story has helped you see that.
Learn more about how to develop your key themes, and how they can even help you choose your major when the time comes. In the meantime, if you want help preparing for your college essays, schedule a free introductory call with me or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.