We are in the college application season and many students struggle in deciding what to write about themselves in their personal essay. Being able to present themselves in a bright picture may not be the strong suit of some students. All teenagers feel challenged writing about themselves and opening up their hearts to a stranger reading about their lives.
Students tend to start with obvious — and sometimes trite — topics: successes and failures, times of struggle, or mistakes that produced valuable lessons. However, the best essays are born when students dig deeper and share something that makes them tear up, or causes their eyes to twinkle or their tones to shift.
The most efficient way for students to identify these special personal moments is to hear themselves. Students need to record themselves and listen to the recordings. They will spot that special moment of kindness, vulnerability, love, disappointment, or passion. In the past, students were using tutors, essay writers, or teachers to help them define and choose the special moments to write about. Either way students who talk about moments of genuine kindness or disappointment show more authenticity than students who focus on other subjects.
Kindness builds character, and colleges (and employers) care about character. Certainly, the school grades and the standardized tests scores matter, but in a time when many students are performing well in class or tests, kindness allows students to stand out.
Recent reports from several schools of education show exactly this trait. College admission professionals are more drawn to applicants who show concern for others, promote good citizenship, or develop the common good. At Damian SAT ACT Prep, we encourage students to define themselves and look hard inside their memories and find that special moment of kindness or passion about caring.
At Damian SAT ACT Prep we encourage students to be themselves and let their inner kindness build character. Our society needs people that care. Getting into your top-choice college should be the bonus of being kind, not the reason to be kind.
What does it say about you if you feel the most fulfilled when you are being kind to children or to strangers or to your teachers or to an elderly woman crossing the street? It will tell you something about yourself, and give you a reason to be proud of who you are.