• Dr. Thom

What the College Search Is and Is Not


Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash

So much pressure and stress can come with the college application process. Let’s fix that by getting a few things straight.


Your college search is:


About you and who you think you want to become next, as you understand it right now.


You don’t need to have it all figured out, but you do need to spend some time figuring what you are about right now. What do you want to achieve?


A chance to share aspects of your story as you know and understand them right now.


Storytelling is a vital part of putting together an application that will help you accomplish your goals. You are not filling out a form. You are telling your story to date, and projecting forward on where your story may go from here.


An overly formal way of talking about yourself.


If you are like a lot of young people, you might not be accustomed to talking about yourself and find it rather uncomfortable. You need to get over that. If you don’t write your story, someone else will and you will probably not like how it turns out.


A process that repeats.


In one way or another, you will experience this whole process again and again throughout life. Not just in applying to educational institutions, but in applying for jobs, leadership positions, and other opportunities. With every step of this journey, you are gaining experience you will rely on next time.


The college search is NOT:


A Culmination.


This is not an ending, it is a gateway you are moving through on your way to adulthood.


A final judgment on the last decade and a half of schooling.


College is not the outcome of grades K-12; it is the continuation of you evolving into who you were put on this earth to become.


A box to be checked.


Sure, you can be forgiven for just wanting to get through all of this. Apply to all the colleges to which your friends are all applying. Just get past it all. Eventually though, you will have to face the hard questions that come with big-time adult decisions: Who am I and what do I want? And most importantly: what am I willing to sacrifice to get that thing that I want?


A gift to pay back to those who sacrificed for you


This shows up from time to time and it often sounds like this: “I will just go to College ABC. That will make my mom happy.” I have yet to meet a parent who would be genuinely happy that their child abdicated their decision-making responsibility simply to please someone else, them included.


About the college.


The college search is about you, your dreams, goals, hard work, and all your quirks. No amount of admissions marketing will change this. Use this opportunity to learn from your mistakes, and most importantly, grow closer to who you are meant to be.


Not working with us yet? Feeling stressed by the college search process? Let's chat.

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