Do You

The title should be the guiding principle of every college applicant. The college admissions process is inherently student-centric, driven by the student’s quest to identify the one institution of higher education where each person discovers more about their unique aptitude

Yet, today, students and parents perceive the admissions process as college-centric, forced to contort into The Ideal Applicant to even have a chance to be selected. Thus, often, a student perceived as successful (especially if admitted to elite colleges) becomes a template, for which their extracurriculars, course schedules, summer programs, and essay topics are copied until that one student isn’t admitted. 

As a consequence, at the time of actually submitting applications, high school seniors fret about appearing like every other kid on paper…because they do. Then, in the competitiveness for admissions, which is really increasing subjectivity in admissions evaluations amidst annually record-breaking numbers of applicants, students panic, wondering how to distinguish themselves from the pack. 

However, the college application process itself is a solution to college admissions inflation—too many applications, too little variety and decreasing value— where college applicants can conduct a thorough and searching inventory of their lives, (re)discovering their inherent aptitude, contextualizing their experiences, so admissions officers have an understanding of a student’s motivation, the “Why?”, if you will, underlying their experiences. 

Then, each applicant will naturally distinguish themselves from the pack, telling their own unique story from their own unique view, in their own unique voice. But, many students need objective, experienced advisors to query them in guided self-reflection, and as a sounding board to test their assertions about the meaning of their lives in spirited debate and examination.  

And, for rising high school juniors and younger, the best advice is to “Do You. Be You.” For parents, ask questions so kids form their own views and nurture the genius inherent in each child, though tragically seldom discovered. Then, each student will naturally distinguish themselves, with the added bonus of gaining confidence in their inherent purpose for being and benefiting their fellow human beings. 

Creative Marbles was founded by teachers who appreciate helping students craft insightful essays, first in the academic classroom, now as part of the complex college admissions process. For more information, please contact us

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

About Jill Yoshikawa, Ed M, Partner of Creative Marbles Consultancy

Jill Yoshikawa, EdM, Harvard ’99, a seasoned, 25 year educator and consultant, is meticulous in helping clients navigate all aspects of the educational experience, no matter the level of complexity. She combines educational theory with experience to advise families, schools and educators. A UCSD and Harvard graduate, as well as a former high school teacher, Jill works tirelessly to help her clients succeed.
View all posts by Jill Yoshikawa, Ed M, Partner of Creative Marbles Consultancy →