In this article, we are going to share with you how to persevere with your college admissions game plan, and what steps you can take to ensure your success. Through your college admissions journey, you are going to experience challenges, obstacles, and setbacks, and it is important for you to understand that this is a normal, and natural, part of achieving your educational goals, including the journey to getting into one of your choice colleges. It’s the students who persevere and stay focused on their goals who are the ones that are ultimately rewarded in the end. To help you stay on track with your goals, here are five strategies to help you succeed:
1) Begin with the end in mind
Stephen R. Covey stated in his famous book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, “Begin with the end in mind.” That is, envision what you want to accomplish and where you see yourself in the future, and this will allow your actions to be consistent with your vision. If you have a vision of you already being a doctor, teacher, engineer, or successful business executive, then it’s much easier to stay motivated, and to take the steps necessary to get to your end goal. Accomplishing anything in life always begins with a vision, or a dream, of what you desire or wish for–then the physical manifestation of what you desire will come afterwards. And the more you desire or wish for something, the higher the likelihood of achieving or becoming what you desire will occur.
Also, it is important that you create a vision for your life, including how you want to design your life with the activities and organizations you wish to take part in, to what you envision yourself studying in college, to ultimately what career you will pursue. If you do not make a conscious effort to design your life, then by default you will be allowing others to design your life for you. This strategy is all about defining how you want to show up in the world, expressing your uniqueness, contributing in the way you envision, and being intentional in pursuing and accomplishing the goals you set for yourself.
2) Break your goals into bite-sized chunks
When you look at a big goal, it can easily be daunting, but when you break this big goal into bite-sized chunks, then it becomes much easier to stay motivated. So, if your goal is to earn a stronger GPA, breaking your goal into weekly, and then daily tasks, can be much easier than getting caught up in the big task of the end GPA. For instance, fully concentrating on earning high marks on each test or essay, or class project you are assigned, will lead to accomplishing your end goal of earning a higher GPA .
The same goes for achieving success in activities or organizations you join and with being part of a sports team. Many small wins will lead to the end goal of accomplishing your bigger, more loftier goals. Simply, the act of breaking your larger goals into smaller bite-sized wins will help you become more successful.
3) Use your obstacles as opportunities and leverage
Every successful student will have to overcome obstacles and challenges in the pursuit of his/her goals. Know this in advance, and instead of resisting obstacles and challenges, use these as important learning opportunities for ways to become stronger and wiser. Also, admissions officers like to see students who have been able to persevere through difficulties.
The only real difference between winners and losers is that the winners keep picking themselves up after experiencing obstacles and challenges and continue pushing forward toward their goals, while the losers just give up. Those who choose to be successful choose to persevere through difficulties because they know that success is theirs for the taking if they just try hard enough.
To succeed in achieving your goals, you must never see any obstacle as too difficult or impossible. View every obstacle as a learning experience and as something you can overcome with enough persistence and hard work. Part of the strategy of overcoming setbacks and obstacles is to identify them before you encounter them—because once you’ve identified them, they become much easier to deal with. Your goals are yours for the taking if you just work hard enough, stay determined and focused, and have a never-give-up attitude!
4. Know your Why
This goes along with “beginning with the end in mind.” Knowing why you are motivated helps you stay excited and passionate about your goals. What is your why? What is the reason you want to accomplish a goal or achieve a certain outcome? Is it to help people get better through medicine, become a health advocate for those trying to live a healthier lifestyle, or fight for those who cannot stand up for themselves through practicing law? Is it to make a meaningful and impactful positive difference in the world through helping disadvantaged and the underserved in some way? How about is it to use your talents as an athlete or artist to inspire, motivate and empower those through your skills or works of art?
Knowing your “why” helps you to stay focused, persevere, and get to where you desire to be. Otherwise, you’ll let chance and circumstance, and other people’s agendas dictate your life’s outcome. Your “why” should be your rocket fuel that propels you in the direction you envision yourself, and ignites, and continues to reignite, your burning internal desires and reasons for why you keep going each day, even despite challenges, obstacles, and setbacks. With having a big “why” you will live each day purposefully, action-oriented, and intentionally. Your why will be your catalyst that propels you through your journey of life.
5. Focus on having a positive and empowering environment
It’s no mystery that the people we surround ourselves with shape us as individuals. Every person you choose to associate with influences the way you think and act. The way you think about your life, how you act toward and react to the people and circumstances you encounter each day, how you set goals and spend your time, and most importantly, who you strive to be, is greatly influenced by the people you surround yourself with. This is why it’s critical that you surround yourself with people who are success-minded, who think positively, and who have high ambitions in life. Choosing to associate with people who have no ambitions, who are always negative and pessimistic, and who are going nowhere in life is the surest and fastest way to join them.
In fact, it’s been shown that if you teach someone the foundational principles of success (believing in oneself, thinking positively, setting effective goals, etc.), and put this individual in a group of people who have no ambitions in life and don’t follow any success principles, this alone is enough to prevent that person from succeeding.
Hanging out with people who accept mediocrity, or worse, engage in self-destructive habits, is enough to prevent you from achieving your goals. This also applies to your education. If you choose to hang out with students who earn poor grades, don’t take part in extracurricular activities, and don’t take school seriously, your school performance will be negatively affected.
If you want to succeed in school, it’s essential to associate with students who are serious about school and about their future, and who cultivate an empowering and positive mindset. It’s as simple as that.
We have outlined five important strategies to help you persevere in your college admissions game plan. Running into obstacles and challenges, and experiencing setbacks, is an inevitable part of life, but with a toolbox of strategies and resources, and the right mindset, the journey can be much easier, fulfilling, and successful!