What have you done for them lately?

To apply and get accepted to college today, you'll need people to help you.

You'll need your counselor to answer your questions, to send your transcripts and maybe even to write you a letter of reference.

You'll need teachers who will write letters of recommendation on your behalf.

You might need your basketball coach, your ballet teacher, or your vocal instructor to share positive reviews with the appropriate people on campus.

You'll need your parents to support you both figuratively and (likely) financially. 

So, (long) before you go asking these people for their help, ask yourself, "What have I done for them lately?"

What have you done to make your US History class even better for your teacher?  What have you done to show your counselor that you appreciate her advice?  What have you done to be the kind of player every coach wants on his or her team?  What have you done to show your parents that you appreciate everything they've done and will continue to do for you?

I'm not suggesting that should bribe these people or do anything insincere.  I'm saying that whenever you ask someone to do something for you, the person naturally wants to feel like you've earned the right to have that favor done.  If you've gone out of your way to earn the right, they'll be even more inclined to work hard to help you. 

Are you earning that right?  If not, what could you be doing differently?  

You earn it in different ways depending on the person from whom you need the help.  But you still need to earn it.