Two of my favorite words are "oomph" and "pithy." Successful college applicants have oomph, and they know how to be pithy.
"Oomph" means energy, vitality, or enthusiasm.
Students with oomph aren't just plodding through their classes and activities hoping to get into a good college. They're high impact players. Things are better when you've got people with oomph around. They make classes, clubs, teams and even just lunches better for everyone. They make our college counseling program better for our counselors, too. We're always on the lookout for students with appropriate levels of oomph.
"Pithy" means brief,
Great college essays have pithy beginnings, like this one from one of our former Collegewise students:
No messing around there. That kid came right out and said something meaningful.
You don't have unlimited space on college applications. You don't have unlimited time during college interviews. Being pithy helps you make the most of your allotted space and time.
So bring some oomph into your life. Don't just sit in your English class; put your hand up and try answering a question. Be happy to be at basketball practice. Thank your boss for giving you an opportunity. Instead of waiting for your friends to plan something fun, start planning and wait for them to follow.
And when it's time to tell your stories to colleges, don't hide behind long explanations that don't really say anything. Don't be shy. Come right out and make your point. Get pithy.