My friend's husband owns a bar. Last month, I had a fascinating conversation with him about how he runs it.
This guy was raised in Ireland and has a vision for how an Irish pub should be run. He knows exactly what kind of feel the bar should have. He knows how to adjust the volumes of the orders he places to stock the bar based on the seasons and how much business he can expect to see. He knows what type of customer they want to serve and how to make those patrons happy. And most importantly, he knows how he wants the Guinness poured.
As he explained it to me, any legitimate Irish bartender knows that Guinness needs to be poured a certain way. The glass needs to be held a particular angle. The pour should be stopped halfway through and restarted again to help create the perfect head on top of the beer. When a customer complains that he wants his beer faster, he'll remind the customer that he ordered a Guinness, not a Bud Light. And nothing drives him crazier than seeing one of his bartenders rush a pour. As he put it,
"If you're going to pour it, pour it right."
This isn't a guy who takes over a conversation by talking only about himself. He only kept sharing more because I kept asking him questions about it. I was totally fascinated by it.
I don't own a bar. I have no interest in owning a bar. And I don't even enjoy Guinness. But the fact that he feels so passionately about what he does makes for great conversation. It's interesting to learn about something from a person who knows so much more about it than I do.
That's what you want to do in your college applications.
If you're a basketball player, there's a good chance the person reading your application wasn't. If you're a guitarist, an artist, a stamp collector, an EMT, a dancer or a Civil War buff, chances are that your reader won't know as much about it as you do.
So don't hide how much you know or how passionate you are about the things you do. Show the colleges that you care about your interests like this guy cares about his Guinness. Your interests make you interesting. They make the colleges want to meet you so they can know more. And when a college wants to meet you, that gets you a lot closer to being admitted.