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April 24, 2018

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Home » Feature » Education

Using your strengths and characteristics

Applying to college is a high school rite of passage, and it goes without saying that it is a particularly stressful time for students. The daunting task of compiling the experiences and noteworthy accomplishments of their academic careers is a source of anxiety for most, if not all, high school seniors.

But aside from working closely with their college counselors, how else can students be better prepared for the application process. Here are a couple of suggestions to consider.

First, take time to reflect and get to know yourself. At Concordia International School Shanghai, students become familiar with their own strengths and character starting in middle school. By assessing their values in action (VIA), students have an awareness of how they use their character strengths in the moments when they feel most alive, and in moments of stress. What strengths do you use when you contribute to the classroom environment? What strengths do you use when participating in the community around you?” These are important questions to ask yourself. The answers tell you who you are as a person, and they are the foundation of who you will be as a college applicant.

Second, research schools and programs in depth. You should know as much as possible about a school you hope to attend and its programs.

Make lists of the things you like and dislike about each school. In your application, demonstrate this knowledge by connecting your own strengths and interests to specific characteristics within each school. Students who successfully complete these two tasks give admission officers a clear idea of who they are as a learner, how they will contribute to the community, and the strategies they will use to engage in each school’s specific learning environment.


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