When looking ahead to their academic future, many students decide that admission to an Ivy League college is their primary goal following high school. To that end, the question becomes one of how to stand out from the crowd of hopeful applicants. Rather than put their entire focus on what impression they make as a student on paper, whether via their admissions essay or the accomplishments on their transcript, studies are suggesting a more effective tactic. Students can mold themselves into an upper tier candidate by virtue of incorporating the following regular practices into their daily routine. Once these habits become second nature, potential college applicants will not simply make the impression of Ivy League material, but embody the qualities of those most prestigious of undergraduate students.
Start the Day With a Made Bed
This is a great way to bookend each day. You start with a small accomplishment before even taking on the first task that the day presents. Likewise, once your day is over you’ll always have a made bed to come home to. Even if the day turned out disastrously or failed to align with any of the goals or expectations you had when leaving the house, a made bed is a good reminder that tomorrow is always another opportunity to get up and try again.
Put in the Work
Here the phrase “work smarter, not harder” comes to mind. Hard work is certainly its own reward, but there’s much to also be said about strategizing the way that you work so that your effort yields consistency. If you’re already on a roll working on a particular assignment, that’s a great moment to capitalize on the momentum that you already have. Once one assignment is complete, start work on another one. This is a great way to not only avoid procrastination, but to stay proactive and even ahead of the curve regarding due dates.
Read… Read… Read Some More
The more you read the more you learn, and the more your mind is open to new information. Reading both creates and satisfies a curious mind. Reading for knowledge leads to reading for pleasure and helps cultivate a habit that will serve you throughout your life. First, however, it will help open the doors to the higher education institution of your choice.
Crowdsource Your Success
Talk to people who have successfully applied to your desired school, as well as people who were not accepted. Lean on the expertise of older or more experienced people in your life, drawing upon people within the extended community of your school, temple, or extracurricular activity who might be of assistance. Study groups are also a great way to strengthen and maintain your academic skills, as well as a good way to start networking wherever your academic path leads you next.
Dedicate Time for Yourself
So much of our time is given to our interests, such as sporting events, video games, or social media, that we can forget to make space within our daily schedule for ourselves. Not simply the time we spend studying or doing homework, or even applying to colleges, but the time spent on ourselves in the name of simple enjoyment of our time. Identify new hobbies that might interest you and create a space to explore those hobbies. These are the personal attributes that will make you truly stand out in the admissions crowd.
Showcase who you are, beyond your academic achievements, in order to give admissions officers a sense of what you’ll bring to their school that only you can contribute.