The crisis started the summer going into my senior year of high school. I, along with many others, thought to myself: what the heck am I going to write my Common App essay on? In taking inventory of my likes, dislikes, and personal experiences, I realized that on the outside, I was actually just like most girls at my school — dare I say, basic. Of course, I had passions and creative ideas, but I just had little to show for it. Here is the lovely thing about high school: you spend the first three years facing immense pressure to conform to the status quo and look, talk, and act like everyone else. But when senior year starts creeping up on you, you start to panic. How will colleges know that you’re actually different from everyone? What sets you apart and makes you stand out in the pool of applicants?
Maybe you started a tie-dye apparel business or took on photography during quarantine — at least then you were a step ahead of most. I just wished I had only listened to my uncle when year after year he tried to convince me to start my own blog, and even after he offered to pay me a dollar for every post published, I couldn’t find the confidence at the time. If only I had made the time to place action behind the things that were meaningful to me and made me unique.
So, now you’re in college. The status quo has gone out the window. Finding and connecting with your purpose should be your number one goal. I highly recommend finding an outlet for self-expression that’s unique and meaningful to you; it changed my life. Whether it’s starting a blog or podcast, designing and selling apparel, or in my case, creating content for social media, you might find that it brings a sense of personal fulfillment you were missing in your life — or at least, the resume booster you desperately needed.
I have always had an eye for aesthetics when it comes to fashion and editing photos. I’ve also always worked hard on my Instagram, but it wasn’t until the end of my first semester of college that I decided to turn it into a personal fashion blog. I figured since I loved taking pictures and styling outfits so much, I would share those passions with the world. Since taking the platform seriously (about one year ago), I’ve posted a total of 137 times on my Instagram page, a combination of photo and video content. What started as a creative hobby turned into a project that I poured hours out of every day this past summer into — an incredibly purposeful expression of my own creativity.
I’m beyond grateful that sharing my passions has allowed me to work with brands, introduced me to so many other creators, and even landed me real, paid work experience. Whether it’s content creation or another passion project, this is your sign to take what’s meaningful to you and share it with the world. It may be too late for your college essay, but I promise you’ll be pleasantly surprised by where it takes you.