Applying to college can be daunting for even the most prepared high school student and graduates. No matter how many extra-curricular activities you participate in or how high your grades are, you may feel there is constant room for improvement. If you are like most high school students, you are probably preparing your application years earlier than when you are submitting it.

It is common for students in grades ten and eleven to attend SAT workshops, learn a musical instrument, learn a foreign language, participate in high school sports, and more, on the unstated assumption that such abilities and skills will look favorable to a college admissions officer. The truth is, there is no one mold of college student. For assistance when determining what colleges look for, consult with a student coach today.

Pretending to be someone you are not will just lead to frustration, boredom, and, ultimately, burnout when focusing on your education, your college degree, and your future career. For instance, you may have joined a local fencing team or Irish Dance class in order to show your interest in a foreign, exotic sport. However, if you would rather be playing soccer, you will not enjoy fencing or Irish Dance as much. You will not progress as much as you would like and ultimately, your participation in activities you have no interest in will be a waste of time.

Much of the same advice can be found around the web, on sites like The Princeton Review. The goal of this article, however, is to not parrot others’ points. It is to help you realize future success by focusing on how you view yourself in the past, in the moment, and in ten years. To help you visualize your future progress and create a timeline trajectory of your future goals as they relate to your education, consider consulting with a professional student coach.

How Can I Visualize My Goals? I Haven’t Achieved Anything Yet!

You may be in high school and you may think that you have not accomplished anything because, well, the vast majority of people have a high school degree. Actually, there are a great many things you can do to raise your prestige to prospective colleges while still gradually implementing your goals.

Here are some ways you can start on the road to success while still in high school:

  • Self-publish a book and sell it on Amazon.
  • Produce a no-budget indie movie and show it at a local film festival.
  • Start a sports team for neighborhood youth.
  • Learn a cool language and start offering translation service to local businesses.
  • Build a web application and market it online.

A Visualization Model: Past, Present, and Future

Being able to visualize your future success is a great way to motivate and discipline yourself to gradually achieve it. For more visualization models, consult with a student coach today.

You of Yesteryear

The “You of Yesteryear” is your past self. It is comprised of everything you did, said, and accomplished. It is all your past mistakes and current regrets. While you should acknowledge the existence of the “You of Yesteryear” to move forward, ultimately, this version of yourself will forever remain in the past. Learn lessons from past mistakes, grow as a person, and transition to focusing on the present, as it relates to your future.

You in the Moment

“You in the Moment” is your present self. The only action you have over your present self is to determine whether you will remain the “You of Yesteryear” or become the “You of the Future.” Every decision we make uses precious minutes, even seconds we do not get back. Time is the most precious resource we have because it is finite. The “You of the Moment” should always be focused on the “You of the Future.”

You of the Future

The “You of the Future” is the most important driving force, motivation (whatever you want to call it), when determining your future. Your future plans do not need to be set in stone. They can change month to month, even day to day. However, you must have some idea of what your future success will be.

To determine what your future self will do, simply visualize your success. What do you want to do with your life after high school? Where do you want to go? What do you want to see? How will you get there? For some high school students, they want to become investment bankers and work on Wall Street. For them, they will usually obtain a degree in finance, commerce, or economics, and then move to New York City.

Other students want to work for a large company like Boeing or Ford. For these students, they will usually obtain a degree in STEM like mechanical engineering, mathematics, physics, or computer science. There are, however, many different career paths for careers at large corporations and companies.

What Your Past, Present, and Future Choices Have to Do With College Applications

Once you know what you want to do, you will be able to determine your present choices that will lead you in that direction. When focusing on writing college application essays, you should have a clear story to tell, and be able to convince your college admissions officers as to why they should accept you as an incoming student. Choosing cookie-cutter extra-curriculars, classes, hobbies, and more, while in high school will simply not cut it. You need to be able to present an authentic version of yourself in your applications. More importantly, once you realize a realistic goal for the future, you need time to prepare for success. To create a comprehensive plan for success, or to find alternative paths to achieving future goals, consult with a student coach.

Here is a simple table template to help you understand your goals:

Feel free to extend or change this template to fit your goals. Once thing is certain: You should not waste your time on things that do not fit in with your plan. Become obsessed (but in a good way)! You only have so much time in this world. It would be a shame to waste it. If you would like more help to realize your future goals, as well as how they fit into your present situation, consider consulting with a professional student coach today.

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