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Kids With These 5 Personality Traits Are Most Likely To Get Into A Good College

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What Do Colleges Look For? Personality Traits That Help Your Chances Of Getting Into A Good School

Getting into college is quite different today than it was when I did it in the 1980s. Back then, you pretty much chose where you wanted to go, and with a little flash of a charming personality shown to the admissions committee and relatively decent grades, you would get in.

That's sure not the way it is now!

Figuring out how to get into a good college has never been more challenging. The application process feels so competitive admissions that chances of being accepted at the school of your choice is increasingly more often a difficult reach.

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It is possible to get into the college of your dreams, however, especially with some keen insight into the types of personality traits universities view as the most likely to indicate you'll be successful student during your years spent on their campus.

If you want to know what colleges look for, check out these 5 personality traits found in students who have a leg up on others.

1. Self-aware

People who are self-aware have an advantage over others in their quest to get into college because they know who they are in the world.

They know what they want and how to get there. They know their strengths and weaknesses. They know what they bring to a group.

A person who is self-aware can easily identify the school that would be the perfect fit for them, as well the steps they must take to get accepted to that school.

The good news is, it’s never too late to become self-aware.

To begin, take an inventory of what you want in the world. If you don’t know what that is, consider doing some research using some online self-assessment tools. What Color is Your Parachute? for Teens is an excellent place to start.

Get to know yourself. That's the best way to get accepted to the right college for you.

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2. Ambitious

If you want to go to college, you need to truly want to go to college. That may seem obvious, but hear me out.

These days, with the amount of competition out there for your space at the college of your dreams, it's especially important you have the ambition to get there.

The basic definition of ambition is "an earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as power, honor, fame, or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment."

If you want to go to college, you need to decide right now that you can and will do the work necessary to get you there. You can’t sit around doing work that is "good enough" and expect to get into whatever college you want.

I can promise you that many of your peers have already been working hard for years, knowing their ambition is necessary to get them into a good college when the time comes.

3. Persistent

If you want to get into college, it's important that you are persistent, which means you continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or opposition.

When I was applying to college, I knew exactly where I wanted to go. I just barely had the grades to get in, but I knew my sparkling personality would help me overcome that issue.

I was persistent in my efforts to get myself in front of anyone who could influence the admission decision. I had my formal interview first, then wormed my way into another one a few months later when visiting the college with a friend. I then arranged an alumni interview so a third person could weigh in on what I was like as a person.

Yes, I did get accepted.

So, don’t give up in your efforts to get into the college of your dreams, no matter what obstacles are put in front of you!

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4. Community-minded

One important personality trait for someone who wants to get into college is one that many people miss — being community minded.

Yes, academic and athletic accomplishment are important, but equally important is demonstrating an eagerness to give back to your community.

Do you volunteer in your town? Do you mentor younger kids or candy stripe at the hospital or serve food at your local food kitchen?

By working in your community, you demonstrate to the admissions council that you are not only centered on your own personal success, but you are interested in serving the world as a whole — that you are someone who will take their ambition and persistence and use it for good.

If you aren't already doing so, get out there in your community and make a difference.

5. Creative

While it might seem like getting into college is a pretty linear process, there are actually lots of twists and turns and surprises along the way.

Looking good on paper is not the only thing you need to get into college. Someone who is a creative thinker looks at a situation from many angles and figures out the best way to handle it.

For example, my daughter didn’t take a single AP course in high school because she didn’t like the format of the classes. She didn’t like having to study to take a test. She wanted to learn, discuss, debate and explore nuances.

When it was time to apply to colleges, she decided to explain to the admissions committee why she didn’t take those classes because not having taken them made her seem less ambitious.

Because she was a creative thinker, she explained to the committee why she chose to take the classes she did, that she wanted to learn more and be more challenged. And, guess what! The committee loved that she thought outside of the box and that she wanted to learn more than she wanted to pass a test in order to get college credits.

My daughter just graduated from NYU.

Take advantage of your creative thinking and set yourself apart from the crowd. Being another cookie-cutter student isn’t going to get you into the college of your dreams. Positioning yourself creatively will!

A good education can change your life. Getting it at the right college for you will make that change even more profound.

Do a little self-examination right now. Are you self-aware, ambitious, persistent, community-minded and creative?

If those personality traits aren’t part of your basic nature, consider working on honing them more. Doing so will give you a leg up over your competitors.

Good luck! You can do this!

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Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC-based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate whose writing has been published on The Huffington Post, Prevention, Psych Central, Pop Sugar, MSN and The Good Man Project, among others. She works all kinds of people to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live, so email her to get started.