Tell Me Something Good! (And Pat Yourself on the Back)

We’re past the Nov. 1 deadline. Do you feel any relief? Will you be able to unwind for the short Thanksgiving break?

We hope you give yourself a bit of time off, too (which means please try hard not to read student essays while roasting that turkey or watching football!)

As we move into regular application season (which includes those UC deadlines), it’s a fabulous time to pat yourselves on the back for all the good work you do with your students, year after year.

We don’t do that often enough.

In fact, in our  College Essay Community and Wow Partners professional development programs, we get so busy helping one another solve problems, we sometimes forget to share some of the good news, the reasons we do this work!

Last month, Susan got an email with some amazing news from Sue, a member of the College Essay Community. With her permission, we shared her news inside the Community Forum.

We want to share the email with you, too. Why? Because we think it’s important to take time to reflect on what’s meaningful about the work we do. Here’s what Sue had to say:

I just had my final session with one of my students.  Very bittersweet – his essay is fabulous and most importantly HE is happy with it. 

But I’ve been enjoying our sessions and am sad we’re done.  I’m lucky – ALL of my students this year are good kids who are pleasures to work with. 

The two who started with me over the summer are blowing the supplements out of the water.  They come to me with drafts that don’t need much revision. 

I keep wondering what I’ve missed in them, and then I had the epiphany that they’ve learned HOW to attack the essays. 

Very humbling and gratifying to have been able to make that kind of impact and validating that I *AM* good at this!!!

Thanks so much for all the support and fantastic resources.

That’s Sue’s good news. We really like good news.

In fact, every morning, after my business partner, Susan Knoppow, and I meet, we end the conversation with this:

Tell me something good.

We’ve been doing this for nearly four years. It keeps us grounded; it’s often the highlight of our day. It can be something big or small; there are no rules.

What’s my something good today? You. We always appreciate you and the hard work you do to support students and their families on their journeys to college.
In honor of you, and all of our college counseling colleagues, we have made a donation to InsideOut Literary Arts, which has helped more than 60,000 of Detroit’s youth build their literacy and academic skills through creative writing.
We believe in good writing and the people who teach it. We appreciate InsideOut, and we appreciate you.
Wishing you a happy, healthy holiday season, from the Wow team: Susan, Joe, David, and me.

Now it’s your turn: Please tell me something good. You can reach me at

Wow provides students and educational professionals a simple, step-by-step process for writing effective college essays, so students can stand out and tell their stories. At Wow, we’re transforming the college essay experience from daunting and frightening to calm and empowering.

Kim’s articles on the college essay appear regularly in print and on the web, and her work has been featured in a variety of newspapers, magazines, and online publications. Kim is a former newspaper reporter and corporate communications manager with a BA in Journalism from Michigan State University.