Tell Your Students to Trust Themselves!

This time of year, we talk to a lot of high school counselors and other professionals about gearing up for another college application season.

We’d like to share a favorite message we tell our own students at the beginning of every season.

Trust yourself. This is your journey, so own the process.

When you are done, you will be a more confident, empowered writer, ready for college and your future.

We hope our message resonates with you as you enter another college admissions cycle.

Students are inundated so much inaccurate and out-of-context information about admissions and the essay, they may start to second guess themselves. That won’t help them.

Let’s help them.

Protect them a little bit from all that noise.

Cheer them on; help them feel good.


Before your students start prep work for any college essay, just talk to them.

Tell your students they have something important to share.

Tell them colleges want to hear what they have to say.

Make sure your students know that to succeed, they must trust their own words, style, and voice.  

Tell them you trust them. And remind them to trust themselves.

Every year, we work with students who tell us they cannot write; they don’t believe in themselves.

When that happens, we challenge them.

We ask, Can you think?

They always say yes.

We respond: Well, then, you can write.

Works like a charm. Every time.

The college essay is a thinking task as much as it is a writing task. And if your students can think, they can write.

There’s more about this, and other great tips for student and parents, in our book for students, How to Write an Effective College Application Essay: the Inside Scoop for Students. You can download a free copy here.

Feel free to share it with your families.

Wishing you a successful season.

Kim Lifton, is the President of Wow Writing Workshop. Her 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. You can email Kim anytime about the college essay; she will always respond