The power of “so what”

The college application process can be quite a reflective, challenging and vulnerable one. Oftentimes leaving you feeling depleted and questioning basically everything. Transcripts, deadlines, college essays, what colleges to actually apply to, the application process itself, depositing and ultimately attending that one university. All without stopping to ask yourself, so what?

What’s the point? What’s the greater why?

As a college counselor my meetings can be quick. Nitty gritty. Let’s talk about your classes, your ambitions and where you want to go. I find most of the time, students and parents want quick, clear answers. But here’s the thing. Nothing about your future is quick or clear. Nor is it a defined path. Nor is there a one size fits all guaranteed ending. It begs the question so what? My challenge for you is to find moments to ask yourself so what?

So what is this all for? So what am I going to do with my time in the next four years. So what if I don’t get into University of My Dreams. I’m choosing to write about my service project in my college essay, so what? Is this meaningful to me? Does it tell a larger story of my goals?

Asking yourself so what allows for you to find your deeper why. So what if I get into a large research university? Maybe the classes will be too big, what if I look at liberal arts colleges because I want to explore a bunch of different majors easily.

So what lends itself to a deeper truth rooted in what matters to you and how you make choices that build momentum to your greater goals.

Your time, energy, interests and focus are all valuable. Pausing to ask yourself what it’s all for, is a quick check providing you time to reflect on your larger goals and seeing if what you’re doing today matters in the big picture. That what you’re doing today matters and is aligned with tomorrow.

My next question to you is, so what are you waiting for?

Visiting Gap Year programs in Israel….Now THIS led to a deeper so what for me. See what you can dive into!

Published by Casey Barneson

Author of The College Wellness Guide. Beverly Hills High School College Counselor.

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