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May 24, 2024

Think Your Stories Aren't "Application Material?" Think Again.

Ever wonder what really grabs an admissions officer’s attention?

In my recent discussion with him, Ryan Kelly sheds light on the power of unique experiences and hobbies in his past students’ applications. From being a child actor to foraging for mushrooms to living in a Russian trailer park, the unexpected chapters of these students’ lives made their stories unforgettable.

Watch Ryan's video here.

Here’s why embracing your unique experiences can be your secret weapon:

  • Unusual Hobbies Grab Attention: Whether it’s a quirky pastime or an unconventional hobby, these unique interests can set you apart from the crowd.
  • Your Oddities are Assets: Those strange experiences? They’re not just footnotes. They could be the highlight of your application, showcasing your adaptability and curiosity.
  • Diversity of Experiences Enriches: Your unique experiences contribute to the diversity of thought, background, and interests that institutions value highly.

Ryan once wrote an entire article about the best and worst hobbies he’s seen in applications. It’s definitely worth a read if you’re curious about what might be worth including.

In general, if you’ve ever felt your unconventional hobbies or experiences weren’t “application material,” think again. It’s precisely these narratives that can make your application not just seen but felt. Remember, it’s not about fitting a mold; it’s about breaking it. Dare to showcase the chapters of your life that make you, unmistakably, you. After all, why settle for being just another application when you could be the story they can’t stop talking about?

I recommend watching highlights of conversations with our other experts, where we discuss more admissions strategies on YouTube or TikTok .

  • Rob

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Rob Humbracht is founder and CEO of Passport Admissions and lead author of The Savvy PreMed. He is also CEO at ReelDx and Co-founder of HEAL Clinical Education Network. FOLLOW HIM ON LINKEDIN.

For over 11 years, Ryan Kelly has guided hundreds of students towards acceptance into top colleges and graduate schools, with an emphasis on standing out while also staying true to themselves. Read more about Ryan here. Or book a free intro meeting with him here.

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