How to Have the "It" Factor During College Admissions


A few months ago, my cousin asked me, “How do you teach the “It” Factor?”

I didn’t have an immediate response.

It got me thinking: What makes people magnetic? 

There are some people who you are simply drawn to--you can’t keep your eyes off of them. 

They are people you want to be around: they have presence.

So, what do these people all have in common?

If you take a closer look, you’ll notice that “It” Factor people are not looking for outside validation. Their validation comes from within.

Why is this important?

When validation comes from within, it causes them to glow.

And, when people glow, they brighten up the room. 

On the contrary, when people are looking for outside validation, they are attempting to take other people’s light. 

“Please shine your light on me, so I can feel brighter!” 

People with the “It” Factor are not in the spotlight, they ARE the spotlight. 

They are not “taking” from others, they are giving to them. They are sharing their vibrant energy, and it makes others like them. People naturally gravitate to these people because they feel better when they’re around them. 

People might not be able to put their finger on it, but they feel lighter around “It” Factor people; they feel energized. 

So, when it comes to writing college essays, how can an applicant display the “It” Factor? 

Can the "It" Factor even translate over to writing?

Sure it can. 

It starts with coming from a place of total acceptance and confidence. “I am worthy as I am.” 

From this place, teens are no longer writing to be validated; they’re sharing themselves as they are--authentically. 

When teens know and embody that they are already enough (regardless of the outcome of the admissions decision), they write essays that give light to the reader.

The admissions officer thinks, “I’m intrigued by this applicant: there’s something about this person that I like!”

The reader isn’t drained from reading because the applicant isn’t asking for anything: they’re giving. 

So, this application season, remind your teen to be confident in who they are just as they are. 

They already have the “It” Factor, they simply need to believe it.

Happy Writing!

This blog was written by Jaclyn Corley, Founder of The College Essay Captain and digital course creator of College Essay Playbook

The College Essay Captain helps teens overcome their fears and limiting beliefs around writing college application essays, so they are free to authentically share their stories with admissions teams.