Follow each week as we present step-by-step suggestions to achieve post-college success with less senior year stress.
As college students, most of us are fortunate enough to be able to focus all of our time, thought, energy and passion on just one person: OURSELVES. So, you would think it would be easy to keep track of everything we do, accomplish, try to do, fail at doing, learn from etc. After all, this is the time in our lives when we will spend hours writing cover letters, personal statements, getting interviewed for jobs we desperately need and trying to figure out our futures in general. Why then, is it so hard to think of good, concrete examples of proud accomplishments, learning experiences or meaningful failures when the time comes to actually answer those questions, and write those personal statements or cover letters?
The answer is that there is just too much going on in our lives right now. Personally, I often find myself thinking, “This would be a great thing to mention in an interview!” after completing a group project, then that thought flies away as soon as walk into my house and start chatting with my housemates.
The solution to this? Write it down silly! Of course we all want to be more organized and that never seems to really happen, but there is a website designed to do just that. iDoneThis is an interesting website (not just because there is a lowercase ‘”i” in front of the name) designed to help you keep track of your daily accomplishments from the most mundane: “I didn’t snooze my alarm clock this morning!” to the most important: “I persuaded my class group to move in a different direction with our project, and got some excellent feedback on my leadership skills from my professor!”
While the former can serve as a record of your daily discipline and habit making process, the latter is prime material for interviews and personal statements. I remember one interviewer asking me, “Describe a time you persuaded a group to do something; how were you able to do that?” I’m sure there are plenty of times in my time at Michigan that I persuade people to do things, I just couldn’t think of a single example at the time of the interview.
If iDoneThis isn’t for you, find a tool that works. That may be another online tool or even just a plane old paper journal. Perhaps, like me, you’ll find it easier to record everything in the notepad app on your iPhone. The point is, we all forget the things we think we’ll remember and we’re only getting older, so it’s best to start keeping track of the things that matter most to our future right now….so write that down, before you forget.