Planning your way to success – one client’s journey to Northwestern’s Class of 2025

Stephanie, a top-ranked Junior Golfer in Hong Kong was 14, when we first met 4 years ago, in November 2016. A good student with a passion for science and engineering, the College Golf route seemed like a great way to leverage her passion and success in golf for admission into a top-20 US University. With that, we began working towards her dream.

Dreams become reality when we are able to “ground” them to something immutable – e.g. your value system – what you prioritize and value the most.

In the context of college admissions, this is asking yourself:

“What is one the one thing I will not compromise on, in making my college decision?”

The answer, is the one constant for the remainder of the college admissions journey acting as your shining beacon, guiding you towards your dream, regardless of the path that you take to get there.

Stephanie’s “non-negotiable” was to get admitted into a top-20 university (academically ranked). Given her strong golf credentials and passion for the sport, we made a plan to pursue the college athletics route, to provide Stephanie with additional leverage in admissions, to compliment her already strong academics.

The funny thing about plans, however, is that the earlier you start, the more they are liable to change. Midway through our journey, we determined that the caliber of colleges that Stephanie was getting interest from, through golf, (ranked 20-50 academically) was falling short of our goal.

Keeping in mind our priority of a top-20 university, we decided to adjust our strategy towards a more academic-oriented route of profile building and essay work to package her narrative and application.

Despite this, none of Stephanie’s efforts in golf went unacknowledged – they were still very much at the forefront of her application – featuring heavily in her essays and extracurriculars. It was, just, not the sole focus, as we had originally planned.

Therein lies the importance of starting early – every time your plan evolves, you are gaining clarity – clarity on your goals, and the “right” pathway for you to take to satisfy your priorities.

At AddedSport, we refer to “college admission” as a journey, not a process. After all, what is a journey, if not a series of decisions that lead to various stages of course correcting and re-evaluation, which gets you one step closer towards achieving your goal?

This type of mindset requires strong conviction, which can only be acquired after having spent enough time evaluating and re-evaluating your priorities / “non-negotiables”. Having started her journey early and being advised to expect the unexpected, Stephanie was able to adopt an open mindset and adapt to the changing circumstances, which allowed us to remain nimble in the shifting landscape of the admissions journey.

Having clarity on her priorities enabled Stephanie to commit 100% to the process – meeting with me 2 times a week for the 6 months leading up to the application deadlines, working tirelessly to convey how her passion for Chemistry, academic research, golf, and her creative personality all came together to make her a strong candidate for Northwestern.

Ultimately, starting early gave us the freedom to make calculated and strategic decisions that played to Stephanie’s strengths and allowed us to present her story and profile in the best light for any college admissions department.

So here we are, 4 years later.

Stephanie chose to #DreamBig. She started planning early, sought and obtained help, and persevered through the volatility of the college admissions journey.

Stephanie planned and manifested her successful admission into Northwestern.

Be like Stephanie.

After all, we did it. You can too!