Think Twice


Ms. Moulin, Assistant Principal

Think Twice before you quit a club, sport or activity. Think twice before you drop a class or quit a job. Your actions speak volumes about who you are. Colleges and universities are looking for character when they admit students to their student body. Employers want employees who have character and are dependable. What are the characteristics colleges and employers look for? According to an article by there are 9 personality and character traits that are important:

  1. Curiosity – a strong desire to learn, not just academics, but the world around you

  2. Persistence – persevering through challenges

  3. Risk Taking – venturing out of your comfort zone

  4. Compassion – having concern for other

  5. Open Mindedness – consider different points of view

  6. Social Consciousness – in service to society and to community

  7. Creativity – creative thinkers, problem solvers, innovators and entrepreneurs

  8. Collaboration – working well with others, putting the needs of the team over your own

  9. Cultural Intelligence – learn from people from a wide rage of cultural backgrounds

What you do in school, in your life, tells a story of who you are. Colleges and employers want to know your story and understand what kind of person you are before investing time and money into your future with their organization. Persistence is an integral part of the story you create about yourself. Persistence is working through difficult situations, challenges, overcoming obstacles, never giving up. You might also hear this quality as “grit” or “commitment”. As stated in the article 9 Personality and Character Traits Colleges Look for in Applicants by “Angela Duckworth indicates that “grit” might be a more effective predictor of success than IQ.” Watch Ms. Duckworth’s Ted Talk video on Grit (6:12).

Ms. Duckworth goes on to talk about Growth Mindset, which is extremely important in building grit and success. (I highly recommend watching the video.)

Colleges and Employers are looking for students and associates who don’t give up, who don’t quit when it gets tough or when you don’t like something. The colleges are in business to educate you, but mostly to make money. If a student drops out of school or transfers to a different college they lose money. Because college students don’t often transfer schools, it is very difficult to fill empty dorm rooms with sophomores and upperclassmen. Employers invest a great deal of money into hiring and training their employees, they can’t afford to have associates quit because it’s challenging or they are asked to do something they don’t like.

Before you drop that class, quit that job, or quit a sport’s team, think twice…

  • What are the issues?

  • Can you find a work around?

  • Can you employ strategies to help overcome obstacles?

  • Can you get help?

One reason colleges and employers like students who take three years of a foreign language is because it demonstrates perseverance. The class is an elective and demonstrates a desire to be curious, while also showing a commitment to something. The same goes for being in the band, or on a team sport, or in a club.

You’re not going to like all your teachers, peers or people you work with. Everyone needs to build skills helping them to get along with and tolerate people they don’t care for. This is HUGE, you need to be able to work with all types of people and personalities. Building skills to get along with others shows your ability to cooperate, collaborate, and be open minded.

In spite of your determination to persevere, there may be circumstances beyond your control. You move to a different state, you vastly underestimate the time requirements and are overwhelmed, you have family issues that can’t be helped. If you have a legitimate reason why you needed to make a change, then tell that story about yourself in your college essay or in an interview. This could demonstrate other important character traits about yourself, integrity, empathy…. Because something is hard, or uncomfortable, or less than ideal is not a good reason to make a change. In the article 9 Personality and Character Traits Colleges Look for in Applicants by Morgenstern uses a character traits worksheet to help students identify experiences and situations where they’ve demonstrated these qualities, guides them in cultivating these qualities throughout high school and helps them weave them into their personal statement and supplemental essays.

Who are you? What is the story you want the world to know about you? Remember actions speak louder than words — people are curious to know your story, your character and your GRIT.