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Brainstorm everything you’ve accomplished: Take time to think about your accomplishments over your high school years. Ask your parents and your counselor to help with brainstorming.

List everything that makes you most stand out besides grades and scores: That includes awards, leadership roles, community service, special talents or hobbies, jobs, projects you led, and so on.

Note experiences that vividly show your determination, initiative, and passion: For example, colleges might be impressed if you stayed after school to tutor struggling students