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  • Malia F.

How to Start a Passion Project for College Applications

As a recent high school graduate, I understand the pressure of college applications mixed with the craziness of senior year of high school. One of the most impactful elements of my application was my passion project, which not only helped me stand out from others but also allowed me to give back to my community in a meaningful way. Here, I'll share my journey and offer tips on how you can start your own passion project.

Finding Your Passion

The first step in starting a passion project is identifying what truly excites and motivates you. Reflect on your interests, hobbies, and personal experiences. A question you can ask yourself is what issues or causes do you feel strongly about? For me, the inspiration came from a childhood memory of undergoing heart surgery and the comfort I received from a simple act of kindness—a nurse bringing a cart of goodies and stuffed animals to my hospital room, donated by a volunteer. This drove my desire to give back to the same hospital so children could share a similar experience I did.

Choosing a Project

Once you've identified your passion, think about how you can turn it into a project that serves others. Your project should be something you are genuinely enthusiastic about, as this will keep you motivated throughout the process. Here are a few tips to help you choose a project:

  1. Identify a Need: Look around your community and identify areas where you can make a difference. Is there a particular group of people who could benefit from your help?

  2. Leverage Your Skills: Consider what skills you have and how you can use them. Are you good at organizing events, creating art, or tutoring others?

  3. Set Clear Goals: Be specific when defining what you want to achieve with your project. This will give you direction and help you measure your impact.

My Passion Project: Sewing Stuffed Animal Bears

As mentioned before, I decided to sew stuffed animal bears to donate to children in the hospital. Here's how I went about it:

  1. Planning: I started by brainstorming potential ideas and then setting a clear goal with what I wanted to accomplish in the next year, which was to sew 100 stuffed bears. I researched patterns, gathered materials, and created a timeline.

  2. Taking Action: I spent countless weekends and holidays sewing the bears. Each one was unique, as no one looked the same from the other. One tip I recommend is to set a weekly progress goal. This way, if you have extra time during the week, you can work on it and complete any remaining tasks over the weekend.

  3. Distribution: Once the bears were ready, I contacted my local hospital to arrange a convenient time to drop them off. 

Tips for Success

Starting a passion project can seem overwhelming, but with the right approach, it can be a fulfilling and impactful experience. Here are some tips to help you succeed:

  1. Start Small: It's okay to start with a small, manageable project and expand as you gain experience.

  2. Stay Organized: Keep track of your progress and stay on top of your tasks with a planner or digital calendar.

  3. Ask For Support: Don't hesitate to ask for help from family, friends, or community members. They can provide help, valuable resources, and encouragement.

  4. Be Persistent: There will be challenges along the way, but stay committed to your project and remember why you started it in the first place.

Personal Reflection

Completing my passion project was one of the most rewarding experiences of my high school years. Not only did it strengthen my college applications, but it also allowed me to connect with my community and make a difference in the lives of others. Through this project, I learned the importance of compassion and the power of giving back.

Starting your own passion project can have a profound impact on both your personal growth and your community. So, take that first step, and watch how your passion can transform lives.

By sharing my experience, I hope to inspire other students to embark on their own passion projects. Remember, the key is to find something you care deeply about and to take action. Whether big or small, your efforts can make a significant difference. Good luck!


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