Posted by: Jacqui Murray | August 29, 2011

College Bound: Take Inventory Part II

Do you want to be a Midshipman

Before you get lost in the business of high school this year, set up a spreadsheet of your activities. Don’t start it unless you have thirty minutes free to think, relax, organize. Got time right now? Here’s what you do:

  • Open Excel. Why Excel? First, it’s easy to add items to it when you need more room. It expands both horizontally and vertically without problems. Second, let’s make sure you know how to use Excel. You should–you’ll have to for classes.
  • Put a title across the top–Your name High School Achievements. Make the font big, colorful. Merge cells from A1-D1 so it’s a banner. Shade it so it stands out. Pink, blue, red–whatever color you want.


  • Now add categories — A3 add ‘General’. This will be for accomplishments that can’t be pigeon-holed in any other category. The other categories will be those most commonly asked about on college applications and interviews.
  • A13–Add ‘Sports’
  • A26–Add ‘Academic’
  • A39–Add ‘Creative’
  • A52–Add ‘Leadership’
  • A65–Add ‘Volunteer’
  • A78–Add ‘Scholarships/Awards’
  • Format each row with these headings so they stand out:


As high school goes on, add rows as you need them. Under ‘Creative’, I add sections to the right for solo pieces, awards, positions held in case Zoe decides to pursue her violin in college rather than go to USNA which has no orchestra. I know she won’t remember which pieces she played after several years, but they’ll be recorded here. It’s also good for applications to Honors Orchestras where they want to know what you’ve accomplished.

Column D is for which year you completed a particular activity. Here’s what it looks like filled in (from a friend who graduated):


For more, read College Bound: Take Inventory Part I.

Follow USNA or Bust on Twitter

Jacqui Murray wrote Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a tech columnist for Examiner.comEditorial Review Board member for ISTE’s Journal for Computing Teachers, Cisco guest blogger,IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write AnythingCurrently, she’s editing a thriller for her agent that should be out to publishers this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office, WordDreams, or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.


  1. […] will decide that in a few years. For now, answer a few questions about your qualifications and  collect your data so you can prove to them you are the ‘send the limo’ […]


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