Top Colleges Want Curious Students: Here's 6 Ideas to Spark Curiosity

Posted by Neal Schwartz on August 25, 2021

curiosity light bulb

6 Ideas to spark curiosity


Applying for college is a very existential experience. It demands students to ask themselves the following questions: “How am I special?”; “How will I change the world?”; “What am I meant to do with my life?”. While the answers to these questions can be daunting for anyone, let alone a teenager, there is one common factor that all colleges seem to be looking for in prospective students: curiosity.

But for many students, curiosity is difficult to make concrete. Yes, you might be curious about outer space or curious about a certain upcoming film, but how can you translate this curiosity into something marketable for colleges? Or what happens if you’re just not curious? There are plenty of students that have yet to pinpoint that point of entry, and that’s totally okay. Here are some ways to identify and spark curiosity for students who are stuck.

 Take to the Internet

The Internet, when used correctly, is not a black hole of scrolling, but a very valuable resource for sparking curiosity. Take to motivation-friendly websites like, where just watching a video or two could provide an entryway to a new field of interest. Or follow people and companies on LinkedIn that are doing interesting things. Seeing the success and drive in others can be a motivating factor to find that drive within.

 Positively interact on social media

While we often focus on the negative impacts of social media, we can’t forget the importance of its networking potential. For example, on Instagram or Twitter, instead of just liking or re-tweeting a post, get engaged! Send a message and start a conversation, which could then turn into something bigger.

 Journal or blog

Sometimes the best way to get the creative and curious juices flowing is just to have a free-write. This can be in the form of a private journal or a more public blog. Start without a goal in mind: just get down your thoughts. Think about what you did yesterday, what’s coming up in the future, how you feel about that. Think about your relationships and family, or shows you’ve been watching or music you’ve been listening to. Get it down on paper and then zoom out to see if there are any patterns.

 Take a course

In the online-learning boom, it’s wise to take advantage of all the free courses there are online. Coursera is a great platform which offers college-level courses in all domains. Instead of going for something you know about, try an intro-level course to something totally new. Even if it’s not your cup of tea, you’ve learned a valuable lesson about what you like and don’t like.


Here’s a task. Everyday for the next week, skim a couple of newspapers and pick out some headlines that interest you. Write these down somewhere, and see if there are any patterns in the articles that you choose. If so, you might have a new path to explore. If not, that means your interests are quite diverse! Reading as much different material as you can will help you to develop your own opinions and have an informed perspective. If an author really speaks to you, reach out to them on social media to open a door. Make a connection wherever possible.

 Students learning about clubs

Talk to people

Perhaps the best way to spark curiosity is by meeting people from diverse backgrounds, hearing their stories and exchanging with them. So travel, or take a dance class, or attend a lecture. Talk to old people, young people, your family, friends, and anyone that looks like they have a story to tell. Ask them why they love the things they love. As the world opens back up, so will opportunities to meet people in real life that could lead you on interesting new paths.

Curiosity is not necessarily something we’re born with or not, but it can be developed through practices like these. For help on finding your path to the right college and future, give us a call for a free consultation!


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Neal Schwartz, Owner

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Topics: college preparation, college admissions, college counseling, high school senior, high school junior, Coursera,


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