Does brain fog creep in when you think about writing college essays?

College essays. Don't know where to start? Not sure how to brainstorm topics or choose prompts? Wondering how to keep them all straight in the face of multiple college applications? Confused about how to respond to the "why us" college specific essays? Curious about what topics should be avoided? How concerned you should be about grammar?

Since the wake of COVID, college essays have gained the spotlight as a key element together with GPA to get into the college of your choice. Knowing the secrets to creating great essays can set you apart.

Tip the scales in your favor.

In the new world emerging in which standardized scores from the SAT and ACT are increasingly optional, your essays are gaining significance in college admissions. After GPA, essays are the one thing that you have complete influence over, and they are the ONLY thing admissions officers use to get to know you as a person. Ultimately, they want to admit great students and community members, not just numbers based on GPA alone. Essays are a natural rite of passage into your own self-exploration and authentic expression as you emerge into adulthood. By truly connecting with the reader of your essays, you elevate your entire application to a new level. That's exactly what this course teaches you to do. Using real essay examples, along with step-by-step guides and activities, you'll learn the secrets that give you the edge you need.

What Students Say About the 5 Steps to Writing College Essays


“After learning to integrate the five steps of the BEING Compass into my personal statement, I was able to connect more deeply with my story and share from a personal level and then tell about how I overcame my challenges in a way that truly revealed my inner strengths.”

“Before using the five-step method of the BEING Compass, the writing process was slow to start and difficult to realistically portray myself in the essays. But with the Compass, I was guided towards a clear understanding of how my essays would reflect me while highlighting my strengths and personality in a fun, personal way.”

“When I first started trying to write my essays, it was difficult for me to express my ideas and transmit my message, so learning the five-step process in the BEING Compass was very important in helping to give me a structure to shape my ideas into an essay in a way that admissions officers could relate to and have fun reading!”

“The Compass really gets you to write your best essays. It helped me to articulate and showcase my best qualities ... and express who I am and not mold my essays to what I thought somebody else wanted to hear, and if they liked it - they liked it.”

“When I started working with the structure of the 5-Step BEING Compass, I was able to make connections of things that were meaningful to me and to understand the fluidity of the past, present and future of my stories. Each step helped me to get to the core insights so I could write my essays in a more powerful and concise way.”

“Having the BEING Compass as a guide not only helped me understand how to write college essays effectively, it gave me a tool for self-exploration that I can use to identify how I feel about my experiences and what I can do to learn from them. In that sense, I think it will continue to help me in college.”

“Before I started writing, I was really overwhelmed, and I couldn't decide which prompts to choose or topics to write about, but the worksheets and the BEING Compass helped me brainstorm and outline different ideas that I could then focus on one-by-one. I could organize my thoughts and reflect about the events I was writing about from each relevant angle instead of worrying about the whole essay at the same time.”

“I appreciate the value of Janet’s system of starting with self-exploration worksheets. My answers helped me to articulate my passion for science while sharing about my volunteering background. Once I started drafting my common app personal statement, I saw how this work upfront came into play as I followed the BEING Compass to address my challenges and highlight my insights while sharing many facets about myself – all within the word limit.”

“For my personal statement, I wanted to write about a milestone in my life, but I didn’t know how to make it meaningful. By learning how to include the elements of the BEING Compass, the process became easier because each step felt like a very natural progression through my story. The more I got into it, it felt less like a task and more like creating a memoir. It became an opportunity to take the time for self-reflection and discovery of who I really am.”

Let me guide you through my tried and tested system

Take the stress out of your essays

Maybe you’ve taken an ACT or SAT prep course or have plans set for that. And maybe your high school counselor can help you with the general application process – either in a one-on-one appointment or in a group presentation. That’s great ... those things are super important. 

You know what else could be a deal breaker or deal maker to get into the college of your choice? Your essays. Maybe your English teachers are helping as best they can with the essays. While that's good news, most English teachers are not trained in writing college essays. They are great at reviewing expository, analytical, and argumentative essays, but in your college essays, admissions officers want to know about you – who you are, how you think, and what makes you tick. Plus, many colleges have multiple essays as they seek to make sure you are the right fit for them.

Most likely, outside of your own journaling, you probably haven’t learned much about this in class. Many schools don’t teach how to write a personal statement that is self-reflective. Your college essays may well be your first essays that cast you as the central character and topic. And believe me, it's not a piece of cake ... especially with the added pressure of having so much at stake. 

And about asking your school counselor for guidance ... the average student-to-school counselor ratio in the U.S. is 406 to 1, so personalized attention on essays is limited. Your parents may want to help, but that can get – well – stressful for everyone involved. And if you're a parent reading this, consider the value of having a non-parent remind your student of meeting deadlines. (I'm speaking as a parent myself).

With specific objectives and tasks, this course provides a step-by-step roadmap to help you clear the fog, unlock writers block and share stories that may change your life. And it's offered at a price that won’t break the bank.

By the end of the course, having followed the 5-step process of the BEING Compass, you’ll be writing essays that answer the main question admissions officers want to know. Who is the person behind the grades, the activities, the SAT and ACT scores? 

What's even better than learning to choose the right topic and share it in a powerful way is that when you finish this course, you will have completed a journey that has led you to a better understanding of yourself. You will have gained tools that help you have a stronger sense of self-confidence and a more determined sense of direction. The one-of-a-kind BEING Compass guides you to discover your inner true north, so you can be the best you. You’ll prepare yourself as a more self-aware, more confident, and more resilient student as you navigate the next major milestone in your life – the journey through college.

"A guide that holds your hand and guides your heart." ALANIS MORISSETTE

On Janet's book (My Diary Unlocked) that unveils The BEING Compass™

Tap into the Universal Storytelling Template Used Throughout Time

Learn to master the timeless and yet revolutionary art of storytelling using a unique roadmap of self-exploration and storytelling only offered here. This course infuses the trademarked inner guidance tool (BEING Compass) with the story arc secrets that Hollywood blockbusters have been using for decades ... and myths and legends have followed throughout time. The 5-step process outlined in the course aligns with this universal template in a way that allows you to instill the key elements that apply to a vast spectrum of college essay prompts. What's even better, by the time you're done, you will recognize this tool as a resource for life ... one that you can access anytime to gain perspective over the events, experiences, and challenges in your life.
Watch Intro Video

Human Potential Leader Jack Canfield

Chicken Soup for the Soul® Creator/ Human Potential Leader

Outline of Sessions

Session Description

  • Introduction: BEING Compass ... Learning the Foundation of a Great Essay: Self-exploration

    In this session, you'll learn the power of building a strong foundation of self-exploration as the key to ensure your own inner compass is directed toward writing essays that rise to the top. You will brainstorm ideas, explore your values and identify feelings that help you connect with the reader in a way that matters.

  • Session 1: Body ... Setting the Stage

    In this session, you'll learn specific strategies to set the stage of your essay in a way that draws the readers into your story. They will experience your message right down to the bones ... in a way that 21st century brain science has proven to fire memory in powerful ways. Learn the art of the "hook" to draw in the reader. You'll learn to "show before you tell," and practice techniques that include sensory details that will help your writing skills for a lifetime.

  • Session 2: Emotions ... Fueling Feelings

    In this session, you'll learn how to infuse emotion and feeling into your essay in a way that allows the reader to connect with you on a level that carries them from being a passive reader to an active participant who feels what you feel with a sense of empathy. The activities in this session will guide you to excavate the depth of emotion as you embrace the courage to express yourself more fully.

  • Session 3: Imagination ... Aha moments: A New Way of BEING

    In the Imagination session, you will be guided through activities that allow you to communicate your insight into a new way of looking at the experience you are sharing about. Only then can take your essay from the plot level to the inner level where transformations begin and forward progress is accelerated. Verbalizing these aha moments help the essay rise to the top in the admissions officer's mind. Real essay examples will show how it's done. You will practice the art of expanding your perspective in a way that demonstrates to colleges that you are a person dedicated to learn and grow as a student and as a person.

  • Session 4: Navigation ... Action Steps

    The Navigation session is about learning how to share the actions you have taken and are willing to continue to take ... actions that convey the message that you not only have critical thinking skills that allow you to discern your next steps, but you also have the self-discipline, initiative and courage to make progress in your life. This session also teaches how to infuse action verbs and structure your sentences to be concise and precise - while still communicating a powerful message.

  • Session 5: Genius Mind: ... Lessons Learned

    The Genius Mind session guides you through experiential processes to recognize and express the bigger lessons that you have learned as you address the prompt you have chosen or been assigned. Regardless of the prompt, there are ways to highlight the moral of the story and the wisdom gained. You will learn specific ways to do just that. By completing this session, you will have tools that help you write more powerful essays and to live a richer life in general by learning to recognize the hidden insights and lessons in life's experiences.

  • Weaving the Story Together ... And Addressing the Details

    In the final session, you will learn to integrate all the key elements you have learned after completing the previous sessions into a creative and powerful final draft. Actual essays are provided as a roadmap to reveal examples of structure and transitions that flow from beginning to end. You will gain organizational skills related to writing that applies to most kinds of essays you may have to write in the future. Tips and tricks are provided on how to conduct final grammar and spelling checks as you polish your final drafts. Best of all, you will have built a foundation of objective self-knowledge to guide you on the path toward your own true north.

  • College Specific "Why Us?" Essays

    In this session, you will learn how to maximize the potential for your "Why Us (Why our college) essay prompts to cover all bases about why you are the right fit for the colleges for which you are applying.

  • Beyond the Sessions: Application Management Tools

    In this course, you will have access to numerous templates and worksheets that cover everything from time management, mind-mapping prompts and topics, to bonus material that help you make your college selection list.

Why This Course? Why This Instructor?

Better Essays. Better Writing. BE the Best You.

Drawing from decades of work in the field of human potential, your instructor is an award-winning author in the field of personal development. Together with this background and her experience as a college essay editor, she is dedicated to help you not only learn to write great college essays, you will gain the resources to launch into your college experience with tools to be a more resilient, more confident and more focused college student. As the pioneer of the trademarked BEING Compass, she has taught the Compass to thought leaders and healing professionals at international conferences and hometown workshops for college-bound high school students.

Parents can rest assured that when their teens takes this course, they will learn the five steps that not only guides the process of writing essays, it also serves as a life-skill technique with a template that allows anyone who applies it to navigate through life’s challenges while guiding them in the direction of their fullest potential.  

What's Included ...

  • Choosing Topics

    In the introduction, we will start from scratch, providing guidance and tools to brainstorm topics and identify key messages that must come through to make sure your writing is aligned with your qualities to allow you to be you in your essays. This session is instrumental in setting the foundation for the central character you are sharing about - you.

  • BEING Compass

    One-of-a-Kind Compass is used as a template that shows you the way to include every essential element that will make your essays memorable and compelling while helping you gain clarity over your direction and goals. The practice of using this Compass has been described by course participants as gaining a tool to keep them from overwhelm while developing life skills that can be used over and over in the future.

  • Exclusive Templates, Tools, Worksheets and Video Guides

    Warm-up activities provided in each session will help you develop the skills you need to write super-powerful essays. Exercises will help you structure your essays and skip over the state of confusion. Video tutorials will guide you through action steps. Real essay examples will help you work through the activities.

  • Online Community

    Private community allows you to ask and answer questions from me and other members. You won't be stuck spinning your wheels, and you'll know you are not alone. I'll conduct regular online live sessions.

  • Be Inspired in New Ways

    Beyond learning how to write great essays, you'll learn techniques that will help you throughout college and beyond. You'll learn the secrets to tap into your inner strengths to remain centered while communicating in a way that allows you to be the best version of yourself.

  • Keep a Balanced Schedule

    You can do this course any place and at any pace. Plus, you'll be provided with an essay log to keep track of deadlines and status. I'll check in on a regular basis via email so your parents won't need to harass you.

Bonus Course Material

You will also get these amazing benefits


    Receive a master calendar with instructions to manage all your essay deadlines, word count, progress notes and more.


    Receive downloadable digital audio recording on managing the stress of juggling college applications with an already busy life.


    Become a member of our private community where you'll get the support of other students working on their essays. Your instructor will stay involved and answer questions and monitor the content.


  • Is this course right for me?

    If you are applying to colleges this coming fall, there is no doubt you will need to respond to essay prompts in your applications. This course can give you an edge up on the possibility of getting into the college of your choice because you will learn how to choose the right topics and write compelling essays that connect with admissions officers in a meaningful and memorable way. The course is relevant for prompts on the Common App, Coalition App, UC personal insights, Apply Texas essays and most supplemental essays.

  • How long will I have access to the course?

    You will have access for one year after the course has launched and you have purchased it.

  • Will I receive one-on-one editing / coaching?

    This course has primarily group-based support. Discussions will occur online and Q&A will be addressed by your peers in the community setting, and once a week the instructor will create a live session to answer questions. The Private Coaching Course includes everything in this course plus additional hours of one-on-one time for an additional fee.

  • How will this course work once I've joined?

    After the course has launched, you'll receive course log-in information and you'll have access to the whole course. You choose your own pace, and you can go through the course as many times as you want as needed during the one-year period you have access to it. You may want to review the material and start with fresh worksheets for different essays.

Janet Larson

About the Creator

Short Bio: My mission is to guide students on their journey to and through college with full-service application guidance from college selection to coaching essay writing skills. In my online courses and/or one-on-one coaching, I combine my skills as a Certified College Counselor, human potential author, and pioneer of the BEING Compass™, a tool I use to teach both writing and life skills, while drawing from my personal development training to help students get into the right-fit college. Full Bio - big picture: Janet’s mission is to provide courses and coaching services to guide individuals who are saying yes to a journey that fulfills their potential. She guides students on creating memorable and compelling essays for college applications. As a human potential author and trainer, Janet wrote the national award-winning (self-help category - Independent Book Publishers Assoc.) book, My Diary Unlocked. She pioneered the BEING Compass™, a psycho-social-emotional learning tool to navigate life’s journey with a level of self-awareness, resilience and confidence to experience one’s fullest potential while thriving with purpose and connecting with others in meaningful ways. Combining her writing skills with her experience in personal development training, she coaches families of college-bound teens on managing the stress of college applications. Ms. Larson served as Adjunct Instructor in leading San Diego universities including UCSD, USD, and SDSU, and has presented at conferences, such as the Minnesota Middle School Association, The Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma and the Girl Scouts of America Annual Convention. Education and Certifications: Master of Science degree, University of Oregon; Focus: HR and Psychology; Bachelor of Science, Business Administration; University of North Dakota; Facilitating Self-Esteem Train-The-Trainer Certification; Mediation and Conflict Resolution Certificate: San Diego County; Redirecting Children’s Behavior Certified Trainer; International Network for Children and Families (INCAF); and Self-Esteem Seminars graduate (personally coached by Jack Canfield, co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series and author of The Success Principles).

Janet Larson, M.S.


Order Now and Save $50

Want to do away with essay stress?

Pre-enroll and save $50 off the regular price of $297 until October 1, 2019. Upon registering, you'll gain access to all the worksheets you need to start choosing topics and prompts on your essay journey. Register now for only $247.