In the 1950′s two psychologists named Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham created a model to help people develop self-awareness in interpersonal communication. They called it the Johari window because a) their names were Joe and Harry, and b) the diagram of the model looked like a window.
The basic idea is that of the four sections (or window panes) of the diagram, one represents all we know about ourselves that other people also know about us; one is what others see in us that we do not recognize; one represents what we know about ourselves but others do not; and the last stands for what is not yet known or cannot be known about ourselves by us or by anyone else.
The window panes that admissions officers see are the first and the second, and your goal is to be sure that what they see represents you accurately. That means being aware of your public self (the person that you will present in your college application) by being intentional about it, being as aware as is philosophically possible about your blind spots so that nothing is working against you, and making others aware of your hidden self by sliding some of that (the good stuff) over into your public self. One huge error that many high school seniors commit is not realizing how much of who they are and what they have to offer a college or university often remains unseen in that third window pane, the hidden self, and as a result, if no one but you (or your mother) sees your gifts, your talents, and the kind of learner that you are, then no one can admit you to their institution. The college application is the perfect vehicle for transporting some of what lies in your hidden self over to the public self–that is, for those who are smart enough to realize it. And clearly you are one of those smart people.
One word of caution, however: because we’re all human, there are probably things in our hidden selves that should remain hidden. Think of the inappropriate postings you’ve seen on Facebook and you know instantly what I mean.
In Parts 3 and 4 we’ll continue discovering who you are as a learner in order to communicate that effectively through your application.