Imagine you’re 17 years old. You’re cruising along, navigating all that is involved in being a teenager these days (which is a LOT), and all of a sudden, you are asked to tell your story. And not just in any way you choose – within specific parameters. You have to list all of your activities and only have 150 characters (not words, CHARACTERS) to describe how you are unique and you have to write about yourself so that it fits into a specific prompt with stories that involve the kind of introspective analysis few of us do in our adult years, let alone as a teenager.
That’s hard enough, but now imagine having to do while you are also being told that your story needs to make you STAND OUT. You have to "share what makes you unique, and do so in your authentic voice, all that while you are comparing yourself to the rest of the world – watching as friends and friends of friends post their life on Instagram and Snapchat and wondering how you will ever measure up, that there is nothing special or unique about you.
Oh my gosh, I just read these two paragraphs and I want to go curl up with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s.
This isn’t part of a Halloween theme and I promise, my goal is not to scare you. It is actually a “treat” for me to share an app that was created for teenagers to make this process easier, more fun and most important remind them that "YOU DO HAVE A STORY, YOU ARE AWESOME AND WE”RE GONNA HELP YOU EXPRESS THAT!"
Welcome to Zeemee.
Zeemee was created in 2015 as a way to help students have a positive, proactive way to showcase their social identity on a digital platform. It was created to level the playing field and provide “all-access” for students to showcase their unique personality and they are constantly developing ways to do that. For example, it was originally created as a web-based program and, as a result, only 8% of the students were using the video feature. They figured out that socio-economically, WAY more students have smartphones than laptops so they switched to an app-based program this year and the video feature usage went up to 80%! They are continually adding new features that make it easier for students to “tell their story”.
And colleges are responding!! They launched with 6 colleges and now over 200 colleges ask for a Zeemee profile – as either optional or required!
Additionally, colleges are utilizing Zeemee to tell their story, which allows students to follow them and get to know them. This helps the student explore ways that the college is a good fit by seeing the different aspects of the college and all the ways they can maximize their experience there to continue to craft their story.
But what I love most about Zeemee, is that it truly helps a student begin to discover their story - wonderful stories like a passion for creating balloon animals for kids birthday parties or being the oldest of 10 kids. As they build their platform, it helps them realize that they ARE special, they DO have a story, it DOES matter and how to share that. This builds the confidence to continue to develop their “brand” and use that in SO many ways above and beyond college applications. It helps them realize that their “story” is an ongoing process that THEY get to create and helps them learn to “tell” that story in the many ways they are asked to do throughout their lives – whether it be in a college essay or an interview for a college, internship or job.