How to Make a Great Impression With Your The Best School Year Ever® Entry

Now that you’re excited to enter you’re probably wondering, what makes a great entry? Here are our top tips for your written submission and, if you are selected as a semi-finalist, your video submission. You can learn more about SMUS to inspire your entry as well.

Your written entry

For the first stage of the contest, everyone will be asked to answer three questions in writing. This is a chance to introduce yourself, showcase your writing skills and really start to think about why attending SMUS would be The Best School Year Ever for you.
1. Follow the rules
Make sure you understand the question you are answering, and any of the guidelines (such as character limit counts). Your work must be your own, and it’s a good idea to scan the Terms and Conditions of the contest.
2. Talk it out
Before you write it down, it can be helpful to talk to a friend, family member and teacher about what you want to say. A conversation can help you pick out your key points, making your answer more memorable to the judges.
3. Write, then edit
Don’t be afraid to just start writing. Once you have your ideas written down, you can go back and start to refine your ideas. It’s also helpful to have someone else proofread your writing before you submit it to check for grammar and clarity.

Your video entry

For the second stage of the contest, successful semi-finalists will be contacted by the school and asked to create a short 2-3 minute video. This is so we can learn more about what makes you unique and why St. Michaels University School would be a good fit for you.
1. Follow the rules
Your video must follow a few really basic rules:
  1. Keep it short! The judges will only be able to watch the first three minutes of video for each entry.
  2. It must be your own work.
  3. You must appear in the video (either on video or in photos). Other than these basic rules, almost anything goes (but you may still want to scan the Terms and Conditions).
2. Be yourself
The most important thing to remember is that the judges watch your video to get to know you as a person and find out what you would be like as a student at our school.  Everybody has a unique story and we’re looking forward to hearing yours.
3. Focus on your story, not on the video
This is a video contest but it’s not a video quality contest. Use whatever equipment you have on hand – shoot on your cellphone, webcam, Go-Pro… whatever works for you. If you’re new to making videos, it’s a good idea to ask for advice from someone with more experience or someone who can help. For example, getting a friend, family member or teacher to hold the camera will help you focus on telling your story.
Finally, if you’re really stuck, you can view videos from some of our past winners. Remember though that the judges have already seen these videos. Be sure to put your own unique spin on what’s been done.

This will be one of the best opportunities of your life. Though you may not understand what that means yet, once you come to SMUS you’ll get it. School here pushes you to your greatest extent and you definitely see what you are capable of. What I like most about boarding is being surrounded by people who can help you in any way possible. Anything you need, boarding has it.

McEnroe Jean
2018 finalist

If you have a passion for new experiences and finding new limits to your comfort zone, I would most definitely encourage you to apply for The Best School Year Ever contest. SMUS seeks to find the best within each student, in and of itself making your school year the best one ever. Surrounding yourself with students from different countries and backgrounds is an irreplaceable experience – add that to a world class education and what more could you want?

Leah Balter
2016 finalist

I have said it before, and I will say it again: entering The Best School Year Ever contest is the best investment I have ever made, and probably ever will! Those 10 hours I put into the planning, filming and editing of that very first video – those 10 hours, took my life to another reality. The people I met and the things I did, they changed my life.

Santiago Mazoy
2014 winner

You should enter The Best School Year Ever contest because there’s really nothing to lose, but there is a lot to win. My time at SMUS enabled me to challenge my potential, enhance my intellectual curiosity, develop international connections, and make life-long friends. I had a lot of fun, met a lot of good people, and learned a lot about myself.

Lizzie Watson
2015 winner

I would encourage all students to apply! It truly is an incredible school and you will grow so much while there. There are so many new experiences you can explore and it’s an amazing stepping stone to prepare for university. When you are in an environment where everyone is pushing for greatness, you will also find yourself working for your goals. The drive for academic success is there at SMUS and it is definitely contagious!

Meg Montgomery
2016 Finalist