Yo peeps, so as you can probably tell, I’m about to blow your mind. You might want to sit down, grab some water, you know, keep yourself hydrated. Maybe do a few stretches.
Now that you’re all ready, let’s begin! A girl who wrote about hotdogs and Costco got into Stanford and most Ivy League Schools, a student who wrote about his love for food got into Stanford, while Cornell’s admissions officer’s favorite essays were about lint and failing the driver’s test four times. Observing a pattern here? All these people chose kind of silly topics to write about. You might be wondering, “Yo,why would I want to sound stupid in front of the admissions officer, this doesn’t make sense!” . Well, that’s a valid argument. Now read this excerpt from one of the essays I mentioned above.
“While enjoying an obligatory hot dog, I did not find myself thinking about the ‘all beef’ goodness that Costco boasted. I instead considered finitudes and infinitudes, unimagined uses for tubs of sour cream, the projectile motion of said tub when launched from an eighty foot shelf or maybe when pushed from a speedy cart by a scrawny seventeen year old. I contemplated the philosophical: If there exists a thirty-three ounce jar of Nutella, do we really have free will? I experienced a harsh physics lesson while observing a shopper who had no evident familiarity of inertia’s workings. With a cart filled to overflowing, she made her way towards the sloped exit, continuing to push and push while steadily losing control until the cart escaped her and went crashing into a concrete column, 52” plasma screen TV and all. Purchasing the yuletide hickory smoked ham inevitably led to a conversation between my father and me about Andrew Jackson’s controversiality"
Yes, yes, she’s literally talking about hot dogs and Costco. Now don’t underestimate her, this girl got accepted to 5 Ivy League Schools and Stanford. Jeez, that’s impressive. So now, you might be thinking , “Okay, enough of this, just get to the juicy part, give us the magic potion!” . Luckily enough for you, I’m getting to the point.
If you want to write an essay that slays everyone else’s like Beyoncé, first you gotta be true to yourself. You’re 17 or 18, you don’t want to end poverty or save the world. Maybe you enjoy pepperoni pizza, maybe you love watching horror films, maybe you love shopping at Macy’s, whatever it is, write about it.
The key is to choose a seemingly silly topic and present it in an intellectual light. Your ability to turn something silly into something genius will impress them and make you more memorable. In order to do that, you need to have a lot of knowledge about the topic you chose, which is why you need to be true to yourself. But then again, don’t write a pointless essay, don’t tell the officers that you can stuff 20 cheese balls in your mouth. Although I think it’s impressive, the admissions officer will beg to differ.
So there’s the secret formula to write a winning essay. Best of luck and I hope you get into your dream school!
I just finished a couple of college interviews, so I wanted to share my tips with you so that you can have the best chance possible to present yourself well in your interviews!
Dress modestly and professionally. The dress code is business casual. Try to dress in either a collared shirt/sweater and skirt, a dress with a cardigan, or a collared shirt/sweater and slacks. Try to keep the outfit relatively monotone or toned down– you want to make sure the focus is on you, not on your clothes!
Try to make sure that you aren’t wearing anything too tight or too revealing. Once again, you want to make sure that you look professional, and you want to focus to be on what you’re saying!
Dress comfortably! If you are comfortable, chances are you will be confident. If you are uncomfortable, it’s really hard to focus on the task at hand.
Keep your makeup simple. Once again, professionalism is the name of the game. For my interviews, I wore simple face makeup with a little bit of a smokey eye, and I felt that worked well for me!
For shoes, I would highly recommend wearing flats. Once again, you want to be comfortable, and for a lot of us girls high heels aren’t very comfortable. If you want to wear heels, keep them low.
I would recommend wearing a collared shirt with either slacks or a nice pair of khakis. Make sure you shirt and pants are crisp and well-ironed. A suit will usually be overkill. Throw on a sweater too, if you are interviewing in the winter.
If you have a pair, wear brown or black leather shoes, and make sure they are very clean and shiny! Definitely no flip-flops or sneakers.
Don’t change how you dress to dress like what you think the college wants! They want to know you and to see your individuality. Dress in a respectful way, but don’t forget to show your own style!
You MUST know why you want to attend the college that you are interviewing for. If you don’t prepare any other answers, prepare an answer to this question. Without fail, almost every interviewer will ask you why you want to attend the college. Know both tangible and non tangible reasons. I would always start out talking about location, academics, extracurriculars, but then I would move on to community, unity, pride, and history. KNOW YOUR ANSWER TO THIS.
In many interviews you will be asked why you want to pursue the major that you have indicated. Make sure you have an answer to this question as well.
Explain what you do outside of school.
Explain what activities you wish to pursue in college.
Be able to explain your strengths and weaknesses.
Talk about a favorite book that you’ve read in school or on your own.
What will you bring to the college/Why do you think you are a good fit for the school?
Be candid and be completely honest! They aren’t trying to trick you into a wrong answer– They really do just want to know more about you! Emphasize your good points and try to avoid bad points. Be positive!
Allow yourself at least 15 minutes of time. For one of my interviews I didn’t give myself enough time and ended up spending 20 minutes trying to find a parking spot. First impressions are extremely important!! Be on time. You don’t want to stress yourself out by being late.
Have a firm handshake. Look your interviewer in the eye. Be an active listener. Nod and give verbal confirmation that you understand what they are saying to you.
If you can, bring a copy of your transcript and resume. If they ask to see it, you want to be prepared.
Prepare a list of 3-4 questions you can ask the interviewer. They will always ask if you have any questions, and you want to make sure you can show them that you are curious!
If you are doing a Skype interview, like I did, go through a test run the night before. Unfortunately, sometimes this can’t get ride of all problems. For my interview, my Mac Skype wasn’t compatible with my interviewer’s Windows Skype, so we had to do an audio interview without the video.
Be flexible. Things are going to go wrong, but it’s going to be okay! If you stay calm and focused, you will be fine! Go with the flow. Interviews are a wonderful opportunity to showcase yourself and learn more about the college you are interested in. Don’t worry too much! They really are quite fun!
While the college admissions process definitely emphasizes a sense of competition among other seniors, please remember that your experiences and accomplishments are a reflection of yourself and the resources that were available to you. I constantly have to remind myself that while I may see someone who I think is very intelligent and well-rounded and has a much better chance at getting admitted into X institution, their life is far different from my own and that I still have something unique to offer to each student body that said student would not.
Please remember that you’re a lovely little sunflower and that regardless of anyone else’s talents and experiences, you still have so much to bring forward. I love you all.
Instead of making accepted students wait for the “You’re in!” email, or agonize over a small envelope, the Massachusetts liberal arts college is going for some good ol’ face-to-face communication — and it’s working.
Apparently, if Princeton’s entire Freshmen class told Princeton “nah, I don’t wanna attend…” then there would still be enough qualified applicants with 4.0’s and 2400’s to replace the entire class 2.5 times over.
Ultimately, it’s up to your personality and essays and your out-of-school life. I know a lot of you guys are stressing, and I too am dying to know “hey what’s my chance of getting into this college???” but this kind of proves that there is no set formula. Plenty of valedictorians and 2400 SAT students get rejected from Ivies. Just be yourself. Don’t stress out too much. (:
Easy to say, hard to do, I know. but this is my little message for you guys today.
Who had their dreams come true today! Congratulations!
Who are still anxiously awaiting admissions news:
Who received waitlist emails (don’t give up! Keep those grades up! Send updates to the schools):
Who received rejection letters:
And most importantly:
Regardless of the outcomes of October 15th, I think you should all be hella proud of conquering the nearly year-long process (read: 7th circle of hell) that is AMCAS. Jumping through all those hoops requires a great deal of sheer determination and a strong work ethic, so: