Office of Admission

5

Republicans who voted for Trumpcare admit they didn’t even read the bill

  • House Republicans barely passed the American Health Care Act on Thursday.
  • Yet, despite the sweeping impact the bill could have on millions of Americans if passed into law, many House Republicans didn’t even read the bill’s text before casting their votes.
  • Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), an early supporter of President Donald Trump, said neither he nor many Republican lawmakers who voted for the bill actually read the text.
  • Rep. Thomas Garrett (R-Va.) also said he didn’t read the bill, instead giving that task to his staff. Read more (5/5/17 8:25 AM)

Obamacare had 79 committee hearings before it passed. Trumpcare had none.

  • Since the ACA was passed in 2010, Republicans have complained that Democrats “jammed [the ACA] down peoples’ throats.”
  • They objected to “back-room deals” and a pace that they said Democrats designed to prevent their constituents from reading the bill.
  • But the truth is, the ACA took months to craft, according to the New York Times, and was the subject of 79 hearings.
  • By contrast, the AHCA was forced through the House without a single hearing in relevant committees, no score by the Congressional Budget Office and admissions from members of the House GOP that they had not read the very bill they voted on.  Read more (5/5/17 9 AM)

Democrats’ trust in the government just hit a historic low

  • A new Pew poll found that just 15% of Democrats trust the government in Washington to do the right thing always or most of the time.
  • “The share of Democrats expressing trust in government is among the lowest levels for members of the party dating back nearly six decades,” Pew said in a post on its site that announced the findings. Read more (5/4/17 8:15 PM)

i’ve talked about this before but the model minority myth has functions beyond creating a schism between asians & other people of color or justifying racialized income/education inequality by using asians as a gotcha.

it serves to make asians (and asian labor) simultaneously invisible and exploitable, while obscuring capital-driven destruction and manipulation of asian laborers in asian countries. 

asians are invisible not just numerically; quantity is not a sufficient enough explanation for our invisibility because asian immigration to the US is increasing and we’re populating multiple urban and suburban centers. we are invisible because of how white supremacy, specifically in this case the model minority myth, works to portray us as obsequious, robotic, hardworking, emotionless, and quiet, not prone to resistance or protest of any form. white supremacy does this through exploitation of labor + a series of rewards and punishments, rewards being assimilation to american society (if that can truly be considered a reward) or punishments being not hired or accepted by employers and universities. 

here’s the thing. you have a wave of immigration from asian countries that encompass asians who are middle-class, educated, and probably know english. they have an easier (not an easy but easier) time settling into the country, adapting american norms, and becoming financially stable and successful. they are the face of the model minority myth - the asian doctors, bankers, engineers, etc, the ones who “remain quiet and work hard with their head held high”, and get “great grades in STEM subjects” and provide intellectual/technological labor to the flourishing markets. 

you also have a wave of asian immigrants who do not fit this picture. they know little to no english. they may be undocumented. they’re working-class and don’t have college degrees. these are the asians who live in places like edison, new jersey, or chinatown and koreatown in NYC, or dearborn, michigan. they’re the ones who run laundromats and dry-cleaning stores, drive your taxis and ubers, own cheaply priced restaurants and grocery stores, work in manufacturing, cut, dye, or style your hair, paint your nails, wax your facial hair, maintain and work at your gas stations, dunkin donuts, and 7/11 type convenience stores. 

how is it that the model minority myth can exist alongside the “indian 7/11 worker / chinese restaurant owner / korean dry cleaner / afghan nail lady / arab taxi driver” stereotypes? how can one group be simultaneously stereotyped as “privileged, educated, assimilated, hardworking, technical geniuses” AND “provincial, smelly, backward, poor, scary, cheap”? how can one group be invisible yet also stereotyped as the population-heavy thieves of ol red white n’ blue good american labor and education? how do you have asians who do “succeed” under american capitailsm and asians who are exploited and even killed by american capitalism? 

because of the model minority myth, which impacts the first vs second group in different ways. 

the first group does have to work really hard to get “acknowledgment” by the state/by white supremacy. consider why asian-american students suffer so much from mental illness and suicidality. we are driven to work hard to exceed expectations, to outpace white american labor, to justify our presence in the country. we need to please not only our parents and communities but also appease employers and admissions officers who think that there are too many of us. i’m sure you’ve heard of harvard’s quota on asian admission. the school i attend, the university of michigan, also has “a lot” of asian students and in fact i often hear white students complain about that. it’s a complaint i’ve heard my entire life. so that’s where you get studies that show that people with “asian sounding” names don’t get hired, or why asian students who are deemed “too similar” to the “asian average” (which is higher than the “white average” because we are held to a higher standard because of white mediocrity) don’t get accepted. universities have to make room for their white alumni and rich students and because white people hate affirmative action, the best solution for universities and employers is to discriminate against us. 

of course this all happens under a quota system which means that they’re still using our academic prowess and labor to enhance their reputations or profit. their logic is to accept just the “right” number of asians to, say, prettify their research program or attain skilled workers for some financial or technological company. the “right” number of asian workers or students will drive up the image or profit of a certain institution but it won’t offend white people or “take up” white space. 

the second group, the one that is impacted by poverty, homelessness, income inequality, etc, is invisible precisely because of the model minority myth. since the myth posits that ALL asians are equally privileged and educated, poor asians are veritably nonexistent. and these asians cannot defend themselves - they do not have the financial, political, or communicative means to do so (language and financial barriers prevent them from speaking out). terrified of poverty, deportation, instability, assault, or police brutality, these working-class asian americans are forced to remain silent because if they don’t they will also lose their job or home or risk the threat of actual physical retaliation. this then feeds into the “asians are robotic and obedient” stereotype as much as the first group, comprised of “smart asian students and workers” does. it’s an insidious cycle. 

so this is the dual-function of the model minority myth. we are made invisible by a deliberate stereotype pushed forth that obscures the reality of our diversity, and this invisibility allows us to be exploited, whether we are being exploited by universities or by multinational corporations or by startups or any other institution or employer. 

i’m going into my junior year of high school, the time when many students are getting ready to apply for college. many of my friends and peers have been concerned about what, exactly, they should be doing to prepare this year, and when. so, we held a college information session. this may be geared towards my specific area/region, but hopefully everyone can take something out of this. here are some tips that we learned:

ON COLLEGE VISITS

questions to ask:

  1. what is your freshman retention rate?
  2. what is the percentage of students that graduate in 4 years? (new statistic: ¾ of students don’t; the average student takes 5 ½ years to graduate)

make sure there is written documentation of your visit

when reviewing applications, colleges note “touch points”– these include things like taking an official tour, sending in those cards you get in the mail, or something as easy as emailing one of their admissions counselors with a simple question. they’ll keep your information, and it may give you an advantage over other students because you showed you’re seriously interested in their school. so, even if you’re taking an informal campus tour, make sure to stop in the admissions office and fill out one of those cards with your information. it’ll be added into their system as a touch point– and you’re already one step ahead!

TESTING

some things to remember:

  • the SAT and ACT are, for the most part, equally accepted by colleges.
  • certain schools may require an SAT subject test. make sure to check out programs you’re interested in so that you can prepare all of its requirements.
  • the SAT is a test of aptitude, while the ACT is more knowledge-based and straightforward. 
  • if you’re bright and a good test taker but maybe you don’t get the best grades, the SAT may be more fit for you.
  • if you’re more studious and focused on grades and retaining information you’ve learned in class, the ACT may be a better match. 
  • a guidance counselor recommends: take both tests once, and whichever you feel you performed better on, take it again. 
  • many colleges like to see growth in scores because it shows you’re really working towards something. this may change depending on the selectivity of the school, but consider this before only sending your best score. 
  • if you know what colleges you’re interested in, check and see what they prefer/require before taking the tests. most likely, you’ll save yourself a lot of time, effort, and money in the long run.

SO, WHEN SHOULD I BE DOING ALL OF THIS?

here’s a timeline of what was recommended for your junior year

October: 

  • take the PSAT again (this is the year that you can qualify for NMSQT). i’m not sure if this applies everywhere but i know where i live, this is a requirement.
  • if your school uses Naviance, make sure you have your login information. you should be using the tools it provides to research colleges and find out more about jobs you may be suited for.

November/December

  • take the ACT or SAT. if you’ve already taken the SAT, i suggest taking the ACT before doing the SAT again. 
  • this is around the time you should start visiting colleges if you haven’t already. if you can’t go to schools, look for information sessions and college fairs near you. if you’re on a college’s email list, they’ve likely sent you dates that they offer tours or perhaps are even hosting information sessions closer to you.

April/May/June

  • start asking for letters of recommendation!! many teachers give letters on a first-come-first-serve basis, so get ahead. usually you want to have 2-4 of these. think about programs and schools you may apply for, and think about what subject teachers may be most helpful in your application. also, check schools’ websites and see what they recommend/require. outside letters are also okay, if they’re from someone who knows you and your work ethic well. 
  • consider taking the SAT or ACT again. 
  • schedule your senior year. it’s no longer a time to slack off; colleges now look at your grades as late as third marking period. continue to challenge yourself, but also take electives that interest you to get a better idea of what careers you may want to pursue.
  • get the Common App essays from your guidance counselor. you should at least think about these over the summer to get an idea of what you’ll say in your application essays.

August

  • this is when the Common App is available for that year. many, but not all schools, use this. do your own research to decide if it’s a necessity for you.

MISC. TIPS

  • very few students partake in college interviews anymore. requesting and interview may set you apart from other students (touch point!), but it is definitely not required or even recommended by the vast majority of schools.
  • if you know you will be going to grad school or a higher ed program, think about where you want to concentrate your money. a cheaper but respected undergraduate school may be a great idea to save money for a great graduate school. (you probably don’t care where your doctor went for their undergrad, but where’d they go to med school?)
  • MAKE SURE YOU’RE MEETING YOUR SCHOOL’S GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS.
  • check to see what courses certain colleges recommend you take in high school. this may be a good way to plan the rest of your high school schedule, and also gauge whether or not you can achieve a college’s expectations.
crossing the line | 01

genre: teacher!au, college!au, implied smut (?) i guess lol, other chapters will have smut.
word count: 2.1k 
summary: your drama teacher makes your schoolgirl heart flutter. 

preview

“I’m Mr. Kim,” he said sweetly, his voice sounding softer coming out of those plump lips than before, “I assume you’re the new student?”

You let out a deep sigh, finally having found your dorm after a few hours of walking around campus since the lady at the admissions office had no idea what she was talking about when she gave you directions. Apparently it “wasn’t her job” to know where it was. You were starting to get irked and hate it more and more here every second.

Lifting the small sheet of paper that she had given you, you let your eyes skim down the list of dorms before stopping at the one that was circled in blue ink. You read the name of the building before heading inside as you dragged your bag in behind you.

You exhaled sadly once you finally got to the third floor, the numbers ‘345’ staring back at you as you pulled your key out of your pocket with the same numbers embedded into it. You unlocked the door and pushed it open before looking around, only to see that it was empty. There was two beds one either side of the room, one with a big military duffel bag and tons of white t-shirts sitting on top of it. You snorted a little at your roommate’s fashion sense, wondering what kinda girl she was. What if she was a complete nightmare?

You never had to deal with living with other people since forever because you’ve always lived by yourself and liked being alone, so you never really had to worry about messy roommates or your stuff getting stolen.  

You shut the door behind yourself, throwing your bag onto the unoccupied bed before looking around the plain room. The walls were just plain white; stripped of everything and you couldn’t help but roll your eyes at the depressing colour. Your trail of thoughts was broken by the sound of the doorknob turning, making you tilt your head as the door opened again. Your eyebrows immediately furrowed as you saw a boy walk in.

His chocolate orbs widened slightly as he froze before giving your body a long once-over, letting his eyes trail down your curves and finally locking eyes with you. “Are you…uhm,” he began before awkwardly scratching the back of his neck, “My new roommate?” he questioned lightly, a cute little smile forming on his features.

It took you a whole minute to finally answer him, “This is your room?” you asked, arching a perfect eyebrow.  

He spared a small nod before stepping all the way in and closing the door behind himself. 

You couldn’t help but to check him out as you licked your lips, your stomach clenching at his toned body. He was hella gorgeous, tall and entirely handsome. “Yeah,” he returned, sticking his large hands into the front pockets of his worn out jeans, “I got kicked out of Empire State.” He added sheepishly as he offered you a shy look.

You just stared at him, completely baffled.

I actually have to share a room with him? – you thought to yourself as your eyebrows furrowed once again. A girl would’ve been bad enough to live with, but a guy? Scratch that, a handsome guy? “You’re my roommate?” you asked once again, still in slight shock.

His cheeks flushed when he realised that you didn’t want to share a room with him, causing his smile to drop. He took one of his hands out of his front pocket and ran it through his messy dark hair, “I mean, all the dorms are co-ed – unless you request one that’s not,” he said truthfully, his features softening a little, “I get it if you are uncomfortable, you can go talk to the community director, but that will most likely take a few weeks.” He added.

You let out a low groan before plopping down on your bed, “Fuck, can this get any worse?” you grumbled, putting your face in your hands as you took a deep breath. You tried to calm yourself down before you lowered your hands and saw the boy just standing there awkwardly; trying his hardest not to glance at you as he nibbled on his bottom lip, both hands back in his pockets.

“I’m sorry,” you sighed, sitting up and looking over at him, “I’m usually not like this but I’ve just had a bad… week,” you explained briefly, causing his brown eyes to land back on you as he spared you a nod. “I’m Y/N.” you quipped, holding out your small hand as you introduced yourself.

“Jungkook,” he returned before stepping forward to take your hand in his, purposely brushing his fingers over yours as he shook it. He seemed to loosen up a little bit and you could tell he almost wanted to smile, but he didn’t.

He padded over to his bed, plopping down on it as you laid back down and watched him for a bit. You couldn’t but to be curious about him, he seemed shy, slightly nervous and just… different. He didn’t seem all that bad– you thought to yourself as your teeth lightly grazed your bottom lip.

It had been a few days and you finally got your schedule, but you could care less. You and Jungkook had finally gotten over your awkward stages and all you wanted to do was hide out with him until someone found you to kick you out of the college for having so many absences. 

He was like a fresh breath of air compared to all the guys you knew – he had gotten you to smile and laugh, something you haven’t done since, well… ever. He was a pretty decent human being and you were getting more and more comfortable with one another.  

All your thoughts of Jungkook seemed to be pushed towards the back of your mind as your smiled faded the second you arrived to your first drama class. You didn’t want to be there in the first place but it was some stupid mandatory rule as you were majoring in studio arts and you had to pick at least one class that was out of your area of study. You had some experience in acting and it was either that or contemporary dance, which you sure as hell did not seem like doing. 

Your thoughts seemed to fly right out of the windows as your drama teacher walked into the theatre, strutting his way up the aisle to the chattering class he already knew. Your mouth formed a perfect ‘o’ as you practically drooled at the sight of him; he was an ethereal brown eyed god and you never believed in love at first sight until you saw him. 

The second he opened his mouth to speak, you knew you wanted him, “Alright class,” he said loudly, his deep voice cutting through all the other students as the majority of them stopped their conversations, “It has been a long weekend and I’m really not in the mood for any of your usual monkey business…” he trailed off, glancing over the rows of students he was addressing before those gorgeous brown orbs were directed at you. 

You were quite isolated from the pack of closely-knit young adults littered about the stage as you sat on your own at the very edge. The drama teacher walked closer to you and you could practically smell his cologne, “I’m Mr. Kim,” he said sweetly, his voice sounding softer coming out of those plump lips than before, “I assume you’re the new student?”

Pulling yourself of your daydream, you bit your lip before handing him the recommendation slip in your hand, “Yes, I am,” you spoke, a soft smile appearing on your face as you glanced up at him through your eyelashes, “I’m Y/N Y/L/N.” you smirked, causing him to slightly raise an eyebrow. You had no idea where this sudden burst of confidence was coming from, but you couldn’t help but to have this attitude; merely looking at him sent your hormones into overdrive. 

He seemed to space out for a fraction of a nanosecond as his cheeks flushed, causing your smile to widen a little. He cleared his throat and looked down at the paper, skimming it quickly before folding it and putting it his back pocket. 

“Welcome to the class, Y/N,” he mumbled, offering you a small nod before turning around and speaking again, “You can take a seat over there and watch us rehearse for the time being.” He said as he tried not to make eye contact, pointing to the cushioned seating he was facing before grabbing a notepad of his.

You watched him plop down in the seat closest to the aisle in the front row as he turned to face the stage, “Alright, everyone,” he called to his students, “Places.”

You lightly bit your lip, watching him write something down in his notebook before you decided to be bold and sit down in the seat right next to his, “So what will I do then, Mr. Kim?”

You noticed his shiny black pen stop for a moment before he quickly finished writing down his sentence, “All the parts are cast, but don’t worry I’ll think of something,” he responded lightly before putting his pen down and looking back up at the stage, as if he couldn’t feel your wandering eyes all over his body.

You were practically undressing him – mentally – and if anyone ever looked at you the way you were looking at him, you’d feel pretty naked. Eventually, you turned your head away from him as you tried not to look so obvious, but of course, your eyes couldn’t help but to gravitate back to him. Who could blame you though? He was literally on the verge of being God-like. 

A few moments after the lights dimmed and the dress rehearsal had begun, about fifteen minutes to be exact, he breathed in deeply before opening his mouth to speak again, “What is it, Miss Y/N?” he questioned low enough for only you to hear as he glanced over at you.

You almost jolted out of your seat as you blushed, realising that you were failing miserably at not being so damn obvious. You spared a shake of your head before turning your head quickly, looking straight at the amateur actors jumping around on stage as Mr. Kim let out a deep chuckle. 

“What?” You asked him once his laughing had stopped. He merely shook his head, covering his mouth with his large hand as he slightly leaned away from you, his elbow resting on the armrest. 

You frowned, staring at him for a bit as you tried to figure about why he was chuckling, just before hearing someone yell, “Hyuna! Your line!”

Your attention averted back to the state as you watched the brunette, whose brown eyes were nearly piercing yours just seconds before fumbling through her script. You giggled lightly before shaking your head at her, but you didn’t wait for her to find out what her line had been because, by the time, you were already looking over at Mr. Kim in your peripheral vision.


feedback is highly appreciated. <3

THE BEST ESSAY ADVICE YOU WILL EVER GET

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!

Diyanshu Emandi

I feel like one thing the “queer is a slur” crowd overlooks...

…is that the word gay has been used so overwhelmingly as a pejorative, as a slur, that most children in the U.S. in the past several decades likely grew up learning “gay” as a word for bad, strange, or wrong before they fully understand that there are “gay” people, and that it’s not just a word with negative connotations.

Kids grow up hearing “That’s so gay!” said with such vehemence relating to topics that those same kids aren’t remotely educated about, and they just internalize that it’s bad. This is how you get elementary schoolers saying, “Mr. Hopkins gave us homework, he’s so gay,” and the same elementary schoolers grow up to be high schoolers and adults who say, “What? I don’t mean gay like gay people, I mean gay like stupid or bad.”

And some of them aren’t overt homophobes in any other way… but dang, you teach little kids that a word that describes a class of people means “bad” and “wrong” before they know those people exist, and that’s bound to shape the way they think about things, isn’t it?

And in contrast you get queer kids who start to put 2+2 together about what “gay” really means a little bit faster than the kids around them because they’re desperate for some information, some hints of meaning… but they’re also hearing the same lessons as everybody else, that gay=bad, gay=wrong, gay=undesirable, gay=something no one ones and no one should be, gay is the worst thing you can be.

In the small town I lived in and the school I went to, nobody ever hit me and called me queer. No one ever shouted “queer” from a moving car while I was walking home. No one ever threatened or inflicted violence on me with the word “queer” on their lips.

Gay, though? Yes. And variations on the f-slur, but gay itself was enough of an invective, enough of a pejorative, to the people flinging it.

“Gay” was the slur that cishet people threw at me as a form of violence, often in corollary with physical violence. “Queer” is a word that I learned online, from members of my community. My experience of the former word is as an attack, while the other was as a sanctuary and respite from that attack.

Now, I’m not a gay man, but a bisexual trans woman. I was still sorting that out at the time, but I doubt it would have made a difference to many of my tormenters if I’d been able to explain it properly.

So when “gay” is used as the happy-go-lucky umbrella for what I would personally call the queer community, gay with even its positive connotations strongly coded as male, I’m not just being misgendered/swept under a default label of male along with a lot of other women and non-binary folks, I’m being forced to accept a label that I never sought, one that is definitely used as a pejorative and a slur, and a slur that was specifically used as a weapon against me.

Both “gay” and “queer” have the same problematic histories and problematic presents. They have both been subject to reclamation efforts. To me, the difference is how those efforts are organized. 

“Gay” is an attempt to normalize, to assimilate, to take the elements of our community that are most palatable to the heteronormative homogeneous hegemony and emphasize them, making those elements even more palatable and altering or hiding the other elements of the community. 

“Gay” is like trying to get into an exclusive school that you fear is likely to reject you for prejudiced reasons, so you keep your nose clean, make sure you take all the right extracurriculars, polish your cover letter and personal essay, and try to make the right contacts with influential people on the inside… and if you have to hide some of your past activities, break ties with friends who are less presentable, and de-emphasize your family to make sure the admissions office doesn’t get the wrong idea about what you’d bring to their institution, well, it’ll be worth it, because that’s what you have to do get a, you know, fair shake.

“Queer” rejects that. Queer rejects homogeny, it does not demand that we sand down our rough edges or smooth out our contours. It does not seek to reshape ourselves or our community to fit ever-evolving standards designed to keep us out, but it challenges those standards.

If “gay” is trying to appeal to a bigoted admissions board by being smooth and shiny enough to slip in, “queer” is challenging the admissions board to accept or reject you on your own merits as you exist, and challenging the bigoted assumptions that underline the power structure as revealed by this. It’s bypassing the admissions board by creating your own infrastructure for sharing resources and information. 

I have a suspicion that a certain percentage of the intra-community backlash against the word “queer” is not because the negative connotations of the word hurt us as listeners, but rather that the radical connotations of the word hurt the effort to make the community acceptable to a presumed default “general audience”, to assimilate gayness into heteronormativity. 

I.e., it is less, “Queer makes people think it’s okay to bash us.” and more “Queer makes people think we’re not like them.”

Most people end posts in defense of the label “queer” and the umbrella term “queer community” by saying “I won’t call queer if they’re not comfortable with it,” and most of them get told, “BUT THAT’S WHAT YOU’RE DOING WHEN YOU SAY ‘QUEER COMMUNITY!”

I’ve never yet seen anybody talking about the gay community have to disclaim that they’re not using the word to people who view it as unreclaimed slur or who just plain find it too hurtful to have even given that discourse any thought.

I won’t call someone queer if they don’t think of themselves a queer. I will use queer as an umbrella term. If that’s not you, you can cheerfully include yourself out of it. 

And heck, I’m doing you a solid. If you didn’t have a queer community to point to, you wouldn’t have anyone you could point to when you want to clarify that you’re not like those people.

anonymous asked:

hey, do you have any tips for writing a personal essay?

Hi! I’ve just finished transfer applications, so I have a few tips that I picked up during the process. 

  • Start early! I’m talking a month at least
  • Your rough draft should be rough. Don’t be afraid that it will suck, because it will – just start writing.
  • I probably wrote 15 different versions of each essay I turned in. Don’t be afraid to change directions if one just isn’t working out!
  • Make a list of values that are most important to you, and then show them those values. Do you love to help others? Tell them about a time that you reached out to someone and made a difference. 
  • Write a different essay for each school, or at least tweak the same essay a little for each school.
  • Read the school’s website. What do they talk a lot about? What seems to be important qualities in students? Show them that you’d be a good fit.
  • Why should they let you into their school? What will you do to bring them some recognition in the future?
  • Why do you want to attend that school? How will it help you achieve your goals? Be specific.
  • Show them that you’ve done your research,
  • Don’t be afraid to talk yourself up! Brag a bit, just don’t sound like a jerk. 
  • Don’t try to sound too intellectual. There’s this episode of Friends where Joey is writing and uses a thesaurus for every word and ends up signing it “baby kangaroo tribiani”. Bottom line? Admissions officers can tell when you’re sucking up. Use strong words, but not words you would never use in real life. 
  • Make your essay stand out. Add in a good hook, and some interesting stories if you can. 
  • Proofread and have multiple other people proofread. It’s worth it.
  • Free writing is a lifesaver for brainstorming

Good luck!

The Librarian's Assistant

I’d spent two years trying to get a job at the library on campus. I’d talked to the admission offices, the Gentry, the Education Board, the librarians, only to come up with nothing. I was, apparently, unqualified, which I thought was untrue. I’d worked for years as a librarian assistant over multiple summers. I was getting my major in Library Science. I even befriended some Fair Folk and their friends with my knowledge on books. Still, nothing. That is, until the main staff of human librarians disappeared. That was when the packet of paperwork was sent my way. 

“Hello?” I called out when I entered the library before my first class. “I’m here for the librarian job?”

“Good morning, Ms. Ellis.”

I turned to see the most beautiful woman in the world. Black hair, creamy coffee colored skin, and golden eyes that seemed to stare into my very soul. I was floored. I sputtered out some sort of response, to which she smiled. I melted. 

“I see you have your papers,” she said. “I’m truly sorry for the delay in you joining us. If I was in charge, you would have been a member of staff on your first day. There was definitely enough evidence for it.”

“What do you mean?”

“Do you not remember? You’re one of the only students I’ve seen find her book within two minutes of being here, and finding your way out again. This library chose you, as it did us many years ago.”

“‘Us’?”

I looked around to suddenly notice four more women walking around the library. One of them smiled and waved. I returned a smile, then turned back to the librarian. 

“We’re always here. You’ve spoken to a few of us over your time here.”

“Yes, I remember. I just have a question, though. The main office said only non-humans worked here after the human ones disappeared.”

“Oh, those old crows doesn’t keep up with anything nowadays. The librarians either chose to stop working here, or switched to our side.”

I remained confused. 

“Walk with me, Ellis. My name is Ina, by they way. You see, we librarians are all of different backgrounds. I, for example, am a Siren. I found the sea was not my calling, and found this place. Some of the librarians felt being a human was not their calling, so they became various creatures. Most choose to become a member of the Fae, or something of that nature. You’re not required to do the same, but you may choose this path when the time is right.”

“I thought humans weren’t able to do that. I asked the Gentry about it.”

“The librarians are a special case. Here, this way.”

She led me to an elevator. We got in, and pressed the button for the 18th floor. I continued to be surprised by how many stories could fit in a small buildings. I asked Ina about it.

“You mean…you’ve always known?”

“Well, yeah. Isn’t that common knowledge?”

“Only those with The Sight, non-human decent, or a relative of one of the original builders of the library can see the other floors. Do you have The Sight?”

“I don’t know. I mean, I can see Faes pretty well, but a lot of people can. Before you ask, I don’t know about my ancestry. I’m adopted, never knew my birth family.”

The elevator doors opened. Ina talked me over to the main desk. Behind the wood was a large man reading a small book. He looked up when we walked over. 

“Matthias,” Ina said. “I need a scan on our potential employee.”

The man, Matthias, took off his wire-framed glasses and stared at me with almost completely white eyes. He leaned back in his chair a minute later, as if considering something.

“What?” I asked. “What is it?”

“Ellis, right? It seems you have quite a bit of Fae heritage. I’m surprised you’re not showing signs of the Fae.”

“What does that mean?”

“It means you’re officially part of the team,” Ina said, looping an arm around my shoulders. “Welcome, Ellis of the Fae, to your new job.”

(I don’t know if I’ll continue this or not, but man was it fun to write! If whoever reads this wants me to continue, let me know with replies, I guess? I’ve never submitted anything to this universe before, so let me know if I got something wrong)

x

Batter & Cheerleader (Jeff Atkins)

Requested: Yep!

Words: 3485

Warnings: A bit angst, some swearing, and I don’t know if I should include this here, but there is a special appearance!

Request: @smiles-and-skittles:  Hey! So I just found your blog and I was wondering if I could request a Jeff Atkins imagine where the reader is the new girl and he shows her around school and ends up asking her out to Monet’s or something?

So sorry for the long long wait but here it is!

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Liberty High, Admissions office

“So here’s your schedule and locker combination.” The lady said, handing Alison, her schedule.

“Thanks. Are there cheerleading tryouts this week?” Alison asked

“I don’t know dear. You can ask Sheri Holland, she’s the head cheerleader” She smiled

“Okay thanks” Alison smiled back, and She turned her head to the opening door, revealing a cute tall guy with his ear pierced

“And here’s your peer mentor, Jeff Atkins” She pointed to the guy

“You know I’m only doing this because you promised extra credit right?” He said to the lady

“Yes. It will be added to your record” The lady said, rolling her eyes at the him

Then he turned his head to Alison, and Jeff Atkins was speechless. He tried forming words in his mouth but it’s like his mind just wanted to stare at the beauty in front of him. He knows that he hasn’t even spoken two words to her, but he found himself getting lost in her eyes that were pulling him in and he swears that he somehow saw himself falling in love with this girl and he doesn’t even know her name.

Keep reading

tips for choosing a college

This is a really exciting time for high school seniors/transfer students who are getting accepted to universities! But now it’s time for the most stressful part: deciding which school to go to. I was in the exact same place last year that you are in right now and I thought I would share some tips for making this difficult (but exciting!) decision.

Research, research, research. Online resources are the best. On the school’s official website, look at their course catalogs and major requirement sheets. If you’re coming in undeclared, look at their list of majors and see if you think they have enough options you’re interested in exploring. 

Also think about what it will be like to be a student at that school. Don’t only focus on the practical stuff like rankings and academics.  Look at the student orgs, events, and student resources. Follow their social media accounts (especially Instagram and Snapchat) to get a sense of the school’s vibe. You can even creep a lil and look at current students’ posts to see the campus through their eyes. Search for YouTube videos as well. There might be some vloggers who go to the school you’re interested in and you can see the day in the life of a student.

Take tours! Attend any admitted student days or come to campus for a regular tour. This is soooo important. You will get to learn about the school from an actual student and they will tell you more than you could ever find online. At the very least, walk around the campus yourself a little bit to get a feel for it. If for whatever reason you can’t go to campus before you have to choose, contact the admissions office and ask for some extra info. They might even put you in contact with a student who is in your major who you can talk to.  

Once you have narrowed it down to a couple schools, ask people which one they think you should go to. I did this and realized that whenever they told me a different school than UCSB (which I ended up going to) I would feel disappointed. I would always be like, “But why not UCSB?” You could also do the same thing by pulling names out of a hat. Think that whichever one you pick out, you will go to and see how you feel about it. While choosing a school should definitely be about academic opportunities and other practical factors such as financial aid, I think your gut feeling should play a role as well.

Do not worry about what other people will think. Everyone has an idea of what certain schools are like. It might have to do with rankings or other reputations that the school might have, but try to disregard that as much as possible and form your own opinions. Don’t worry if people don’t think the school is good enough or anything like that. After all, you are the one who will be going there for years, not them. 

Think about distance! I definitely underestimated how important this was for me. Consider how often you plan on going home. If you’re going to go home every weekend, a local school will probably work best in the long run. If you’re the total opposite and plan on rarely going home, a school much farther away will probably work out well for you. 

Talk to current students if you can. Reach out to alumni from your high school or community college who currently go there. If you do stop at the school for a visit, feel free to stop some students for directions then ask how they like going to school there. Check if there are any studyblrs who go to the schools you were admitted to (me if you were admitted to UCSB) and ask them any questions you have. 

So those are all the tips I can think of right now. Enjoy this time in your life because it is so exciting and you have so many options. If you have any questions about college or UCSB feel free to send me an ask! Good luck, and congratulations!

Imagine going to an aquarium with Chris.

A/N: So this was an idea that came after I went to an aquarium in Japan, I’ve just been putting it off ‘cause I’m lazy and I’ve been busy with other one shots, and the mini-series. But no more, I shall get to it before I completely forget how excited the jelly fishes and penguins made me feel.

You browsed the exhibit guide while your boyfriend, Chris, paid for the tickets into The Aquarium of he Pacific. It was his idea for this week’s 'Fri-Date’ after the two of you watched a documentary about Magellanic Penguins. You didn’t stop talking about them once, from the second the documentary finished to the moment he brought you to the aquarium; you talked about how cute they were, how much you liked penguins, how you wished you could have a penguin as a pet like in the movie 'Mr. Popper’s Penguins’. You were lucky you’d been dating Chris for a while now, any other guy would’ve left you at the aquarium and drove away in fear of your incessant penguin talk. But then again, Chris wasn’t any other guy and you weren’t any other girl; you were the girl he found incredibly adorable, as well as the girl he planned to marry someday.

“Oh my God,” you practically squealed when you turned to the page about the Magellanic Penguins. Chris chuckled as he joined your side, wrapping an arm around you so he could steer you towards the entrance. “Look how cute they are,” you pointed at the page and Chris nodded, smiling at how cute you were instead. “I can’t wait to see the penguins, you just know they’re going to be awesome.”

“You know we’re not here to just see the penguins, right?”

“Well, duh,” you retorted and he chuckled because it was not a 'duh’ moment for him.

Chris took his arm off you so he could pass your tickets to the admission officer. When he turned back to you, he found himself shaking his head with a wide smile. You were seriously adorable to him with your head buried in that little booklet, reading all the facts about the creatures you were most excited to see: penguins, jelly fishes, sea horses, sea lions, seals, sea otters, and lorikeets. Funnily enough, fish weren’t your thing; you weren’t here to see the fishes at all. But Chris knew he could make a day of the aquarium anyway because you could spend an hour alone on each of the creatures that you did want to see, the penguins especially.

“Oh my God,” Chris chuckled and grabbed your elbow when he saw that you were still nose-deep in your booklet. “C'mon, nerd,” he teased and pulled you alongside him into the fairly crowded aquarium. “Ow,” he laughed as you closed your booklet, slapping his chest playfully.

“You deserve it, you jerk,” you bit back your smile and slipped your hand into his; that smile escaped when he locked his fingers with yours and gave you one of his signature, pearly white grins. “God, you just know you’ve got me wrapped around your finger, don’t you?”

“If it’s any consolation,” he began as he leaned in to whisper into your ear, “you’ve got me wrapped around yours too.” You giggled and lifted your joint hands over your shoulder, leaning into his now open arm. “Oh definitely, without a doubt,” he kissed your hair, breathing you in, “my candy scented darling.”

“Mm…” You pressed your nose into his shirt and he laughed, squeezing your hand. “You smell nice too,” he raised an eyebrow, asking for an elaboration, “like everything good in the world.” You answered and he laughed louder; you tipped your head and kissed his bearded jawline, smiling.

“Everything good in the world, huh?” He chuckled and you nodded, grinning. “That’s not a scent I thought existed,” he said, only to have you wink in response. “God, you’re such a dork sometimes.” You just giggled, which made his smile reach his eyes. “But you know what, I just love you more with each passing day.”

“Enough to buy me a penguin?”

He laughed, “I don’t think buying you a penguin is the best idea. What would you even do with a penguin?” Before you could answer, he interrupted. “How about we compromise and we get another dog to keep Dodger company, and you name the pup 'Penguin’?”

“A pup named 'Penguin’?!” You gasped; so much excitement filled your eyes, Chris felt as though he’d just told a kid she could have any candy she wanted. “Can you imagine- Oh my God! Yes yes yes, yes to that compromise and yes to a dog named 'Penguin’.” Chris honestly could not contain his laughter, he had no idea how he got so lucky with you. “We need to find like a black and white one, a husky maybe? Or- oh oh, I know-”

“Shh,” he laughed and pulled his hand out of yours to press it against your mouth. “How about you breathe before you pass out?” He chuckled into your ear and you nodded, pressing your lips together. “We’ll go check out the shelter tomorrow, see if we can find a dog that suits you and that adorably ridiculous name.”

“Do you know what I wanted to name my first self-owned dog when I was younger?”

“Yes, because we’ve been dating for four years and I know every story you can possibly tell.” He reminded you and you chuckled, challenging him with your facials though you knew what he said was true. “Okay, you wanted to name your first dog 'Monkey’ because you like Squirrel Monkeys and there was a cute little mixed pug in your neighborhood named 'Monkey’ whom you loved.”

“Well I’ll be damned, Christopher Evans,” you pretended to be shocked and he laughed, wrapping an arm around you as the two of you continued to walk through the first floor. You both gave glances to the exhibits you passed, but seeing as they were fishes- there wasn’t much interest showed. “Do you really know everything about me?”

“Yes I do,” he nodded and pulled away from you, pointing at the Pacific Seahorse exhibit that you were yet to notice. You turned and your eyes widened at the 'Pacific Seahorse’ sign. “Which means I know you’re about to run off to join the other sea nerds and admire those seahorses.”

“You’re very right,” you nodded excitedly. “Bye, baby.” You ran ahead like a little kid, squeezing yourself into a small space between other patrons so you could get closer to the glass. “Wow, you’re huge compared to other seahorses. But it’s okay, you’re still cute.”

You spoke to the seahorses under your breath as Chris watched from a distance, chuckling. He could see your lips moving and even though he couldn’t hear what you were saying, he knew you well enough to guess. He pulled his phone out of his pocket and snapped a quick photo because he wanted to remember this moment, and honestly- every moment with you. His phone was filled with a lot of candid shots of you; some you’d seen and knew about, some you didn’t. He was saving those for your birthday present which was in August, he had a pretty special gift planned; a scrapbook of all your greatest memories together. That was the kind of thoughtful gift you’d usually give him which was why he was excited; there was no way you were going to see it coming and he was sure it was going to blow your mind.

“Babe!” You called out to Chris as he put his phone back in his back pocket. He started walking over, but you reached him before he could reach you. “Jelly fishes!” You pointed to the sign behind him. “Moon Jellies! They’re the ones you can touch because their stings are too weak to hurt humans. Come on,” you grabbed his hand and dragged him with you; he chuckled, speeding up so you didn’t have to. “Are you going to touch them?”

“There are a ton of things I’d rather touch,” he whispered suggestively into your ear and you laughed, feeling your cheeks heat up. He chuckled softly at your reaction, loving how he easily he can turn you on. “But yes, I’ll touch them. I just have a feeling that if I don’t, I’ll hear you talk about how I should’ve and that’ll be insufferable,” he teased you and you playfully shoved him.

“You’re really lucky Moon Jellies can’t hurt people.”

“You going to toss me into the tank?” He nudged you, grinning.

“Don’t tempt me, Christopher,” you giggled. “'Cause I will.”

“Maybe you should,” he leaned in and whispered into your ear again, with that same suggestive tone that you never could resist. “Then you won’t be the only wet human being in the aquarium.” You scoffed and he laughed, grabbing his left pec as you shoved him.

Tags: @chrisevans-imagines @widowsfics @m-a-t-91 @xoxomioxoxo @imaginesofdreams @ateliefloresdaprimavera @katiew1973 @winter-tospring @shamvictoria11 @caitsymichelle13 @michellekeehlmello @letterstomyself21 @soymikael @faye22 @always-an-evans-addict @sammyrenae68 @brobrobreja @elizabeth-matsuoka @thegirlwiththeimpala @camerica96 @all-of-the-above11 @whenyourealizethisisntagoodname @yourtropegirl @smoothdogsgirl @createdbytinyaddiction @siofrataylor @dreamingintheimpalawithdean @imaginary-world-of-mine @wanderingkat77 @grantward3 @rileyloves5 @chrsmom302 @buckys-shield @mylittlefandomfanfictions @breezykpop @catch-me-im-a-falling-star @tabi-toast @ssweet-empowerment @hayleesteashoppe @chrixa @feelmyroarrrr @akidura79 @louisespecter @castellandiangelo @ccrossfire @assxmblesstuff @edward-lover18 @princessesnaddy @1d-niallerbieberforever @dxbrevgrey @bellastellaluna @christopher-or-steven @brokenwingsxix @yourenotrogers @im-a-fandom-slut @royalexperiment256 @palaiasaurus64 @mysteriouslyme81 @captainumeboshi @avengingalec @tacohead13 @badassbaker @pegasusdragontiger @evanstanimagines @avengersgirllorianna (Inbox me if you’d like to be added to the tag list)

Tips and Tricks from Admissions Officers

On Tuesday night I attended a program called “Exploring College Options” in Portland. It was a seminar put on by admissions counselors from Georgetown, Duke, Stanford, Penn, and Harvard. Whether you are shooting for schools at this level or not, I thought I’d share what I learned. 

Applications

Letters of Rec: Find a teacher(s) who knows you well enough to actually give the college a sense of who you are as a student. One way to do this is to ask your teacher what would be missing from their class if you were not present. What do you bring to the table that no one else does? By portraying this they can capture exactly who you are as a person and student. 

Extra-Curriculars: There is no right or wrong EC. However, colleges would rather see you committing and succeeding in one specific area rather than dabbling in several. The Harvard officer explained it as “diving into the deep end” How deep can you go (to what extent) and how big of a splash do you make (your impact)? Finally, do something because you are passionate about it, not because you think it will get you into college.

Essays: It does not matter what you write but rather how you write it. The admissions team wants to get to know you. Get feedback on your essays, but not so much that it no longer sounds like you. The essays give a window into what you will bring to their campus. 

Testing: Testing is a standardized yard stick and is not always fair. Admission people realize that. Do the best you can. Take it once junior year, study over the summer, and again senior year. Don’t make standardized testing an extra curricular activity. In addition, know what tests or subject tests your schools require well before you have to start applying. Rushed testing is bad testing. 

Overview: The application should be a compilation of the best parts of YOU. Don’t try to be someone you aren’t. Admissions officers are normal people and they are rooting for you. 

Fun Fact #43: “College Board: the Musical” will be debuting on Broadway in Fall 2016. It’ll be a lot like “A Chorus Line” except instead of dancers auditioning for roles it’s about college applicants desperately trying to appeal their rejections to admissions officers

there’s been a small wave of stories about ultra-competitive Asian high schoolers like Enter Title Here by Rahul Kanakia and (to a lesser extent) Fresh Off the Boat and I’ve seen an extremely interesting trend:

all of these narratives are ostensibly about how bad and corrupt competition is, and yet almost none of them feature sympathetic Asian characters. 

the protagonists are usually wholly invested in the college admissions system and feel absolutely nothing beyond their goals. they don’t feel restricted, they don’t ever think about what kids in normal schools act like, they have no desires beyond that acceptance letter in the spring. they are cruel, joyless, robotic, and inhuman. emphasis on inhuman because these protagonists aren’t people (let alone anything approximating a high schooler), they’re machines.

sounds an awful lot like the Asian bogeyman that lives in the minds of white admissions officers, doesn’t it?

why bother writing about this experience if you’re just going to confirm the stereotypes that created the experience? why fall into a cheap moralizing parth when you can explore the horrific struggle between humanity and success that 12 year olds are being forced to make? the bizarre synthesis of ancient Asian cultures with fast-paced modern America and how our story is always being woven in different and yet identical ways? the tension between a society that tells you immigrants are So Inspirational yet makes you think twice about labeling yourself as one? 

Asian American writers: you can do better and if you don’t you have nobody to blame but yourself if we’re stuck in a mire of blind violence and obscurity for decades to come. 

Perfectionism is a vice that many students, especially “gifted” ones, struggle with. If left unchecked, it can lead to anxiety, procrastination, and lower academic performance. This post will hopefully inspire you to stop fearing failure and embrace the fact that making errors is an essential part of the learning process.

RECOGNIZING PERFECTIONISM

Striving for improvement is a great thing, but it can turn into perfectionism if taken overboard. Knowing that you are capable of great things and pushing yourself to meet your full potential is healthy and encouraged. Feeling inadequate and trying to meet a goal to validate yourself is perfectionism, which is both stressful and unhealthy.

You may have perfectionistic tendencies if you meet some or all of the following criteria:

  • You spend extremely long amounts of time on tasks (ex: you spent two hours on an assignment your classmates spent thirty minutes on).
  • You feel anxious, upset, or angry while trying to meet your own standards.
  • You dwell on mistakes (even small ones) for a long time.
  • You refuse to delegate tasks to others (ex: you do most/all of a group project by yourself).
  • You often agonize over minute details (ex: you read over a message several times before sending it to check for typos).
  • Your friends and/or family regularly tell you your standards are too high.
  • Your successes never seem to be enough; you always think you could have done more (ex: you aimed for a 90% on your test and earned a 95%, you feel happy for a while, but then begin to feel bad for not getting a 100%).
  • You have an all-or-nothing mindset. You feel like anything less than perfection is failure, or being anything less than the best is worthless.
  • Your motivation comes more from the fear of failure than the pursuit of success.

OVERCOMING PERFECTIONISM

Don’t take it personally. As my English teacher used to tell us, “I grade the writing, not the writer.” A judgement on your work is not a judgement on yourself. It’s easier said than done, I know, but remember that grades are not a reflection of your intelligence, self-worth, or potential. All they measure is how the work you produced compared to the grading criteria. Read the scores/comments you get, resolve not to make the same mistakes again, then apply what you’ve learned next time.

Zoom out. When you find yourself dwelling on one failure, step back to look at the bigger picture. Will this still matter tomorrow? Next week? Next year? In ten years? Chances are the answer is no. You’ll have so many more opportunities to succeed, because you are the one who determines your future success and happiness– not the test you failed, not the teacher who gave you a low score, not the old, grumpy admissions officer who rejected you.

Be your own best friend. We tend to be much harsher on ourselves than on others. Instead of criticizing yourself, think about what you would say to a close friend if he/she were in your shoes. You would never look down on your friend for missing the winning goal in her soccer game; you would instead congratulate her for her effort, sportsmanship, improvement, team spirit, and bravery in taking risks. So treat yourself the same way.

Surround yourself with positivity. If the people you hang out with are constantly agonizing about missed test questions, comparing themselves to others, and making you feel bad about yourself, it’s going to be a lot harder to end your own perfectionism. Don’t read magazines that make you insecure about your body. Unfollow social media friends who only post to show off their “perfect” life. Distance yourself from people who are negative and draining, and spend more time with friends who are encouraging and uplifting.

Set boundaries. In my post about getting better sleep, I mentioned that I set a rule for myself to always, always go to bed by 11 pm, even if I have incomplete schoolwork. This boundary ensures I’m getting adequate sleep and taking care of my health, and it also pressures me to finish my assignments in a reasonable amount of time. I won’t be tempted to spend an hour making the color and font on my Powerpoint slides perfect if I know I have other tasks that need to be finished before 11. This technique works for studying in general, not just your sleep schedule. Schedule a reasonable amount of time to complete something, stick to it, and learn to settle for “good enough” instead of “perfect”.

Find others’ mistakes…and realize they don’t matter. The next time you’re nervous about messing up during a class presentation, think about the way your favorite teacher teaches. I can guarantee that he stumbles, stutters, and loses his train of thought at least once during every class. But those slip-ups don’t prevent you from learning from him, right? Yes, your teacher could spend more time making his delivery absolutely flawless (just as you could spend hours and hours making your presentation perfect), but he doesn’t (and you shouldn’t), because minor mistakes don’t prevent his lesson (and your presentation) from being valuable and informative.

The same goes for just about everything else, and mistakes both big and small. All the TV shows you watch have goofs, plot holes, and/or gaps in editing, but that doesn’t stop you from loving them. All of your friends have received grades they weren’t happy with, but that doesn’t stop them from being good, intelligent, talented people. All famous actors have been in a box office bomb, all business gurus have had companies fail, all Olympians have lost important competitions. None of those people have let their failures stop them from getting up and trying again. And neither should you.

Thanks for reading! If you have questions, feedback, or post requests, feel free to drop me an ask.

+Click here for the rest of my original reference posts!

Sophia :)

college app season is coming up! since i’ve had some experience with interviews, i thought i would throw together a post about college interviews to give all you seniors a hand and alleviate some stress

🌿 t h e   b a s i c s

  • many colleges offer interviews
    • can be required or optional
    • can be conducted at the school with a student/admissions rep, or near your home with an alumni
  • a word of advice: if an interview is optional and you are contacted to have an interview, TAKE THE INTERVIEW–it can only help
  • types of interviews
    • individual
      • most common type (95% of the time it will be this one)
      • one-on-one with a school representative
    • informational
      • short
      • more of a Q&A about the school
      • not personal; can have multiple interviewees
  • most interviews run from 20-60 mins
    • however, leave ample time around your interview. all of my interviews went at least 20 mins over. but remember: length of the interview doesn’t mean anything

📑 i n i t i a l   s e t - u p

  • first of all, if you can’t secure an interview or are not offered one, DON’T FREAK OUT. that just means the school doesn’t have enough resources to give you an interview
    • it will NOT count against you or your application at all
  • for interviews conducted on-campus, you will have to sign up for a time slot to have an interview or email the admissions office to set one up
  • for alumni interviews, they will contact you
    • via email or phone
    • respond within 24 hours if you can, and absolutely by 48 hours
    • respond using “Dear Mr./Ms. ______”, thank them for contacting you, tell them you look forward to the interview, schedule a time that works for both of you, and make sure you are clear on the interview location
  • you’ll get an email of confirmation back from them
  • then mark it in your calendar

💭 h o w   t o   p r e p

  • research your interviewer !!! seriously, this is important
  • make sure to know…
    • where they’re from
    • which schools they’ve gone to (undergrad & grad)
    • what they majored in
    • what profession they have now
    • anything of significance about their relationship with the school you are applying to. for example, during my Princeton interview, I brought up my interviewer’s senior thesis topic, and he said no one had brought that up to him in like 20+ years. we had a great 20 min conversation about that, plus it made me memorable
  • research the school
    • specifics! whether it be clubs, resources, traditions, classes, etc.
    • especially know classes, research, professors, and resources that relate to the major you intend to study
  • create a list of questions to ask
    • these should not be questions you can look up the answer to (shouldn’t be factually/statistically based)
  • run over your résumé or topics that could come up
  • research what previous interviewees have said about the format of the interview
    • use tumblr, college confidential, etc. BUT take everything said with a grain of salt
  • make sure to know the transportation route to your interview location
  • optional: create an elevator pitch

👔 w h a t   t o   w e a r

  • business casual is best
  • gals: a nice skirt and cardigan, dress with tights, nice jeans/slacks with a blouse, etc.
    • keep your hair out of your face!
    • stay away from noisy/clunky jewelry, or anything you might fidget with
  • guys: button-down shirt or polos with khakis or a nice pair of jeans, suit jacket and tie/bowtie, etc.
    • wear nice shoes (no sneakers) AND SOCKS
  • nonbinary/non-gender-conforming: do whatever you think is best for you! just remember to look professional and well put-together (although this rule applies to everyone)
  • weather
    • summer/spring: lighter clothes. most likely you will be interviewing indoors, so don’t forget to bring an extra layer if necessary
    • fall/winter: add outerwear like tights, stockings, sweaters, etc. check the weather and bring an umbrella, hats and gloves, or snow boots if necessary
  • general tips
    • better to be overdressed than underdressed
    • avoid logos, graphics, and anything noisy (and please don’t wear apparel from the school–it seems “sweaty”)
    • use accessories sparingly
    • wear something classic but comfortable, that enhances your personality but doesn’t override it

📓 w h a t   t o   b r i n g

  • notebook/looseleaf paper
  • pens/pencils
  • any notes you may need
  • a list of questions to ask the rep
  • résumé
  • phone/money/keys/bus card
  • ***make sure you know the interviewer’s contact info and directions to the interview!

💬 d u r i n g   t h e   i n t e r v i e w

  • arrive 5-10 mins early to get comfortable with your surroundings
    • location will most likely be either a workplace (like a law/business office) or a casual setting (like a cafe)
  • the interviewer will meet you
    • make sure to shake their hand
  • if you are at a place like a cafe or coffee shop, you don’t need to offer to buy them anything !!! you can get yourself something if you want
  • they will most likely start with an open-ended question like “tell me a bit about yourself”
    • ELEVATOR PITCH FO DAYS
    • tell them your name, your school, some activities you do, etc.
    • try to tell them stuff that’s not on your application
    • ex: talk about upcoming internships/events/activities
  • from there a topic will latch on and they’ll start asking questions and transitioning
  • at the end, they will ask if you have any questions
  • DO
    • sit up straight, use manners and make eye contact
    • ask questions–even in the middle of the interview
    • consider the interview a conversation
    • listen to and learn from your interviewer
    • take notes
  • DON’T
    • interrupt your interviewer or get distracted
    • hold back/be modest
    • sound haughty
    • be quiet. speak. tell stories. talk!
    • make your answers generic
    • be nervous! it’s really, really hard to mess up an interview. everyone has nerves, but just remind yourself that this doesn’t really count for anything

🎉 a f t e r w a r d s

  • whew! you got through it. CONGRATS !!!
  • within 24 hours, write them a thank you email
    • thank them for taking the time to interview you
    • make sure to mention specifics about how they were helpful! it makes you memorable
  • you may or may not get an email back, but that doesn’t mean anything
  • breathe a sigh of relief. compile notes. rest.

💡 i m p o r t a n c e

  • how much does this actually matter?
    • not much
    • seriously, stop stressing
  • interviewers cannot make or break an application. having a superb interview will not boost your application by a huge amount, just like having a not-so-great interview will not doom you for all eternity
  • what the interview CAN do is…
    • help the interviewer advocate for you further
    • give you insight into the school
    • give you a chance to elaborate among things in your app
    • show the school you can conduct yourself gracefully in social/professional situations
    • give your application a boost if they are deciding between you and a similar candidate

and that’s all! i hope this post was helpful. please feel free to message me if you have any other questions or need more advice.

Taking a Risk: Secret Santa Writing Challenge

Receiver: @sierrastilinski

Pairing: Liam x Reader x 😮 (featuring the Pack and a little bit of Josh Diaz)

Request: “I want it with Theo and Liam and it can be about whatever the other person wants it to be”

Word Count: 3.5K

Warning: None. Just a little angst.

Summary: As soon as you’re of age, you’re given necklace just like everyone else. This necklace burns hot whenever your soulmate is near and cold whenever they’re gone. While everyone around you is excited to meet their true love, you on the other hand choose to distance yourself from it all for as long as you can. That is until a new student arrives on campus. 

Originally posted by liamsprayberrybabe


(Y/N)’s POV

Ever since I can remember, my mother has always been concerned about this thing dangling around my neck. The necklace we receive at birth is of “great importance”. It’s supposed to burn and glow in the presence of your soulmate and grow colder when they’re away. It’s like a game of hot and cold: soulmate edition. I never paid much attention to it since I hardly gave much thought to it. It was just a simple half circle hanging from a chain. My whole life, friends of mine talked about meeting their one true love and having that happily after, but what’s supposed to happen after that? Is your life supposed to be some big ray of sunshine afterwards? You’ll walk on air and see nothing but rainbows in the sky? I highly doubt it because life goes on.

Before I graduated high school, it became annoyingly apparent that everyone was finding their soulmates. Scott found Kira when she first moved to Beacon Hills, Malia found Tracy, and Stiles and Lydia found each other in the first grade. Even I couldn’t deny how cute that was.

I haven’t found mine, not that I was actually looking for them in the first place. My passion for finding my soulmate ended at the end of my eighth grade year. My parents were the most loving people I’ve ever met. Just like Stiles and Lydia, they found each other in elementary school and have been attached at the hip ever since.

It should have been like every other morning before school started. Dad would come in from the night shift, change out of his uniform, and make breakfast for Mom and I. That morning Mom stood by the window, tears flowing uncontrollably as she gripped her necklace.

When she finally noticed I was standing right beside her, she removed her hand from her necklace to hug me and that’s when I noticed. Her necklace turned black. I’ve only seen it once before, when the Sheriff’s wife passed years ago. It didn’t take much to put two and two together to figure out I had just lost my father and my mother lost the only man she would ever love. I’ve gone majority of my life watching my mother pretend like she was perfectly fine as if I didn’t know she was in pain.

Finding my soulmate meant I would have to take the risk of falling in love with the possibly losing them. It was a risk I was not willing to take.


It was the very beginning of the school year. Just about everyone was excited for it to begin. My classes finally ended and I made sure to meet with my friends in the cafeteria. My day never seemed right if we didn’t. We usually started talking about class, but somehow the topic of soulmates always made its way into the conversation. It never bothered me when they brought it up. If they were happy, then so was I.

“What happens to people who don’t find their soulmate?”, Kira questioned, looking at me for an answer

“I don’t know, but I do know that I’m going to go on with my life just like everyone else. Who says I’m required to have a soulmate?”, I smiled

For as long as I’ve had my friends, they’ve never tried to push me into finding them. They knew how I felt and that I was happier this way. Our table in the cafeteria, consisted of soulmates and me. You could say I was the odd one out, but not exactly.

“That is true”, Lydia piped up as she looked away from Stiles, “People who choose not to find their soulmates are free to live their lives just like anyone else”

“Great. Now that that’s out the way, have you heard about Norman University?”

“No, what happened to it?”, Scott beamed. He wasn’t really paying attention to what I had to say. He was too engrossed in Kira to focus.

“It got shut down a few days ago because of issues with funding. Apparently, a quarter of their students are being transferred here. That’s about–”

“Three thousand new students”, Malia groaned

“Yeah”, I sighed. “So for the next month you and I will be up to our necks in paperwork and tours”, I smiled, feigning excitement

Malia worked in the admissions office, while I worked in the student center. They were always extremely busy at the beginning of the semester, but now that 3,000 more students are being enrolled things were about to get hectic.

“When do they start?”, she asked with her face buried in her hands

“Three days give or take”


Three days managed to pass by quicker than I ever imagined and just like I told Malia, campus was a mad house. I spent most of my afternoons giving our new students tours of the student center and answering all their questions. Some seem excited to be at a new school, while others didn’t seem to care. By Friday evening the groups for the tours began to dwindle and I was beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I was meeting with the last group.

“Hello everyone. My name is (Y/N) (Y/L/N) and I’m a student here at Beacon Hills Unoversity. I’m going to show you around our student center just to show you how we assist the students here”

The blank expressions on all their face mirrored my emotions to a tee.

“Trust me I’ll go through this as quick as possible so we can all get the hell out of here”

As I grinned most of the students grinned back. Before I opened my mouth to speak, I felt an unfamiliar sensation near my chest. As instinct took over, my hand reached for the necklace as it began to heat up. I looked at the group in front of me and realized it couldn’t be any of them, it would have started sooner.

One girl smiled as realization hit her, “They found you, didn’t they?”

“No. Not now, don’t let this happen now”, I mumbled as I gripped the necklace even tighter

“(Y/N) are you alright?”, Josh asked as he walked from his desk

When he noticed where my hand was a knowing smile took over his features, “Lucky you”

“No, not ‘lucky me’. I’m not ready for this at all. Please help me”, I pleaded

“Okay I can take over for you. I’ll tell Finnick you weren’t feeling too well”

“Thank you. You’re a lifesaver”

I ran out the student center as fast as I could until my necklace cooled down or until I was out of breath, whichever came first.


“So you ran!?”, Stiles repeated as tried to stop himself from laughing

“Yes, I. Ran.”, I said slowly for the fiftieth time in less than an hour

We were all crowded in my dorm as usual.

“I’ve never heard of this before. (Y/N) you’re going down in history”, Scott smiled as he started laughing with Stiles, “I can’t believe you ran”

“Why is it so hard to believe? I told you all I didn’t want to find them”

“But you never said what you would do if they found you instead. Usually, soulmates are so wrapped up in the feeling of finding each other that they don’t even have time to run”, Lydia pondered

“Lydia that’s after they meet. She doesn’t even know what they look like”, Kira counteracted

The conversation steered away from me as they all talked about the new students that came to campus. Of course my soulmate would be one of them. I’m not at all shocked. I just thought that it wouldn’t happen this soon. A few more years would have been nice.

I absentmindedly nodded my head as they finished their conversation, which is how I was roped into coming to a party thirty minutes later.


Liam’s POV

Being at a new university hasn’t been all that bad. Especially when it’s the school your best friend goes to. Mason’s been showing me around the campus throughout the week, yet somehow forgot to tell me where I could find the student center. I managed to find the building on my own. It felt like I was being pulled there. Once I stepped inside, I finally knew why when the half circle on my necklace began to heat up. My soulmate was somewhere in this building and I had to find them. I searched the entire building relentlessly until my necklace cooled down. Disappointment hit me harder than I ever imagined. All my life I’ve heard and seen how people changed once they met theirs, but to actually experience was another story.

Most of my friends, like Mason found theirs once they reached high school, but it never happened for me. I watched in amazement as Mason had stopped talking and grabbed his necklace. He looked at faces of all of our classmates sitting in the cafeteria and when his eyes finally met Corey’s he knew he was the one. His entire demeanor changed. I’ve never seen him so nervous, yet undoubtedly happy in my entire life. It was going to be a new beginning for the both of them.

By the time I got back to my dorm, the two lovebirds were waiting by my door.

“Well that was fast. I thought the tour was supposed to be super long and boring?”, Corey asked as soon as he saw me

“I…I didn’t go to my tour”, I responded, playing with the zipper on my jacket

The second I look into their eyes, they would see the disappointment etched all over my face.

“Why not? Isn’t it required for all new students to go?”

“I was there, but my necklace…”

“Your soulmate. They’re here!?”, Mason almost yelled, “Where are they? Why do you look like that?”

“Because I couldn’t find them. As soon as I walked in, I felt it. So I searched all over the building until it cooled down again. I know they’re here, but I don’t even know where to begin”, I sighed

“At least you know they’re here on campus. All you have to do is wait for it to start again”

“In the meantime, you’re going with us to a party tonight. Some upper classmen are throwing it for all the newbies and you happen to be one of them”, Mason suggested, oddly enough leaving me with no room to argue

The party was already in full swing when we got there. The music pounded against my poor eardrums as everyone danced with their friends. It was enough to get my mind off the whole soulmate thing for the time being. We finally managed to push our way to the kitchen to get a drink. Mason and Corey grabbed some cups while talking about someone I had never heard of before. She seemed nice according to their stories.

“She’s been helping out here ever since”, I heard when the edge of the cup touched my lips. Soon after I felt the burning sensation again, only this one was stronger. The cup nearly fell out my hand as I choked on my drink.

“You can’t handle your liquor?”, Mason joked

“They’re here”, I hesitated as I gripped my necklace much like before

“Then let’s make sure we actually find them”, Corey said determined as ever

We walked out the kitchen and rejoined the party, our hearts set on finding my soulmate.


(Y/N)’s POV

We arrived to the party later than expected. The familiar smell of alcohol and sweat took over my senses once I stepped in. The room was not all that big, but it never stopped anyone from pushing their way to the makeshift dance floor. The room was already burning up. We were on our way to the kitchen and I slowly brought my hand up to my necklace. It was burning hotter than before. I felt overcome with panic at the thought of even being in the same room as them. At this point we were already halfway to the kitchen.

“Guys!”, they all turned around, eyeing my hand, “They’re here”

They all began to look around the room. Anyone with their hands on their necklace had to be the one, but I didn’t want to see them, not yet.

“I’m going to step out back. I need some air”

They all nodded in agreement as I pushed my way past the kitchen and out the backdoor as my necklace cooled down. It wasn’t burning up, yet I could still feel the heat on my neck. I stood near the edge of the balcony, lost in my own thoughts. How would I know if I was ready for this? What if they aren’t who I think they are? Do I act like it’s okay because we were meant to be?

My necklace began to burn again. Silently, I hoped the backdoor wouldn’t open. I began to debate how long would I be in a cast for if I decided to jump off the balcony.

Taking a deep breath once the half circle began to glow, a mix of nerves and excitement took over. This must be the feeling they were telling me about. There was no way to turn back now. The balcony was out of the question. The door squeaked as it pulled open and someone finally stepped out. A part of me didn’t want to have that feeling of being so overcome with emotion, yet another part of me wanted to take that dive.

They stopped a few steps behind me.

“You can come closer. If you want”, I managed to get out

This time they kept walking until they were by my side. I hadn’t dared to look up yet. My stomach was doing backflips as my heart pounded in my chest. If taking a risk was so bad, why does it make me feel this way?

He put his hand on the rail, the edge brushed across mine and I felt the spark. Suddenly all the fear I had before dissipates and I knew I had to see him. I looked up and was met with a pair of blue eyes that I would be seeing for the rest of my life.


Five days. It took an entire five days for Liam and I to finally pull away from each other. We went to class, but every other part of the day we were stuck like glue. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. He told me about his life back home and I told him all about mine. I even told him about how and why I wasn’t sure having a soulmate was for me. He understood it all, yet he was still glad to finally meet me.

We arrived in the cafeteria that Wednesday and made our way to our friends. Oddly enough I was friends with his best friend.

“Look who finally remembered who their friends were”, Stiles grinned as soon as we reached the table, “We thought we wouldn’t see you for another week or so”

It took Scott and Kira two weeks before the feeling wore down. Meeting with your soulmate when you’re older is lot more intense than meeting as a child. No one ever understood why, but according to Stiles and Lydia it was just as intense.

“I’m going to pretend like I didn’t hear that”, I muttered

We made our way to the corner of the table and all eyes were on us.

Liam blushed as he turned to me, “I didn’t really think this was going to happen”

“They’ll stopped…eventually”, I said, eyeing my friends

“Not them. Us. I wasn’t really sure if I would meet my soulmate at this age. My grandparents didn’t meet until they were in their thirties and neither did my parents. I’m just glad that we found each other sooner than they did. Now I don’t know how I survived so long without you”

It felt like we were the only people in the room. I couldn’t hear anything that was going on around us. It's’ something about those baby blues that keep me at ease. Every moment we’re together, he shows me more and more why we’re supposed to be together.

“I’m glad we did too. I really am”

At seven o’clock my shift was coming to an end. I packed my things away as the door slid open.

I knew who it was before I looked up.

“What are you doing here Liam?”, I asked, already knowing the answer

“I’m here to walk you to your dorm”

“I never told you when I got off”

A blush crept over Liam’s cheeks as he looked away. For someone as confident as Liam, it didn’t take much to make him feel this way.

“I asked Josh”

“Josh Diaz?”

“Yeah”

I walked passed the front desk and he immediately wrapped his arms around my waist. I thought I would give him a peck on the cheek for being sweet, but it quickly turned into something more. Soon my hands were running through his hair as he softly bit my lower lip.

“Get. A. Room.”, Josh smiled as he made his way around the corner

We jumped away from each other, completely forgetting we were out in public.

His smile widened as his eyes landed on Liam, “So you finally found her? I thought she was going to be running from you until she graduated”

“How do you two even know each other?”

As far as I was concerned, he never stepped foot into the student center.

“It wasn’t that hard to put it all together. The day you ran out of here, I saw him making his way to the front door. It was right after you left actually”

Josh pondered for a second, “This is why we haven’t seen you for a few days? Finnick said you were ‘sick’”

He started to laugh, “He failed to mention you were lovesick. Who would’ve thought”

Josh walked around the corner again and left us alone again. Liam intertwined his fingers in mine as he led the way.

“Before we get to your dorm I wanted to show you something. It won’t take long”

Usually I’m a skeptic, but I let him take me to where he needed to go. About six minutes away from campus, we stopped at a lake I had no clue existed. It was breathtaking. The moon shined bright as its reflection danced against the lake. I could tell I would be spending most of my time here…when I had time.

“It’s beautiful”

“I know. I’ve been coming here a lot lately. I thought you might like it here too”

“I love it Liam. Thank you for bringing me here”

“Of course. Anything for you”, he smiled as he turned around, “I guess I should take you back now”

“Let’s stay for a little while. I’m not ready to leave yet”

We found a spot at the lake and talked for hours. Liam was unexpected, but I couldn’t see myself being with anyone else, but him. He was my soulmate and there was no doubting that.


It was the end of another shift on a Friday night, while Josh and I closed the center. While he logged off all the computers, I spent my time putting away stray books and tidying up the desks. Liam would be on his way soon and I couldn’t wait to spend the rest of my weekend with him.

As we finished our tasks, I felt my necklace beginning to burn again. It hasn’t burned this hot since the day I met Liam. It wasn’t supposed to be doing this again. Maybe it was broken.

After soulmates meet, the necklaces may heat up when they’re together, but never as hot as when they first meet them. It’s the only way to indicate that you’re meeting each other for the first time. No one has ever heard of having two soulmates at the same time. It wasn’t possible so I pushed the thought out my mind. It had to be broken.

As the burning intensified, I walked around the center. The only person in here was Josh and he already had a soulmate. As soon as I made my way to the front desk, I packed my things as quick as I could. The front door slid open just as I grabbed my bag.

“I’m sorry I’m late, but…”

My necklace began to glow as I was met with an unfamiliar face. We were shocked for two different reasons. While he was meeting his soulmate for the first time, I was meeting my second. This shouldn’t be happening, but something about seeing him felt right. His hand reached for the glowing half circle around his neck as well.

The shock went away as he smiled at me, “My name is Theo. Theo Raeken”

“I”m..”

“Her name is (Y/N)”, Liam said angrily from the doorway, “And she’s already taken”


Employers like to use free-form, unstructured interviews in an attempt to “get to know” a job candidate. Such interviews are also increasingly popular with admissions officers at universities looking to move away from test scores and other standardized measures of student quality. But as in my friend’s case, interviewers typically form strong but unwarranted impressions about interviewees, often revealing more about themselves than the candidates.

We live in a world where college admissions can either make or break us. There is no in between. Isn’t it sad? How we are raised solely for this moment? Years of education, all for this moment of disappointment. The moment we get rejected, there are no words that can console the heartache we feel. My question is: how did we come to create such a terrible system? How can we just accept it when students cry their heart and soul after reading a simple, “We regret to inform you,” followed by sentences about how competitive admissions are this year and how each application is carefully read and how there’s always spring quarter. Then they start going back and wondering what it is they possibly did wrong. Was it the topic? Grammar? A misunderstanding? To those who don’t understand, they’ll think it’s because those rejected students weren’t up to par with the “standards”. I’ll only say this: how can you tell a student who has poured their aspirations and struggles and life into a college application that they just weren’t good enough to be accepted into ABC college and that student XYZ is much more superior? It’s complete bullshit to me. How can we accept such generic phrases after writing so passionately that our blood meddled with the words of our personal statements? I hate this system of test scores and GPAs. There’s more to the fucking world than numbers. There’s more beyond a damn essay that probably only gets skimmed over. How can college admissions officers look for qualified students based on such limited information that may even be complete fabrications. Tell me how. How can we accept that students are tearing themselves apart over a rejection letter? Tell me why. Why is it deemed “normal” that I have friends bawling because of an education system that builds them up only to throw them overboard?