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

Hey y’all! Even though I got rejected from my dream college and it feels like my life is over, I’m trying to remind myself (and you, too) that it isn’t.

If you’re in my same situation, it probably feels like you had 100% serious, boring, sad high school and 0% fun high school. I missed out on so many activities, traditions, and people because I was studying. I don’t care what anyone says, agressively bullet journaling is no match for spending time with friends and just being able to relax. I am deeply envious of the people who will be able to look back on their high school experience, and think of something other than all nighters and crying.

I put so much energy into studying and devoted my time to school, that it’s physically painful that all of that was just so that I could get a rejection letter at 5pm (mt).

I am so incredibly lost right now. There is nothing anyone could say to me right now (other than an email from Dream School saying there was a mistake) to make me feel better.

However, the reality of the situation is that I believe in fate, and if I was never meant to go there, then I shouldn’t. The best place to start is from the bottom, and believe me, it’s right under my feet. Enjoy the ride back up. I’ll get there.



So, ’tis the season. I get it. Everybody who’s applied to grad school is now waiting to hear back. I’m happy to answer asks about the process, but please check the tags first, especially applications, admissions, and grad school, because I’m getting a lot of very similar questions, sometimes two or three a day. 

Thanks and good luck!

Xx Dukesie

Conquering the Why School? Essay

From a student who got into MIT & the Ivy League

I’ve read many Why School? essays. These often come across as generic, with no real indication of interest. I’m here to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes in your essays.

-Look up their course catalog. Don’t simply write, “I’m interested in your stellar economics program.” Great, so are hundreds of other applicants. Name-drop a couple of classes and explain why those specific courses appeal to you. It’ll show you’ve done your homework.

-Discuss a few clubs. Colleges want students who will contribute to their campus outside of the classroom. Are you interested in journalism? Talk about joining the school newspaper. Are you a violin virtuoso? Indicate your interest in the orchestra. Or are you into something that isn’t yet available? Say you’ll start a new group!

-Latch onto research opportunities. Schools love students who can contribute to their published papers. Look up ongoing research projects in whatever department you’re interested in (and no, research isn’t only for STEM fields!) and talk about how you’ll get involved.

-Talk about what makes a school unique. Columbia has a Core Curriculum; Princeton has a yearlong bridge program in Bolivia. Why do you want to attend this specific school?

-Touch upon your long-term goals. How will this university help you achieve your goals of becoming a lawyer? How do you want to make the world a better place? Colleges are looking for people who will contribute meaningfully to society.

-Don’t mention rankings or prestige. Harvard already knows it’s world-renowned, it doesn’t need you to stroke its ego. You should be choosing the best school for you, not the best school according to US World & News Report

Good luck! I’ll also be happy to read your college app essays, feel free to message me :)

anonymous asked:

do you have any quick tips for making your essay really stand out?

Write using some combination of:

  • powerful imagery
  • a new take on an old idea
  • an uncommon perspective
  • a non-standard format
  • well-metered writing
  • a persistent narrative timeline
  • subtle motifs
  • brutal honesty and vulnerability
  • a magnificent depiction of a common entity
  • a denial of expectation
  • a clear authorial voice (MUST HAVE)
  • well-placed sarcasm

You can write a powerful essay about pretty much anything using ^^^^^^^this shit right here^^^^^^^

Decision Days

So it’s that time of year - college decisions are coming out soon! i know this can be incredibly stressful, so i wanted to make a list of some tips for dealing with all the feelings you might be feeling as these announcements approach.


  • Try to stay busy! Try to avoid thinking about it as much as possible. The anticipation can be awful, and really stressful.
  • Do things you love! Go for a run, make art, write, cook, play video games, read a new book!
  • Hang out with friends and make a rule that you won’t talk about college.
  • Pet animals! Spend some quality time with a living creature who will never bring up college decisions and will just make you feel happy and loved.
  • Distract yourself with movies, Netflix, or good music. (i made a little playlist on spotify you can use here! It ranges from really upbeat to more calming).


  • Take time to feel whatever you need to feel. Good or bad or confusing or overwhelming.
  • Talk to people - whatever happens, you don’t want to shut yourself away.
  • Be mindful of those around you. If a friend got in and you didn’t, it’s okay to gently ask if they wouldn’t mind bringing it up around you for a few days. Tell them you’re proud of them and love them but you just need a little time! Or, if you got in and a friend didn’t, let them know you’re there for them and make a point not to talk about your acceptance/that school around them until they’re feeling a little better.
  • Remember that no matter what, this doesn’t define you. Getting into a top school doesn’t make you superior to anyone else. Getting rejected from a school doesn’t make you worse than anyone else. Admissions can be weird and confusing!

You will end up in a good place. You will make friends there, you will study things you love there, you will do great things. Your future is stunningly bright, and wherever you go, they will be lucky to have your light.
"You Know They're Gonna Think You're Lovers, Right?" - Chapter 18 - neglectedrainbow - Dear Evan Hansen - Pasek & Paul/Levenson [Archive of Our Own]
An Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
By Organization for Transformative Works

Chapter 18 of “You Know They’re Gonna Think You’re Lovers, Right?”

Evan and Jared talk. Then they stop talking.

Admission #216: Work Besties

Me: What are you doing this afternoon?
Work Bestie: Studying. Doing data analysis.
Me: Hey me too!! Can we text each other for support? Because you do that Batman-“I WORK ALONE” thing when you’re reading and stuff. 
Work Bestie: Yeah I do, thank you for remembering.

Fun Fact #21: After years of complaints about the ACT Science Section, we have decided to change it. Beginning in 2016, the ACT Science Section will take place in a research lab and require the test-taker to design, conduct, and replicate a valid experiment using pre-selected chemicals in under 20 minutes. A 36 can only be obtained if the test-taker makes a significant scientific discovery within the allotted time period.