The SAT was created by a noted racist and anti-immigrant activist who had previously written difficult, biased exams intended to prevent immigrants from becoming citizens. Happy test day!!


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

anonymous asked:

Hi, so I was put on the waitlist for Smith, and am slightly heartbroken. I absolutely adore it and really really want to go there. I was wondering if you knew if it's common for Smith to accept people on the waitlist? I know that it's different for every college and every year, but I'm hoping for a general idea. I don't want to get my hopes up just to have them dashed again. Thanks!

Hi!! So as someone who got into Smith off of the waitlist my advice to you is don’t rule them out because there is a chance that you might get in. Also remember that being put on the waitlist means that Smith believes that you are qualified to be here so definitely take pride in that. I talked about the waitlist in a previous post so I’m gonna quote it here:

“Don’t fear the Waitlist- The waitlist might look and seem like a dreaded and scary unknown purgatory but fear not there is hope on the waitlist. I got into Smith off of the waitlist. After being waitlisted by Smith, I felt happy because by being waitlisted it meant that I had not been rejected and was qualified to be there but that there was just a space limitation. Soon after May 1st, I got 2 phone calls and an email from Smith (I was doing homework in the library after school) telling me that I was off the waitlist and after a spontaneous trip to Northampton the next weekend I decided to come to Smith. So don’t be afraid of the waitlist, you never know what could happen.”

In terms of how common it is for Smith to accept people from the waitlist, I think it varies each year. I do have a lot of friends who were also accepted from the waitlist so it definitely could happen. In terms of what you can do I am going to quote the answer to a question that I was asked that is similar to your’s:

“Hey!! So when I was on the waitlist I remember sending in an extra teacher recommendation. I have friends who were also on the waitlist before getting into Smith and they told me that they sent in a letter to the Admissions Office about their love for Smith (or something to that effect). I think it depends and I do not know for sure but I think some people may have found out before May 1 and others (like me) found out after May 1st. Wishing you all of the luck in the world!!!”

So definitely keep your head up and I am also wishing you all of the luck in the world!!!

Cushing House Love <3

Bri ‘19

Application Reading 2017

- If I see another student include the phase “Merriam Webster defines ____ as ____” in their common app essay, so help me. Someone obviously told them to cite their sources but geez…

- My notes should never include “what was that” when describing your common app essay.

- Letter of recommendation for an actor, from someone who clearly doesn’t know how to talk about art: “Her performances are very watchable.”

- Seeing a letter of recommendation from someone you know but haven’t spoken with in years and they definitely don’t know you work for this school.


- Additional info section: “My grades dipped because I had cancer”… we’ll definitely cut you some slack. “My grades dipped because I didn’t like the classes”… no. 

College Interview Tips!

I just finished a couple of college interviews, so I wanted to share my tips with you so that you can have the best chance possible to present yourself well in your interviews!


For Girls:

  • Dress modestly and professionally. The dress code is business casual. Try to dress in either a collared shirt/sweater and skirt, a dress with a cardigan, or a collared shirt/sweater and slacks. Try to keep the outfit relatively monotone or toned down– you want to make sure the focus is on you, not on your clothes!
  • Try to make sure that you aren’t wearing anything too tight or too revealing. Once again, you want to make sure that you look professional, and you want to focus to be on what you’re saying!
  • Dress comfortably! If you are comfortable, chances are you will be confident. If you are uncomfortable, it’s really hard to focus on the task at hand.
  • Keep your makeup simple. Once again, professionalism is the name of the game. For my interviews, I wore simple face makeup with a little bit of a smokey eye, and I felt that worked well for me!
  • For shoes, I would highly recommend wearing flats. Once again, you want to be comfortable, and for a lot of us girls high heels aren’t very comfortable. If you want to wear heels, keep them low.

For Guys:

  • I would recommend wearing a collared shirt with either slacks or a nice pair of khakis. Make sure you shirt and pants are crisp and well-ironed. A suit will usually be overkill. Throw on a sweater too, if you are interviewing in the winter.
  • If you have a pair, wear brown or black leather shoes, and make sure they are very clean and shiny! Definitely no flip-flops or sneakers.

For Both:

  • Don’t change how you dress to dress like what you think the college wants! They want to know you and to see your individuality. Dress in a respectful way, but don’t forget to show your own style! 

Interview Content

  • You MUST know why you want to attend the college that you are interviewing for. If you don’t prepare any other answers, prepare an answer to this question. Without fail, almost every interviewer will ask you why you want to attend the college. Know both tangible and non tangible reasons. I would always start out talking about location, academics, extracurriculars, but then I would move on to community, unity, pride, and history. KNOW YOUR ANSWER TO THIS.
  • In many interviews you will be asked why you want to pursue the major that you have indicated. Make sure you have an answer to this question as well.

  • Explain what you do outside of school.

  • Explain what activities you wish to pursue in college.

  • Be able to explain your strengths and weaknesses. 

  • Talk about a favorite book that you’ve read in school or on your own.

  • What will you bring to the college/Why do you think you are a good fit for the school?

  • Be candid and be completely honest! They aren’t trying to trick you into a wrong answer– They really do just want to know more about you! Emphasize your good points and try to avoid bad points. Be positive!

Other Advice

  • Allow yourself at least 15 minutes of time. For one of my interviews I didn’t give myself enough time and ended up spending 20 minutes trying to find a parking spot. First impressions are extremely important!! Be on time. You don’t want to stress yourself out by being late.
  • Have a firm handshake. Look your interviewer in the eye. Be an active listener. Nod and give verbal confirmation that you understand what they are saying to you.
  • If you can, bring a copy of your transcript and resume. If they ask to see it, you want to be prepared.
  • Prepare a list of 3-4 questions you can ask the interviewer. They will always ask if you have any questions, and you want to make sure you can show them that you are curious!
  • If you are doing a Skype interview, like I did, go through a test run the night before. Unfortunately, sometimes this can’t get ride of all problems. For my interview, my Mac Skype wasn’t compatible with my interviewer’s Windows Skype, so we had to do an audio interview without the video.
  • Be flexible. Things are going to go wrong, but it’s going to be okay! If you stay calm and focused, you will be fine! Go with the flow. Interviews are a wonderful opportunity to showcase yourself and learn more about the college you are interested in. Don’t worry too much! They really are quite fun!
Quick Reminder...

While the college admissions process definitely emphasizes a sense of competition among other seniors, please remember that your experiences and accomplishments are a reflection of yourself and the resources that were available to you. I constantly have to remind myself that while I may see someone who I think is very intelligent and well-rounded and has a much better chance at getting admitted into X institution, their life is far different from my own and that I still have something unique to offer to each student body that said student would not.
Please remember that you’re a lovely little sunflower and that regardless of anyone else’s talents and experiences, you still have so much to bring forward. I love you all.