admissions office

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)
2

Darren Wilson called black people “n*ggers” on duty, lawyer denies it was derogatory

  • Former Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson referred to black people as “niggers” while on duty, according to a December court filing obtained by the Washington Post.
  • The filing — part of a civil suit brought by the family of Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager Wilson killed in August 2014 — contains 173 sworn “admissions” from the former officer. 
  • Several of these include concessions that Wilson and his fellow police used the racial slur at work.
  • “You have used the word ‘nigger’ to refer to an African-American on at least one occasion,” Wilson was asked. “Admitted,” Wilson replied, through his attorney.
  • Wilson’s attorney, Greg Kloeppel, stated in an email to the Washington Post that Wilson only used the term when repeating or reporting what was said to him by a victim, witness or suspect during an investigation. Read more (3/14/17 11:25 AM)

follow @the-movemnt

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.

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. 

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.

Keep reading

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.

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

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!

Cliches to avoid for essays

The Prospect

1. The Immigrant Essay

Going back over the essays I received during the college essay extravaganza, 50% of the Common App essays I read were about students and their families moving to the US and learning to adjust. Now, I’m not saying that your familial struggles aren’t intense and worthy of talking about; after all, many students wrote about the loneliness they felt being the only new kid in school or having to adjust to American customs, and those are all absolutely valid conversations.

However, if you put all of these “moving to America” stories in a pile and read them one after another, they start to bleed together. The story lines and characters all sound the same. And for you, that means less of a chance to stand out and more of a chance of being labeled “one of those immigrant kids”. Is it fair? Absolutely not. Is that the way it is? Unfortunately, yes.

2. The “They Taught Me More Than I Taught Them” Essay

Please for the love of all that is admissions don’t write about the time you went on a service trip to a third-world country and learned from the locals. Not only does it typically come across as condescending and privileged (since most high school students are not aware of how to talk about cultures in politically correct terms), but it’s also so overdone and bland.

3. The “Ski Slope” Essay

When many students answer the quintessential “talk about a time you overcame an obstacle” prompt, they tend to write something that I call the “ski slope” essay. In this scenario, the author was given a physical challenge (like a ski slope, mountain, scary water slide ride, etc.) and was eventually convinced overcome it. Again, it’s an essay that I’ve seen over and over (and over) again, and there’s no real way to write these essays well. They usually involve a lot of cliche adjectives and some other person convincing the writer to go down the slope. Inspiring? Not at all.

Look at it this way: Thousands of people learn how to ski every year; it’s boring and totally not unique. If you’re going to write about an obstacle, it needs to be an obstacle that only 0.00005% of the world has overcome. Otherwise, you’re just like everybody else.

4. The “Look at How Super Deep I Am” Essay

Kids, don’t try to go on a philosophical rant in your college essays. Not only do you typically sound like a pretentious, self-important twerp pulling stuff out of your butt (and admissions officers know it), but these tirades also tell the reader absolutely nothing about you as as potential member of a college. Don’t get meta. If you want to talk about all the great deep thoughts inside your head, start a blog.

5. The All-Dialogue Essay

Note: Spending half of your 650 words going through a conversation you had with your sister is a complete snore and a total waste of time and space. Cut our dialogue unless it’s funny or actually moves the story along. Something like this is just really dull fluff:

“Sister,”I said to her.

“Yes?” she said back.

She looked at me with angst. “What?” she asked again.

Three lines in and you’re bored already, right?

6. The Way-Too-Extended Metaphor Essay

What do dumplings, crayons, and hoop earrings have in common? They’re all inanimate objects that have been used as extended metaphors in college essays, and all of those essays were not good.

Pulling off the extended metaphor essay is hard, and as you’ve learned by now, it’s best to go into essay writing with the mentality that you are the rule, not the exception. So stop trying to compare your life to a squashed kumquat you saw on the side of the road and find a different topic.

7. The “Lesson about Failure Where You Didn’t Really Fail” Essay

Remember that an admissions essay is still a story, and the best heroes and heroines have legitimate pitfalls. If your biggest failure is that you had a hangnail but you eventually took care of it, not only do you look shallow, but you also look dull. Failures need to be actual heart-stopping, “OMG, NOOO!” failures. Either commit to going all the way or avoid writing this type of essay altogether.

8. The Bat Mitzvah Essay

When the Common App prompt asks for something that marked your transition into adulthood, stay away from cultural or religious events that actually mark adulthood, like a bar/bat mitzvah or a confirmation ceremony or something. The best essays about transitions into adulthood deal with unforeseen shifts, not obvious ones (for example, my friend wrote about the different types of boxers he bought throughout high school. Shift to adulthood? Yes. Totally freaking clever? Heck yeah).

9. The Straight Up Cliche Essay

There are many topics that are way overdone besides the ones listed above. Some examples of what I mean:

  • The “What I learned at this academic conference/camp/event” essay
  • The “What my mom/dad/family taught me” essay
  • The “How I felt about moving to a whole new place or being in a new environment” essay
  • The “How I learned to fit in” essay
  • The “Death of person x” essay
  • The “How my parents’ divorce changed me” essay
  • The “Here’s a very vague essay about my family’s culture” essay

Again, these are just a few of the many examples of cliche essays.

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!

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

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

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.

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

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 WordBank!

There are a lot of words that may seem new and weird throughout college applications, so here is a list of words that I defined in order to help you glide through the application process!

The Basics: Treat Yo Self! (and know the facts!)


1. Undergraduate: An undergraduate student is someone who is obtaining an undergraduate education or degree, such as a Bachelor’s degree.

2. Private University: A Private University is a college that is privately funded. They tend to be smaller than public universities as well.

3. Public University: A Public University is a college that is publicly funded, specifically through the national government. They tend to be larger than private universities.

4. Safety School: When applying to colleges, a safety school is a college where the stats of a typical student admitted is lower than your stats, which indicates that it may be easier for you to get in (since you have higher stats than the average).

5. Target School: A target school is a college where the stats of a typical student admitted is similar to your stats, which indicates that you are the same level as other applicants.

6. Reach School: A reach school is a college where the stats of a typical student admitted is higher than your stats, indicating that it is a more competitive college.

7. College Confidential: A website full of threads and information about college admissions. Although some of the pages found on College Confidential are helpful, there are some things found on this site that may discourage you for no apparent reason, such as “Chance Me” threads. Therefore, I advise you to steer clear of College Confidential and, by all means, do not let it get to your head!

8. “Chance Me’s”: “Chance Me” are threads found online where people write their stats and ask for others to see if they can get accepted to a specific college. I advise you NOT to trust these things, as people online do not know your chances of getting into a specific school.

9. Common App: Also known as the Common Application, the Common App is an application used for undergraduate admissions to a multitude of colleges. A majority of colleges accept the Common App, but I suggest looking in on the ones you want to apply to in order to know for sure.

10. Universal College Application: Similar to the Common App, the Universal College Application is also a site used by many people to send their college applications.

11. SAT II’s: Also known as SAT Subject Tests, the SAT II’s are exams that are taken in specific subject areas, such as Biology, Math I/II, and US History. Many colleges do not require SAT Subject Tests. However, it is important to check and see if some colleges require you to take an SAT Subject Test, or if it is optional. Although it may be optional for the college, it is still your decision if you would like to take this exam or not for admission purposes.

12. Transcript: A report of all the grades you have received in each class that you have taken during high school. Colleges require an official transcript to be sent to the admissions office.

13. Recommendation Letter: A letter that details why you are an excellent fit in said college. These letters usually come from teachers, faculty, coaches, mentors, etc. Recommendation letters should NOT be written by a family member.

14. Personal Statement: A Personal Statement is basically a college essay. Many colleges require you to write at least one, while others require more than one essay.

15. Need Blind Admissions: Need-Blind Admissions is when colleges will decide on your admissions decision without looking at your financial information. To clarify, this means that the college will decide on your admissions decision solely on your application and not on your financial information.

16. Waitlisted: Waitlisted is sort of the middle ground for colleges. When you are waitlisted, it does not mean that you are accepted or rejected. Instead, it means that you are put on a “waiting list” and, if the colleges enrollment numbers from their accepted students are lower than expected, they will accept more people from the waitlist.  

17. Deferred: Deferred is when a college pushes your application to the next filing period. This means that you have not been accepted or rejected yet. Instead, the college has pushed your application in order to review it again and make a final decision. A deferral only happens if you have applied Early Action or Early Decision.

18. Legacy (Applicant): A legacy applicant is someone who is applying to a college that a family member has went to, usually their parents.


Types of Applications (it’s “ED” as one, two, three! Get it!?)


1. ED/Early Decision: A type of application filing period where you are able to apply early, but it is binding. This means that if you are accepted to said college under Early Decision, you are required to go there upon acceptance. Usually, the application deadline is in November and admission decisions are in Mid-December. Something to note about this is that you can apply to only one school with an “Early Decision” (since it is binding), but you can apply to other schools with a different filing period, such as Early Action and Regular Decision.

2. EA/Early Action: A type of application filing period where you are able to apply early, but it is not binding. This means that you are applying earlier than the normal application period and you will NOT be required to go to said college upon acceptance. Similar to ED, Early Action’s deadline is around November, but the admissions decision’s date varies. Unlike the Early Decision, you can apply to as many Early Action’s as you want (unless Single Choice Early Action, more on that below)

3. Single Choice/Restrictive Early Action: This is a type of application filing period where you are only allowed to apply to one Early Action school. However, this means that Single Choice/Restrictive Early Action is still non-binding (not required to go upon acceptance), but you can only apply to one school under Early Action. Similar to ED, you are able to apply to colleges under other types of filing periods, such as Regular Decision.

4. RD/Regular Decision: This is the normal time when applications are due. Regular Decision is the time when most people apply to colleges. The applications are usually due in January and results typically come out in March (although, it may vary depending on the college). Regular Decisions are non-binding and you can apply to as many as you want.

5. Rolling Admissions: This is a type of application filing period when you apply to a college and the college admissions office reviews them as they receive the applications. Unlike ED/EA/RD, Rolling Admissions does not have a set date where you can go and look for your college admissions decision. Typically, the college will give you a time frame in which they will give you your admission decision, which is possibly around 2-8 weeks depending on the college. Something to note is that a lot of colleges with Rolling Admissions may not have a distinct deadline for the application, but they will have a “priority deadline” where, if you submit your application before that date, then they will get back to you sooner. Overall, the earlier you submit your application for Rolling Admissions, the quicker you will know your decision.

6. Open Admission: This is a type of application filing where colleges accept all students, as long as they have completed high school or have a GED.


Financial Aid: Dolla Dolla Bills Y'All!


1. Grant: A grant is money that you receive in your financial aid packet that you will NOT have to pay back.

2. Loan: A loan is money that you receive in your financial aid packet and, if you accept, will have to pay back.

3. Scholarships: A scholarship is money earned due to certain achievements, such as academic, athletic, etc. Similar to a grant, it is money given to you that you do not need to pay back. However, for a scholarship, it may be awarded by the college or awarded separately by applying for one.

4. FAFSA: Also known as the “Free Application for Federal Student Aid”, the FAFSA is a website that most colleges will advise you to use in order to receive financial aid from colleges. The FAFSA application will ask for information on your household’s tax forms in order to determine how much grant and loan money you may receive. The FAFSA application opens on January 1st of every year, but deadlines for completing the application varies for every college. Something to note is that you will need to apply for Financial Aid every year in order to receive aid while you are in college.

5. CSS Profile: Also known as the “College Scholarship Service Profile”, the CSS Profile is found on the College Board website where you apply in order to receive more financial aid. Many colleges require the CSS Profile (and sometimes early on), so I advise you to see if it is required.

6. Expected Family Contribution (EFC): This is a number found on your FAFSA that provides an estimate of the amount of money your family will be expected to pay for your education. To note, this estimate is the amount of money you will be expected to pay after financial aid is accounted for.

7. Institutional Grant: An institutional grant is money given by the college that you do not have to pay back. This is different compared to the federal grant, since the federal grant is provided by the government instead of the college itself.

8. Merit-Based Grants: These are grants that are made due to academic achievement.

9. Need-Based Grants: These grants are given to students due to their level of income.

10. Federal Pell Grant: This grant is money that the federal government gives you that you will NOT pay back.

11. Institutional Loans: An institutional loan is money given by the college that you have to pay back. This is different than the federal loans, since the federal loans are provided by the government instead of the college itself.

12. Direct Subsidized Loan: A loan is money that you receive in your financial aid packet and, if you accept, will have to pay back to the college. The Direct Subsidized Loan is a federal loan that pays the loan’s interest while you are in college. However, once your undergraduate education is completed, you will be required to start paying the Direct Subsidized Loan (Note: this loan allows a six month grace period before you starting paying).

13. Direct Unsubsidized Loan: A loan is money that you receive in your financial aid packet and, if you accept, will have to pay back to the college. The Direct Unsubsidized Loan is a federal loan that does not pay the loan’s interest while you are in college. This means that, as you continue through college, you are responsible for paying the loan’s interest. However, if you decide you don’t want to pay the loan’s interest while in college, then the interest will be added to the principal (or the original loan’s amount).

14. Perkins Loan: The Perkins Loan is given to students depending on their school, as some schools do not participate in the Perkins Loan. Similar to all loans, it is money borrowed now that must be paid back later. However, unlike the other loans stated here, this loan is a college issued loan instead of a federal loan, meaning that the money is paid back to the college not the government.

15. (Parent) PLUS Loan: A PLUS Loan is a loan taken out on the parents name for an undergraduate student. This means that parents with undergraduate students may use this money for college expenses. PLUS Loans are to be paid back to the federal government.

16. Work Study Program: The Work Study Program is one in which a student may hold a job on campus while earning their degree/education. You can apply for the Work Study Program through the FAFSA application. The money you earn from this job can be used on anything, from tuition to food, etc.


You’re In College! Now what… (Everything you need to know while in college)


1. Major: A specific area that an undergraduate student focuses on during college. The student must follow and complete the courses stated in their specified major in order to receive their degree.  

2. Minor: Although it is not required, some undergraduate students choose a minor in order to have a secondary focus. If you choose to minor, you do not receive another degree. Instead, minoring in something during college is solely for your own personal interest and to expand your knowledge.

3. Double Major: When you double major in something it means that you are following two specified areas. Double Majors receive two degrees for the areas in which they studied.

4. Undeclared: To be undeclared in college is to not choose a major/degree. Many people go into college undeclared, while some are even undeclared up until their second year of college. However, depending on your college, there may be a specific time or deadline to declare a major, since you will eventually be required to have one in order to obtain a degree.

5. Placement Test: A placement test is a preliminary test in order to see what level you are in specific subjects. These are normally taken when you have selected a college to attend (as an entering college freshman) and must register for classes. Also, something to note, all colleges do not have placement tests.

6. Bursar Office: The Bursar Office is the branch of the college that takes care of payments and billing statements for the student.

7. Financial Aid Office: The Financial Aid Office is the branch of the college that takes care of the financial aid aspect for the student, such as determining grant money.

8. Registrar: The Registrar Office is where they handle student records and scheduling for the college.

9. Commuting/Commuter: A commuter is a student who travels to college from where they reside. This is a longer distance than the typical five minutes off campus.

10. Transfer Student: A transfer student is someone who is changing from one college to another. Most people who change colleges decide once they know that their credits will transfer to the next college.

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.