What if Steven went through public schooling along side learning gem stuff?
- Showing off his gem in like kindergarten but not being able to use it
- Human History with Bird Mom
- REFUSING to comb his hair until he’s like..13, and then everyone being confused because his hair is just super curly but if he doesn’t comb it it becomes an afro
- Being super annoyed with English classes because he thought itd be writing stories but it’s just essays
- Every April fools day he does SOMETHING with shapeshifting
- In P.E. classes discovering his gem strength and making sure to be much more careful
- Quartz growth spurts where he gets like a foot taller in just a few months, then stops growing for long periods of time
- Eventually being at least a head taller than everyone he knows BC quartz build
- Hating desks as he gets taller because his legs get all cramped
- Discovering wrestling and joining school teams
- Shapeshifting to look like an adult to skip class with friends–then getting caught and chastised by Pearl and Garnet. But cheered on my amethyst
- Willing to fight anyone who is fatphobic anywhere anytime
- Enjoying history and math and constantly asking questions about them to his teachers, sometimes even annoying them with his enthusiasm
- Joining choirs and performing in musical dramas (shapeshifting makes for some WILD costume changes..)
- Bringing gem tech from Pearl into Show and Tells when he’s young
- One time Steven got really pissed off and a door handle bent to his hand after he used it. Nobody asked him why.
- Inexplicably being friends with EVERYONE
- Having to awkwardly explain his absences due to gem missions
- Coming to school running on coffee and 2 hours of sleep after a gem mission in high school
- MESSING UP bullies
- Being super annoyed in highschool because he’s that one student bending down to get through doorways and everyone always makes “how’s the weather up there” jokes
- People flirting with him and he just doesn’t know how to respond at ALL
- Riding lion to school
- That one time a gem corruption came on campus, and everyone saw Steven kick its butt and bubble it. Nobody asks how.
- Sneaking healing spit onto friends who got hurt
- Pearl crying on his first day of school
- Garnet walking in on mile time day, telling the P.E. Teacher every students mile time, then walking away
- Going all-out on artsy projects and stuff
- “Why do you smell like roses all the time?”
- Going into astronomy/architecture in college because “going into a medical field feels like cheating”
- SENIOR PRANK WITH AMETHYST
- The Gems telling Steven he should get 2nd place in nationals wrestling because getting 1st would be suspicious (imagine the scene from the Incredibles with dash in the race)
- People always get confused and slightly afraid during his quartz growth spurts because he’s always eating or looking to buy food during them. People swear he’s glowing sometimes.
- Food fights with a shield
- Garnet spending a solid 30 minutes talking a teacher into a corner in a debate on whether or not Steven’s hair is too long and needs to be cut. Steven gets to keep growing out his hair.
- This one time Steven only got like an hour of sleep in a week and someone pulled his hair as a joke, he threw them down a hallway (they weren’t hurt but were pretty shaken).
- Visiting Connies speech and debate tournaments and getting stares because everyone’s wearing suits and stuff and he’s there with a tank top and gym shorts
- In P.E. he almost got suspended in high school because he got into a sort of contest of who could lift more with someone he didn’t like and ended up breaking a bench press machine but adding too much weight
- Using his shield to ride down staircases like a slide
- Giving his biology teacher a hamster grape
- Cooking clubs!!
- Being a guide for freshman coming into high school when he’s a senior and immediately regretting the decision once he starts talking to them because none of them will stop making height jokes
- Pearl WEEPING because she’s proud of Steven for getting into Empire City University with a full scholarship from wrestling
- “Can you drive?” “No. I have a magic lion that can travel via portals.”
- The football coach trying to convince Steven to play football, and Steven is vaguely interested, but Pearl REFUSES to let him play
- Really intense truth or dare games. One time he snuck into a club with shapeshifting from one of them.
- Always having a pair of headphones. ALWAYS.
- Forgetting homework and getting it from home during passing periods because Lion can get him to school and back in like a minute
- Somehow managing to be late sometimes just because “oh, I have lion, I’ll be on time” so he sleeps in then realizes school starts in 2 minutes and he hasn’t even put a shirt on
- Figuring out how to fuse somewhat reliably, and fusing with friends at school
- Randomly disappearing from the campus for quick gem missions during lunch
- He’s bumped his head in doorways more times than he can count.
- Stevens 1-4 grade teachers low-key hating Garnet because every time she comes over at least one child gets into her hair and she almost walks out with them because she doesn’t realize
- One time Steven tried to go to a parent teacher conference by himself because “I’m my own mom”
Honestly I love the idea of Steven going through public schooling and college so much.
So a few days ago I reached 100 followers and I am beyond excited. So what I did with this excitement (instead of working on my POI), I made 100 Forensics Asks! Feel free to ask me for answers and/or reblog for your followers!
1. Favorite Debate event to compete in?
2. Favorite Debate event to watch?
3. Favorite I.E. event to compete in?
4. Favorite I.E. event to watch?
5. Have you been to Fall Champs?
6. Have you been to Spring Champs?
7. Have you been to State?
8. Have you been to Nationals?
9. Best DI piece you’ve seen?
10. Best Prose piece you’ve seen?
11. Best POI piece you’ve seen?
12. Best Poetry piece you’ve seen?
13. Best Duo piece you’ve seen?
14. Favorite tournament memory?
15. Least favorite tournament memory?
16. Favorite piece you’ve ever preformed?
17. Favorite Impromptu/Extemp topic?
18. Favorite resolution that you’ve debated?
19. What’s on your getting ready playlist?
20. What’s in your speech bag?
21. Favorite suit?
22. Skirt or pants?
23. Hairstyle on tournament days?
24. Tie or bow tie?
25. Favorite tournament shoes?
26. Favorite coach you’ve ever had?
27. Favorite comment on a ballot?
28. Least favorite comment on a ballot?
29. Who do you usually stay in your hotel room with?
30. How many tournaments have you been to this year?
31. Night before a tournament routine?
32. Least favorite thing about your favorite event?
33. Favorite thing about your least favorite event?
34. How much do you eat at tournaments?
35. How much do you eat after tournaments?
36. Favorite tournament snack?
37. Favorite type of room to speak in?
38. Best compliment received?
39. Weirdest compliment received?
40. Favorite physical award you’ve received?
41. How many people are on your team?
42. Can you name everyone on your team?
43. Opinion on pantyhose?
44. If you could watch any round of something you aren’t entered in, what would it be?
45. After tournament attire?
46. Do you have any forensics crushes?
47. How early do you usually wake up for a tournament?
48. How many pieces have you done since when you first started?
49. One thing you wish you could do, but can’t, in forensics?
50. Favorite tournament weather?
51. Where do you write down your “coaching session” notes?
52. Have you ever gone over time?
53. Favorite line from a speech of yours?
54. Go-to example in Impromptu?
55. Favorite campus for a tournament?
56. Is your debate team more liberal or conservative?
57. How calm are you at tournaments?
58. How calm are you when you’re waiting for breaks to be posted?
59. Do you have any objects you wear/carry with you for good luck on tournament days?
60. Favorite part of awards?
61. Least favorite part of awards?
62. How much do you use your phone on tournament days?
63. Has a phone ever gone off in a middle of your round?
64. Farthest you’ve traveled for a tournament?
65. Shortest you’ve traveled for a tournament?
66. How many times do you practice a week?
67. Do you like doing research for speechies?
68. Would you rather have a black book or visual aids?
69. Most oddly sexual speech you’ve ever seen?
70. Longest debate you’ve witnessed?
71. Weirdest/Funniest resolution?
72. First or second speaker in parli?
73. Aff or Neg?
74. Tournament you’re most looking forward to?
75. Friend’s piece you’re most looking forward to seeing?
76. How many coaches are at your school?
77. Do people around you know the term Forensics (in terms of Speech & Debate)?
78. Best “confused about which forensics” story?
79. Best “so bad it was good” piece you’ve seen / heard of?
80. Post-tournament routine?
81. Favorite duo paring: guy/guy, guy/girl or girl/girl?
82. Has anyone else done your piece the same year you did it?
83. Best advice for novice speakers?
84. Why should people join Forensics?
85. Do you really shut off your phone before a round starts?
86. How often do you cry during tournaments?
87. Best reaction after seeing you broke?
88. Favorite round of finals?
89. What color are your nails for tournaments?
90. Tournament hair routine?
91. Tournament makeup routine?
92. Favorite tournament day breakfast?
93. Have you ever accidentally cursed during a round?
94. Song that reminds you of a tournament?
95. Favorite van ride games?
96. If your team had a motto, what would it be?
97. Gum or mints on tournament days?
98. How has forensics impacted your life?
99. Why did you join Forensics?
100. Are you glad you did?
In your DI round someone goes up to perform. They sob. There are no words, only tears. By the end they’re on their knees. You think they’re in pain. Everyone claps.
Everyone is in the same room for Extemp prep. No one talks. There is no supervisor. Everyone types. You type. You look at your screen and find only gibberish. Your eyes bleed if you look for too long. You continue to type.
A girl on your team has a really good HI. You’ve heard her practice. There are no words, only white noise. Everyone loves it. She always wins.
The kids who do Poetry and Prose spend all their time together. They’re always holding their books in their hands. If you look closely enough, you can see that their is no definitive line between the black plastic and their hands.
You sit in on an OO round. All the contestants are smiling. One guy stands up to perform. His oratory is about how he brutally murdered his family. He details everything. He is still smiling. Everyone is smiling. Even you.
You get your Impromptu prompt. You write so much on your index card that half your pen is empty. When you stand to perform, the card is blank. You stay silent. You leave with a “Thank you for judging.”
You wait for your Duo partner. You wonder were they are. You wonder what time it is. You wonder who your Duo partner is. You wonder who you are. You wait for your Duo partner.
Your judge wrote the whole time you performed. They do not have a pen with them. The words appear as if out of nowhere. The judge was whipsering to themselves and shaking. They do not look up when you perform.
Your rival team is here. They’re so pretty. And their coach fixed that problem they had last year–you can’t see fear in their eyes anymore. Only the void.
After meeting each other in English I, you two were connected by the hips.
He would always walk you to class, to your locker and your dad’s car.
You automatically had a crush on him.
You actually saw what happen when he did a backflip in the hallway and almost hit the sprinkler system with his shoe. You never lived that down on him.
“I can’t believe you almost set off the sprinklers.”
“Can you stop talking about it?”
"Not until they fix the hole in the ceiling.“
He was your go-to study buddy even though he was mostly focused on gymnastics and youtube.
“Hey, did you do the essay for English?”
“WE HAD AN ESSAY!”
After he quit gymnastics, he joined the drama club while you were on the debate team.
Even though you didn’t have classes this year, you always hang out at lunch or after school with his friend Andrew.
He would try to help you with your advanced classes but give up after dying of boredom.
“LET’S PLAY VIDEO GAMES!”
“I HAVE AN AP TEST COMING UP!”
“BUT VIDEO GAMES ARE MORE IMPORTANT!”
You love watching him do improv and he sometimes makes you do it.
He also loves watching you debate at tournaments, seeing you all passionate about something you didn’t really care about was interesting to him.
Still having to remind him about homework.
“I wasn’t listening, I was too busy doodling.”
The two of you sorta drifted away for the summer since he was traveling with his dad and focusing on his youtube channel.
You still did small talk but you barely hang out like you used to.
You were focused on college and test scores but he still popped up in your head.
Your crush on Ethan worsen but you rarely saw him.
You saw him walking with a girl a few times and your heart was crushed.
You just stop making eye contact with him and changed routes to class.
You were studying in the library when you saw him studying.
I put your hoodie on and hid in the back.
“So, are we not friends anymore?’
The first thing you see when you look up was a pair of hazel eyes.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.
“We need to talk about this.”
You ended up talking about how you’ve been feeling lately besides you have a crush on him.
“Well, how about we hang out this weekend.”
"I’ll love too.”
"What if I didn’t get accepted?“ ”[Y/N], SHUT UP. YOU GOT ACCEPTED.“
That’s how most of your conversations went with Ethan.
Driving around the small city with him
You started appearing more on his channel to the point that his fans love you more.
“SHE’S NOT EVEN PLAYING THE GAMES HALF THE TIMES! HOW CAN YOU LOVE HER MORE THAN ME!?”
“Give the people what they want and let me have your channel. WHAT IS UP MY CRANKY CREW!”
“YOU’RE NOT SAYING IT RIGHT!”
Ethan being there for you when you get accepted into your dream school in California.
You both try to spend as much time with each other now that you’re moving across the country.
Going to prom together with a huge group of friends.
His mom making you two take a whole bunch of photos together.
“Mom, we need to go…”
“One more picture!”
Graduation was the hardest thing for you.
It was all or nothing if you didn’t tell Ethan how you feel.
You went straight to him after the ceremony was done.
“Look, I’m just going to let it-“
Ethan just pulled you into a kiss like in the movies.
“I really like you.”
You’re a part of Teamiplier now!
Once Ethan moved to L.A, he was able to get you a job as co- creative director, which was his way of saying that you’re Tyler’s helper.
“So, I’m an assistant?”
"No, you’re the co-creative director.”
“So, Tyler’s assistant?”
Now, Mark’s fans love you more than him.
Kathryn, Amy and you were basically the three amigos.
Mark and Tyler are like you big brothers who always tease you because of your height.
“WHO PUT MY MUG ON THE TOP SHELF?”
Always playing with Chica while every else is working.
“[Y/N], I need you to go get some things for the video.”
“Don’t you see I’m busy, Tyler…”
“You’re playing with Chica….”
You’re grateful that you can experience this with your boyfriend.
I know it’s freaking long but I just wanted to say thank you for all the birthday love, I freaking love you guys, it really made my day! Also, we’re about to hit 500 followers and I can’t believe it! I feel like I don’t deserve all this love and kindness from this community but thank you so much! I’m sorry if this isn’t what you guys want but I am going to write more since I’m almost done with my classes and I’ll see y’all later!
Compulsory heterosexuality and heteronormativity can show up
a number of ways in writing. People tend to think of it in the most basic way,
of just having only straight people in their story, and that just putting in
one or two gay, bi, or pan (but usually gay) people in their story fixes that.
The problem is that there are other parts that just sticking in a couple of gay
characters doesn’t solve.
The next most common part is desexualizing, deromanticizing,
or marginalizing the non-straight characters you have. If all of the straight
characters have a relationship but none of the non-straight characters do,
think about why. If you’re willing to show straight characters—or a man and a
woman—kissing, having sex, waking up in bed next to each other, etc. but not
two men, two women, or other non-straight-appearing combinations, think about
why. If you show a man and a woman being emotionally affectionate but not two
men, two women, or other non-straight-appearing combinations, think about why.
Similarly, if you have non-straight characters who only show
up a couple of times, mostly when it’s handy to prove that you have
non-straight characters or to show that your straight characters really aren’t
homophobic, it doesn’t count as actual representation. Similarly, if you have a
gay character or have a character be gay just so they’re not involved in a love
V, you’re both marginalizing gay characters and implying that every straight
person has to be in a romantic/sexual relationship with a person of a different
gender and, if they don’t have a secondary character to be their love interest,
must be in love with the main character or the main love interest.
The next part is that compulsory heterosexuality is a part
of compulsory sexuality. If you feel the need to pair all of your straight
characters up, or present the idea that all characters need to have romantic or
sexual relationships to be fulfilled, you’re perpetuating compulsory sexuality
and compulsory heterosexuality.
I judged a college debate tournament, and a team made an
argument that Hermione Granger couldn’t be with Harry because then Ron would
have to be with Ginny. That right there is compulsory heterosexuality—the assumption
that any given person has to end up with a person of a different gender, regardless
of how much sense that makes. That shows up a lot in stories, where in the end
if there’s anyone left over, they’re stuck with someone just so they’re with someone.
3.27.17 - i just wanna graduate already feat. a paperweight I made
The State Debate Tournament and AP exams are rapidly approaching and I feel underprepared for both - but I’m an sss and the university I’m leaning toward won’t count my AP credit (even if I get 5′s) + my partner and I agreed that we won’t go to Nats even if we qual / I think this is senioritis
Simultaneously, I’m excited about summer and going to uni - I think about it daily
is a little bit of everything: a reporter for the Academy’s newspaper, a runner
on the track team, a voracious pupil in her business classes, a participant in the
outdoor club, and, of course, a member of the debate team. Every student in the
Academy is highly driven and ambitious, but Carly maybe most of all.
despite being a jack of all trades, Carly might seem to be a master of none.
She tried to get elected RA of Golden Dorm and failed; she’s never gotten an A
in a business class despite all her studying; and she’s never won a track race. Her
opponents, of course, are quick to point this out: how does she expect to jump
straight to winning the debate tournament without any other major accomplishments
under her belt?
despite the criticism, Carly is tenacious. She keeps trying and trying, even
though she hasn’t gotten her big break yet. And in a way, maybe that’s more
admirable than winning effortlessly. When her fellow debaters take a swing at
her, she’ll swing back twice as hard. Some would call this overcompensating.
She’d call it determination.
then there’s the elephant in the room (not the school mascot, the other one):
her gender. Carly is the only woman competing in this year’s debate tournament.
Carly herself doesn’t like to draw attention to this fact, though. Is it
because she has a chip on her shoulder, feeling the need to work even harder
than the men to prove that she deserves to be on the debate stage? Or is she
just tired of having to talk about her gender when all of the other debaters
are never asked about theirs?
Carly certainly won’t
answer this — or any other personal question — to just anybody. You’ll have to
be just as tenacious as she is to earn her trust if you ever want her to open
Omg. I should be studying, but I literally CANNOT get this out of my head. (also, I HC that Jon wants to be a lawyer instead of a reporter like his parents. He tends to be very passionate about truth, and serving justice for those who cannot defend themselves.)
What if Damian and Jon fell out of touch for a little bit. Nothing bad, but just life. Damian got busy with the Titans, flying around the world, making new hobbies that didn’t involve bad guys peeing their pants; Jon was busy with school, figuring out his own powers, making new friends. Sure they text every now and then: a happy birthday, Merry Christmas, Happy new years, etc. They stay in each other lives, just not very predominantly (I’m getting to a point, I swear.)
Fast forward a couple years. Jon is in his senior year of High School (I’m gonna say around 18), picture perfect Boy Next Door. Handsome, tall, hardworking, polite, and the cherry on top VARSITY FOOTBALL QUARTERBACK.
Jon was staying late at school, he was prepping for a debate tournament with Kathy. It was early November, so the daylight was dwindling along with the temperatures. He throws on his red and blue Metropolis High varsity jacket and walks Kathy to her car since it got dark pretty fast. She thanked him for walking her to her car, and that she text him when he got home himself. Jon nodded to his best friend and watched as she drove away. He fished the keys out to his old pickup truck. He knew flying would be faster, but he promised his Dad that he’d keep a low profile. It was bad enough that he sometimes used his super strength in games, he didn’t want to add getting caught flying to the reasons why Clark’s hair is graying.
Jon was walking towards his truck when he heard a sound in an all too quiet parking lot. He listened harder. It was a heartbeat. Jon tensed as he listened to the heartbeat get closer, louder, faster. But something was oddly familiar about it. Jon scanned the darkened area, alert for any signs of danger.
“Tt” came from the shadows.
That was something Jon hadn’t heard in awhile. He let his guard fall, and his grin widens.
“Please do not tell me that this awful hunk of garbage is yours,” Robin asked, not in a malice filled way, but in his own form of camaraderie, emerging from the shadows around him. Damian was 21 now, built and lean. He lost his chubby cheeks in favor of a sharper jawline. Two things stayed the same though, his mischievous smirk and the fact that Jon was STILL taller than him.
“Long time no see, Brat Wonder.” Jon smiled back.
“Did you lose your flying abilities?” Damian asked. “Because no other reason would be appropriate to be driving around in this piece of garbage.”
Jon snorted, “We can't ALL be billionaires, and drive tank armored sports cars around everywhere. Besides, Dad wanted to keep a low profile.”
“This thing is so ancient, it’ll probably attract more attention than your flying ever could.” Damian sniffed.
“What, like the Batmobile stays inconspicuous all the time?” Jon smirked. He hadn’t seen Damian in years, and yet his little childhood crush on him resurfaced almost instantly. Perhaps Damian was the reason why he was so good at debate.
“I detect jealousy in your voice. It’s only natural.” Damian smirked back, turning face to face with him. Damian let his eyes roam over Jons body. Jon looked exactly the same, except his shoulders were broader, and his muscles were more defined from football. Perhaps he also noticed that his cheekbones and jawline were becoming sharper, and his hair was curling at the front, just as his fathers.The lens of his fake glasses dampened the intensity of his blue eyes, and Robin had to admit that he was the most disappointed at that. Damian realized that he was staring at Jon’s face for too long. Even with his eyes hidden under a domino mask, he didn’t want Jon to know that the first thing he did when to see his old partner after so many years was stare at his face like some love-struck fool. (He is a love struck fool, but that’s beside the point)
“Tt. Captain of the Football team? Really Jon?” Damian teased. “Could you be more of a high school cliche? What’s next, dating the Captain of the Cheerleaders?“
Jon smiled, he knew since he was 10 years old that he didn’t see girls the same way that he saw boys. And it was entirely Damian Wayne’s fault that he realized that. "Only if you’re thinking about being the Captain of the Cheerleading squad.” Jon winked, feeling a surge of confidence.
Damian short-circuited, and become beet red. He really wasn’t anticipating that his old teenage crush would start flirting with him. And he was the son of Batman, he anticipated everything.
“Although that would be a little strange, with you being so old and all,” Jon said, looking at his phone, trying to feign indifference; but freaking out on the inside.
“Screw you, Kent. I’m not that old.” Damian huffed.
“Whatever you say, Bat Boy.” Jon smiled as he opened the door of the passenger seat to his truck. “Ma made apple pie and cocoa if you’re interested in coming."
"Sure, but make sure we keep a low profile. I have a reputation to maintain.” Damian joked, climbing into the truck.
Jon rolled his eyes, “Well, I’ll certainly try my best. I’ll even throw in some stories about my cliche high school life.”
“How thoughtful of you.” Damian deadpanned. Internally, he was very pleased.
(sorry if this is shit. I’m so brain dead and I wanted to get this out before I lost it forever. (maybe it was better in my head?)(This is also my first time writing for DamiJon, so sorry if I made them a little OOC))
So….i mean….god damn it lin….its like alexander hamilton modern times going to his debate club tournament against jefferson and everyone is like ‘dude come on not the coat’ and hes like
‘Shut up it helps me win’
hey i start high school in a couple months what's your advice on handling it?
- Develop good study habits while you still can because college will kick your ass in four years.
- If you’re not into sports, join some kind of activity you have an interest in. You don’t have to do ALL THE THINGS, but find two or three activities you’re really passionate about. You’ll make new friends from different grades and you’ll have new experiences. And you never know what opportunities you’ll get out of it!
- Participate in important school activities a couple of times a year. Go to the homecoming game or basketball playoffs alongside plays or debate tournaments or what-have-you. I know some people will roll their eyes as the “go to sporting events!” thing, but they can be a lot of fun and give you some decent memories. You don’t need a date to go to a dance and have fun!
- Some of your friendships from middle school will come to an end in high school. Yes, even your best friends. Don’t take it personally. It happens to everyone at every stage in life. It’s gonna hurt, but I promise you’ll find new friends you’ll love just as much.
- I’m going to be the straight edge nerd loser and say maybe, just maybe, don’t do drugs or drink while you’re in high school? Or, at the very least, if you’re going to drink, wait until your senior year and don’t be a fucking idiot about it. I swear to god, you’re not missing out on anything important if you wait until college to start drinking.
- In the same vein, if you’re going to have sex, be smart about it. Do your research, use protection, and don’t do it if you’re not comfortable. The world will not end if you graduate a virgin. (P.S. For the love of god, do not send your fellow stupid teenagers nudes.)
- Be good to your fellow teens. You’re all trapped in that fucking building together. When I think back about some of the gossip and rumors I helped spread… jesus christ, we were assholes. And that was at the dawn of texting and social media! I can’t imagine what it’s like now. Just… don’t be a dick, okay?
- Who you are in high school does. not. matter. in the grand scheme of things. You will only be defined by the most awkward four years of your life if you let yourself – and that goes for both popular and unpopular kids. You have plenty of time to grow and change and spread your wings, even after college.
- That being said, it can be a long and difficult four years. Surround yourself with good and supportive friends. Don’t be afraid to reach out to teachers you have a connection with. They can be your best champions and advisors during that period of your life. Don’t shut your parents out if you have a good relationship with them. If you’re suffering, you don’t have to suffer alone.
- Don’t lock yourself in the basement every weekend or spend all your time on tumblr.
For the most part, the regular decision deadlines have passed. Now, it’s time to think about the final aspect of your application: the alumni or current student interview.
A lot of the very selective and ‘elite’ schools use alumni interviews as part of their application review process but alumni interviews are not only limited to the Ivy League and schools like Stanford, MIT, UChicago etc. There’s somewhat of a myth floating around that alumni interviews aren’t worth much and don’t help your application. That is not true. A former Harvard interviewer helped me prep for my interviews and he said that interviews are actually an important part of the application process. Yes, it is a way to keep alumni connected to their alma mater but interviews help determine fit and personality and can do a lot in terms of admit or deny. An excellent interview can very well be the thing that puts your application in the admit pile and a horrible interview can have a detrimental effect on your application. Well, you might be thinking ‘If the interview can hurt my application, why would I want one?’ The interview will only hurt your application if you don’t prep for it, and that doesn’t mean hiring an overpriced coach but doing your research and coming prepared. So without further ado, here’s how to have a stellar college interview:
1) IF THE INTERVIEW IS OPTIONAL, TAKE IT ANYWAY
Most schools do alumni interviews by invitation only so in that case, if you’re offered an interview, you’re pretty much obliged to take it. However, if you’re applying to a school like UChicago that does optional interviews, take it. When the interview is optional, having vs. not having one is a good way to measure interest in the school. If you really want to get in, you’ll do everything possible to show the admissions office why the should accept you. The interview is one way to do that. Again, interviews asses fit and personality and it adds another dimension to your application; it shows that you’re human, more so than your essays and a ton more than your transcript and test scores.
2) PREPARE, PREPARE, PREPARE
This means actually spending time going over possible questions and coming up with ideas. Going to an interview unprepared is the worst thing you can possibly do unless you are 1000% sure you can wing it successfully.
Take the time at least a week before the interview and gather a list of possible questions. Go on google and look up possible college interview questions. Set up a google doc and paste as many as you can until you start seeing duplicates. It will look scary at first because there can be upwards of 30 questions but fear not, it’s much easier than it seems.
Once you’ve compiled a list of possible questions, start preparing answers for them. This doesn’t mean having a detailed response for each one and memorizing it. That looks super fake and no one will take you seriously. Instead, look over the questions and see which ones kind of overlap and break them up into groups. After you’ve done that, find an anecdote or story from your life that can help answer those questions. For example, if you have community service or volunteering questions, tie it in to that story you have about the organization you volunteer at. People remember stories, not vague statements and you’ll be helping your interviewer out by giving them a funny or interesting story to write about in their evaluation. Who’s your interviewer more likely to remember and write a favorable review, that one kid who listed all their accomplishments and sounded fake or you who told them a funny story about your first debate tournament and how you got over your fear of public speaking. You’ll sound down to earth, relatable, and friendly which is what you want to go for.
An important question is the ‘Why School X’ question. This is an important one and you need to be prepared. Have some concrete reasons why and show your interest. Be dedicated and passionate and it will show.
Anecdotes will also help you prepare for unusual questions that you might not expect such as the one I got for UChicago: “If you were a desert, what desert would you be?”. Use the anecdote to shape your answer to the question.
Have a list of questions to ask your interviewer about the school. These should be more than just basic, found on the school’s website, I didn’t do my research questions. Ask questions you can’t find online and that only someone who went to the school could tell you.
After you’ve got your anecdotes and stories done, have your parents, siblings, friends, or teachers ask you mock interview questions and see how you do. Remember, the goal is not to have everything memorized but to have a bank of stories you can draw on to inspire your responses.
3) COMMUNICATION IS KEY
A small but trivial part of the interview process is how you communicate with your interviewer before and after the interview.
Before: Respond politely to the initial interview offer but show your enthusiasm for the school. You might even give a little background about yourself to the interviewer so they’ll know a little bit about you before the actual thing. Set a date, time, and place, and stick with it. Don’t reschedule unless it’s an emergency. It looks like your not serious and unprepared if you switch the date two days before the interview. If you need clarifications about anything, don’t be afraid to ask.
After: Hopefully you had a great interview but even if you didn’t, send the interviewer a thank you card or email that thanks them for spending time with you and telling you more about the school. It would be good if you could indicate a specific thing you talked about with the interviewer because it will remind them as well and give them something to write about on the evaluation. Remember, any interview is a good interview as long as you did your part correctly. Sometimes the interviewer doesn’t click with the interviewee and that’s fine. As long as you were polite and talked about yourself, it shouldn’t negatively affect you. EDIT: Here’s a post about writing the thank you email.
Mentality is a big one because it dictates your behavior during the interview. You don’t want to go in scared or hesitant because the interviewer can sense it and it might not be favorable. It’s ok to be a bit nervous but not overly so, or at least if you are, don’t show it. Think about it this way, if the interviewer had to pick only one of the people he or she interviewed to get in to the school, they would pick you. Go in with that mentality and you’ll own the interview. You have to be certain of the above statement when leaving the interview.
5) THE ACTUAL INTERVIEW
Some points about the interview itself. The goal of the interview is an informal way for you to learn more about the school and for the school to learn more about you.
Dress appropriately. This means business casual. No tennis shoes, any jeans that aren’t black, no over the top make up, no too short skirts/dresses, no super tall heels etc. But at the same time, don’t be overly formal. No tuxedos, gowns, or other extravagant clothing. A skirt with a nice shirt and flats/heels would work for girls and dress pants with a button up shirt would work for guys.
Be punctual: A good rule of thumb is to plan to arrive 15 minutes before the interview starts. This will give you a buffer so if you get lost, there’s traffic or an accident, or something else happens, you’ll still have sufficient time to get there and not be late. I would also suggest to scout out the interview location before the interview. See where it is and how long it will take you to get there so you aren’t scrambling on the day of. If you really are late, send your interviewer an email or text to let them know.
Bring a resume: Some interviewers are prohibited by the college from looking at resumes but bring one anyway. It will help remind you of your talking points and if the interviewer does look at resumes, it will make it easier for them to ask questions and it will help them write the review after the interview.
Make eye contact and don’t fidget too much: Get rid of your nerves and jitters and be calm and prepared.
If you don’t know how to answer a question, don’t panic: Take a few seconds and use an anecdote. Once you start telling the story, it will give you time to think and answer the question properly. It’s ok if you miss a question or two because the interviewer will be expecting it and you’re human after all. Just don’t miss all of them.
If you’re asked an opinion question, try not to be offensive or overly opinionated: You don’t know your interviewer’s views on certain situations and you don’t want to accidentally offend them. Be polite and express your opinions without acting superior or trying to impose your opinions on them. Don’t make up stuff if you have no idea what they’re talking about. It could backfire on you.
Don’t live inside your head. Don’t spend too much time thinking and stare off into space. Articulate your thoughts in a clear and concise manner.
Don’t try to be someone you’re not.
Don’t zone off, no matter how boring your interviewer is.
It’s not recommended to bring a notebook to the interview to take notes. Remember, it’s informal.
Don’t worry about the length of the interview.
Turn off your cell phone.
If the interviewer offers to buy you a drink or snack, don’t say no but don’t go extravagant. Get something small and something that won’t make a mess.
Don’t put on too much perfume or cologne.
With that being said, don’t worry too much. You’ll do great! Go and ace that college interview! My ask is open if you have any questions.