Posts Tagged admissions

But it looked so nice in the brochure…

lysa-85Now, ask yourself a few questions. Would you move into a house you’ve never seen before? Would you buy a car before you test drove it? Probably not!

Now, consider the college you think is the right one for you. Would you go to a college you’ve only heard about, read about, or seen pictures of in a brochure? Would you go to a college just because it’s an Ivy League, or another college just because it has a reputation for being one of the biggest party schools? I surely hope not! Please DO NOT MAKE THAT MISTAKE!  

Don’t choose a school just for its reputation or name, many people have made that mistake. Yes, I’m sure there are some college students who maybe saw their school for the first time the day they moved in to college, but is that really what you want to do? Do you want to be having your parents move you in, and you’re both figuring out what your college is all about for the first time? No! Just like most things in life, you won’t know if a school is the right one for you, until you visit!

You must visit every college you are highly considering attending or have been accepted to. At the same time do not rule out a college that you think you might not like before you at least visit.

I know it seems as though college brochures contain everything you must need to know about a school. But the truth is: THEY DON’T! It is not always bright and sunny outside a college, nor is everyone walking around, books in hand, smiling happily as they walk to and from class or meals. This is quite the contrary! Most college students are extremely stressed out, and it snows and rains at my school ( in the Northeast) more than I’ve seen sunshine for the past six months of my life! Do not be fooled by the happy college students or campus on the cover of a brochure! Of course everything looks nice in a pamphlet…it’s supposed to, so that you want to go there.

When visiting colleges, make sure you truly get a feel for each school. Every school has a different personality, just like every person on the campus, including yourself. Those personalities must match one another. There may be some schools you visit that just don’t quite seem to fit your needs and that’s okay. You have to find a school with a personality that fits your own.

Don’t just take the campus tour they offer to every visiting prospective student. Consider asking a current student to maybe show you around. After all, someone in admissions once told me, college students love to boast about themselves and their schools. It’s true! We want you on our campus, so ask us lots of questions when you visit! And make sure you eat in the dining halls and use some of the bathrooms! Make sure you see the dorms, and the gym! Make sure you visit the laundry room and the snack bar! You want to make sure that you are able to live comfortably in the college you choose. After all, it will be your home for the next four years. So, make your visit about more than just classes, and historical buildings that the admissions office will show you in your tour.

You’ve always heard, not to judge a book by its cover. Applying to college is the same way. Do not judge a college by a brochure.

I personally, ended up at one of  the last schools I planned on attending when I applied to college in high school. I always thought I’d go to Yale, or maybe stay in state at FSU or UF, but then I got into those schools, and Williams. I visited them all, and realized that Williams was really where I felt the most at home. Nothing else mattered once I visited, because it felt right! 

And you too will know when you find the school for you, and it just feels right! Go with your gut feeling !

Freezing with a Side of Steinmart

seanna-85Class of 2009…Class of 2013…Class of 2015…

After you say them enough, they all begin to roll off the tongue.  While these years may mean little to you, for me, they represent graduation years—high school, undergrad, Master’s…the list could continue for quite a while.  The years also symbolize change, something present in everyone’s life on the eve of a new year, particularly for current seniors.

My advice:




Open to the many new experiences headed your way, some of which you may have never considered participating in.

Prepared for all that has yet to come and for the events you have yet to finish.  Before the college journey begins…finals, admission decisions, prom… (GRADUATION!)… all remain.

Excited because here you finally are—on the brink of a novel environment—closing the chapter of elementary, middle & high school…progressing to another stage of your life.

Be all of these things and ultimately, be ready for change.

So here I am, back in Arkansas for Christmas break.  I exchanged a 78o climate for 37o weather.  I’m back at my job at Steinmart, greeting customers and bagging purchases.  Once again, surrounded by family and familiar friends. But now it’s different.  I’m different.  Still myself but with subtle adjustments.  In fact, I realized that college may be a guide in becoming more “me”.

“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly…”

–Henri Bergson

So, as you finish up senior year in the next few months and Fall 2010 becomes more of a present reality, keep who you are in mind, but also be willing to change…to mature…to progress…


duylam-85This is post is going to be a McFlurry of things – just a heads up.

I was recently talking to a friend of mine at Babson, Alex, and he told me he wanted to transfer to Stanford or USC [both in his home state]. But he said “Man, but I may just give up on Stanford, my GPA isn’t high enough for it.” He has a 3.67 or a 3.7 – pretty good for a first year. Anyway.

Now I’m back home in good ol’ Virginia and I was talking to my good friend, David, who actually goes to Stanford. We talked about this, that, and the third – we had a lot of college stuff to catch up on. I finally asked him though about the whole GPA, test scores, etc thing and what it meant to Admissions @ Stanford [and I believe this is the same for all top tier schools]. He said that all of the good stats are super fantastic and it does help a lot, but he said that especially for Stanford, it is all about the passion. The passion you have for whatever it is that you do and it is about showing that passion through your essays. Now don’t quote me for every school, but I think it’s safe to say that it is the same for all schools. Maybe my fellow scholars can enlighten on it.

So convey passion. Make your essays exude the sweat, blood, and tears you’ve shed over the years. Easier said than done I know, but a key, as you probably already have heard, to conveying it is through an example of your life. It’s too easy to just say “I want to be the best”, instead show them it!

Anna Ivey even agrees upon this principle of conveying passion as a key to admission to law schools. But regardless of which school, undergrad or grad, passion is the key.

Here are some law school essay examples of how NOT to write. I figure if I give an example of what SHOULDN’T be done then there will be more space for your own style instead of following what is a good essay.

Bad Law School Essays

I would now leave off with a quote from Atlas Shrugged, but stupid me I forgot to mark the page with the quote – it was from Hank Rearden – but it went something like: “What he feared most was not those that oppose him, but losing the ability of motion, of not wanting to take action.”

Merry Christmas,