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Freshman year blues: how a college freshman’s viral video helped others

October 16th, 2018

The first year of college, or any new school for that matter, can be a roller coaster of emotions.  You are finally living that independent life, making new friends, possibly even living in a new city, but it may be more difficult than you ever imagined.  People tell you that this will be the “best time of your life”, but is it?

Starting a new school may be exciting but is also a major adjustment.  That first semester is the most difficult and some people even consider transferring, yet if you allow yourself time and space for friendships to develop organically, you may be surprised at the changes by spring semester.  Making new friends doesn’t happen overnight although social media may make you believe otherwise. Give yourself time, and please understand that everyone is trying to navigate this new world around them.

In the New York Times article referenced below, Emery Bergmann shares her experience as a freshman at Cornell University.  I love how honest and open she is when it comes to her feelings of loneliness at the start of the school year. Bergmann’s viral video became an internet sensation as it resonates with so many people.  We all have these feelings of loneliness when we venture into uncharted territory; starting something new can be scary but the reward is much greater than we can imagine in the moment.  Stay focused and know that you are not alone.

Article referenced below published on October 9, 2018 by The New York Times, written by Emery Bergmann

Being known as “the girl with no friends” wasn’t my favorite part about having made a video that went viral — but you take what you can get.

About a year ago, as a college freshman at Cornell, I was assigned a short video project for my Intro to Digital Media course.

I decided to focus on my disappointment with the early weeks of college: How I couldn’t get past superficial conversation, how I couldn’t seem to enjoy parties, feel comfortable on campus, or just meet people who I wanted to spend more time around. I felt so lost and beyond confused.

Read more at The New York Times >>

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Does your social media presence help you or harm you?

October 2nd, 2018

Social media is a powerful platform and while it can be a great tool for networking, the disciplinary consequence of posting something inappropriate could be detrimental to your school or college admission prospects.  Some colleges are using your social media “brand” as fair game when evaluating you for admission; perhaps boarding schools are doing the same.  For that reason, application season is a great time to review your online presence.  Consider your profile as a way to show the world your best self, beyond your test scores and grades. 

In the article referenced below, Thao Nelson, a lecturer at Indiana University, writes an open letter to students discussing the importance of taking your future self into consideration when posting on social media.  Colleges and schools want to enroll people who strengthen their student body, so “when in doubt, leave it out” is a great motto to consider before liking or posting online.

Article referenced below published by World Economic Forum, written by Thao Nelson

Dear Student,

Harvard recently rescinded admission offers for some incoming freshmen who participated in a private Facebook group sharing offensive memes. The incident has sparked a lot of discussion: Was Harvard’s decision justified? What about the First Amendment? Do young people know the dangers of social media?

I’m a business school lecturer, career services counselor and former recruiter, and I’ve seen how social media becomes part of a person’s brand – a brand that can help you or hurt you.

Read more at World Economic Forum >>

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Early Action and Early Decision: understand the difference

September 18th, 2018

Is your heart set on one particular college?  Should you apply Early (note the capital “E”) to signal your devotion?  

  

Our last blog post focused on demonstrated interest.  Applying Early Action or Early Decision certainly allows colleges to see your level of interest in attending.  Many colleges admit Early Action and Early Decision candidates at higher rates than we see in the Regular Decision pool.

Applying Early Action involves no risk for the applicant.  It simply moves the deadline to an earlier date, typically November 1, and applicants receive admission decisions well ahead of Regular Decision timetables.  We believe that Early Action programs without strings are wonderful pathways for applications.

In contrast, Early Decision is binding.  This is an enormous commitment and you must be 110% certain that this is where you would like to enroll.  As with Early Action, the accelerated timetable allows for a much earlier decision to be returned, typically ahead of winter break.  If you’re certain about wanting to enroll, this is a great pathway … but if you worry that you might look back in March and wish your other applications were still active, then it’s the wrong choice.

(Interesting aside:  Early Decision is even making its way into the boarding school world!)

A small number of extraordinarily selective colleges offer their own twist on Early Action, called Restrictive Early Action or Single Choice Early Action.  In these cases, students may not simultaneously apply for Early Decision elsewhere and in some cases, they may not even apply Early Action at other private schools.  Make sure that you’re reading the fine print when going this route.

Would you like to learn more about the difference between Early Action and Early Decision?  The article linked below from CNBC highlights exactly what you need to know to make your best choice.

Article referenced below published on November 1, 2017 by CNBC, written by Abigail Hess

This month, thousands of high school students will submit early action (EA) and early decision (ED) applications to colleges.

The deadlines for these types of applications are typically between November 1st and November 15th. Applying early action or early decision each have their benefits, but they’re very different.

“Most people pair early action and early decision because of shared deadlines, but I find that the only similarity between the two is the timeline,” says Ian Fisher, director of educational counseling at educational advising firm College Coach.

“EA is actually much more similar to regular decision, both in terms of the competitiveness of the pool and the freedom to choose from among a range of options once they’ve been admitted.”

 

Read more at CNBC >>

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Demonstrated interest: what’s it all about?

September 4th, 2018

Have you ever had to choose someone to help you with a project or become a member of your team, and found yourself leaning towards the person who shows more interest and dedication to the task?

Many colleges act the same way. 

Assessing a student’s “demonstrated interest” has become one of the best ways to gauge an applicant’s likelihood of enrolling if admitted.  We’ve discussed the importance of demonstrated interest in the past and we continue to encourage students to develop connections with admission counselors at colleges they’re considering seriously.  

Demonstrated interest comes in many forms and is not restricted to campus visits.  Web chats, information requests, even sending official test score reports can signal your interest to a college.

Many schools are looking for students to initiate contact with their admissions office.  Seniors can demonstrate interest in the coming weeks by meeting with visiting college admission representatives in their schools and at locally-held gatherings, or emailing the admissions office to find out if and when they will be in the area.  Juniors can do the same.

It’s important to note that not all colleges use demonstrated interest as a factor in admission decisions.  Colleges offering admission to only a single-digit proportion of applicants, for example, do not generally encourage such contact.  However, if a school strongly encourages campus visits or offers campus interviews, your level of interest will probably be taken into consideration.  As always, it is important to be genuine in your communication with admission staff and be yourself.  

Here’s a great article to tell you more.

Article referenced below published on May 21, 2018 by US News, written by Kelly Mae Ross

In addition to reviewing transcripts, essays and test scores, some college admissions officers look at whether prospective students have shown enthusiasm and curiosity about a school during the application process.

In the admissions world, this is what’s known as demonstrated interest.

In a 2017 report from the National Association for College Admission Counseling, 13.7 percent of colleges surveyed rated demonstrated interest as having considerable importance in freshman admissions decisions. Another 25.5 percent said it was of moderate importance.

 

Read more at US News >>

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