A Letter From the Editors

College application preparation feels like it starts at birth. It’s very overwhelming and feels like you need to do everything and anything just to stick it into your application for one single admissions officer to read. Here are some grievances that we would like to address. 

1. Everything is inflated. So, unrealistic time commitments are what colleges are looking for. If you didn’t practice 40 hours a day like all the other applicants claimed to, or win 30 different competitions like everyone else reports, then you don’t stand a chance. 

2. Will you get in or won’t you? Should you use a 650-word essay to demonstrate your introspection, or to brag about your accomplishments? Which option stands a better chance of impressing your admissions officer? After pouring your entire life into one application, it still is a betting game at the end of the day. 

3. It’s extremely subjective. Your sense of humor could be regarded as “authentic” and “refreshing” by one reader, but “inappropriate” and “unfitting” by another. Your omission of the Oxford comma could be seen as a sacriligious grammar error when in reality, you are simply a newspaper writer who is accustomed to journalistic grammar guidelines.

4. Colleges would rather see an idealistic image of you instead of a holistic, genuine version of you. Don’t even mention your personal flaws in your essay unless you’ve already fixed them. 

5. We’re told to take time for our true passions, yet with all the time we spend chasing our academic dreams, there is very limited time for “enjoyment” and “passion work.” If you happen to have time for relaxation and pleasure, probably don’t reveal that, unless you’re conducting groundbreaking research on your “passion” and winning awards for it. Remember, you must back up your interest in any activity with concrete details and numerical data!

6. The system may be manipulated by those who have the money and the connections. Those who have that essentially have “protected status” into the top schools.

7. In a time when students need camaraderie and support, most see each other as competition. It’s tense, hostile, and isolating. Not many people admit that this process is hard, but it. Is. Hard. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise or undermine your efforts.