Archive for September, 2009

Questions to ask yourself before you apply for a specific major

1. Why do you want to study this subject? Can you prove that you have a real, not superficial interest in it? What is your evidence?

2. Why do you want to study at this university? Do you understand the demands of the course? Do you know the way you will be taught and the way you will be expected to learn?

3. Do you know what skills you need in order to be a successful student in this major and a successful professional in the field?

4. Do some of your extracurriculars demonstrate your leadership, excellence or initiative?

Broader education in UK?!?

While you cannot expect to experience US liberal arts college style education in UK, you can still get broader education in UK with the “combined honours”, “joint honours” or “major-minor” options. You should expect a varying degree of flexibility from different schools, so it is a good idea to research specific opportunities carefully.

How are these options different from US style liberal arts? In UK typically you have to have chosen the areas in advance, and you have to discuss your motivation in the personal statement.

If you have never considered a broader option, you might find some good reasons to do so in the booklet offered by the University of Greenwich.

Your unique perspective +

In their supplement Colgate ask the following: We honor the many different forms of diversity in our community. Your perspective is valuable because it comes from your life experiences, family background, and culture. Please tell us about yourself and what you believe is the best way to share your perspective.
Also, what do you hope to learn from the experiences of others?

One of you wrote to me that it’s a question about what makes you different from the others. It’s true, but it’s essential to figure out who “the others” are. Too many students believe that “the others” are their current classmates, so they start comparing themselves to their classmates. Too often, in order to impress colleges, my students start telling bad thing about their classmates. That’s a mistake because:

1. You sound arrogant and self-righteous. You might have all the reasons to feel that your classmates are not as good as you are, but that is not something to be proud of. You might feel proud if, for example, you have tried hard to help them become as good as you are.

2. Colleges are interested in college applicants, not in college applicants’ classmates. An essay is an opportunity to share something about YOURSELF. Talking about your classmates in most often useless … at best. Of course, it is OK if your teachers compare you to your classmates – colleges actually ask them to do that.

Colleges are interested in how you compare against the rest of the applicant pool, but you are not the one who is capable of making the comparison because you don’t know the other applicants, so you don’t need to be involved in any kind of comparison making. What you have to do is explore yourself, take out the best and show it to colleges 🙂

The other part of the essay prompt asks for your elaboration on HOW you plan to enrich the college community with your unique presence there. Think of all possible aspects – academic and non-academic. You might wish to be very specific here and mention some specific activities offered by the college or some that you plan to create yourself.

And finally, the prompt ask you about your hopes to learn from the experiences of others. You should make sure you know where Colgate students usually come from, what they are like. Think HOW you can learn from THEM in different settings – in and out of the classroom.

College application tweets

I have just created a C00ledge account on Twitter. It also appears in the top right corner of this blog. You can follow me there and also create your accounts to follow one another. It would be better to create a special account for your application purposes. If you wish to manage several accounts from the same dashboard, you might try HootSuite.

Choosing a major

I have just added some links in the “Careers” link list. They might be of some help when considering majors and working on personal statements, especially for career-oriented schools.

Pissed off

Some people keep sending me the same essays under different titles.  As you may guess, these are motivational essays.

First,  I feel tired reading the same thing over and over again.

Second, it does not make sense to me. Does it make any sense to you?

Please, read my texts on motivational essays.

Some people say they don’t have any ideas. Am I the one to generate ideas for them? Well, do you really think that people who cannot generate ideas or don’t even try to are the most eligible top college applicants?

It’s your job to generate as many ideas as possible, to write huge self-inventories. It’s my job to read them and suggest which items are worth mentioning. OK?

Mишо от Jacobs University, Bremen

Хей, Лидия! 🙂 Тук е фантастично! Мисля че вече откровено мога да кажа : Щастлив съм! Всичко тук е awsome – и атмосферата, и кампуса, и хората, всичко! Колкото и да мисля не мога да кажа нищо негативно за тук – всичко е прекрасно, много се радвам че съм тук, и съм доволен от всичко….като започна от елементарните неща като храната и обзавеждането на стаите до манталитета на хората – всичко е светлинни години по-добре от България! Ето такъв живот винаги сам искал, даже чувствам себе-удовлетворение! ;P Сега вече сам убеден че направих правилния избор с Бремен, за което всъщност приносът е твой, така че благодаря ти много че ме прати на това приказно място! Тук винаги има какво да се прави, и затова нямам много време за Facebook, затова друг път ще пиша повече за academics и host family! Всъщност досега го отдавах изцяло на социален живот, и за academics почти не мислех…ама май вече е време… 😛 При теб как върви?

Целувки,

М