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PSA: A2C Class of ‘21 Essays Presently Suck. Here is what all of you need to do differently and you don’t need a coach to improve

This might belong on one of the off my chest subreddits and is long but if you don't get it after reading this tome of a post, then no one can help you and you might as well burn the application fees on steam games and sweets.
I thought I was fed up before so I wrote the previous post. Little did I know y'all would do it to me again but 10x worse. Now, I'm mad as hell. TLDR at the bottom.
You people do not get how admissions officers do their jobs. I think if you could truly empathize with this, you'd be better off. All of you. I've given you all the information you need for this but now it's on you to apply it to your situation. Time to listen, kids. For real and for your sake. Accept the truth. I think of the hundreds of essay ideas I've reviewed here, maybe 2 have been good. That's right. 2. The rest are basically garbage.
So don't think you're the exception. You're not. For kids that are so smart on paper, I'm just so disappointed by the lack of initiative to grow and learn something for once. Do better guys.Throw your pride out the window if you want to get in this cycle, especially if you're asking for aid. I can take a horse to water but it's on you people to drink it.
I'm disturbed that you guys are not receiving and internalizing the good advice here and you want the quick fix. In your minds the quick fix is an example essay from someone else. Not relevant and not a good approach. Be rational and think about this logically? Was a masterpiece painted in a day and a carbon copy of something else? No. No. No. Stop taking shortcuts. Stop looking for instant gratification.
You all think your ideas are still good. They’re not. The pride kicks in. I spoonfed you a curated list of steps on what to do and read and then you guys say you need sample essays in order to understand, ignoring all the previous wisdom that is out there. I would have died and gone to heaven to have this back in my day and you guys just toss this away.
For the love of god people, you do not need examples. This is not a math problem. There is no right answer but there are good approaches and bad ones that don't help your case in admissions.
Read the post thoroughly and read the brainstorming post I've written and others here on the sub or on the web more broadly (yes, I said web) Brainstorming for Dummies is what I should repost it as.
Rant over. Moving on to new content. Listen and learn. None of it is truly new, I just copied it from the links in my other post. Everything you could ever dream of is already on this sub, guys. This is the only part of your application that you have total control over at this point. Can't change your circumstances, race, or years of ECs, the school you go to, or how you couldn't take the SAT / ACT this year. This is on you.
Since many of you struggle with clicking on links, here are some tips from parents of CC. These are legit insights. I did not edit these so it’s quoted essentially. It’s in your interest to follow this advice if you’re not working with a pro and DIY’ing this. Do not debate this especially on the mental health part. It is debated on cc if you click the link in my other post so go view the drama over there. Take it as a nugget because I keep getting the same damn question over and over. Read this before you read the previous post.
Bottom Line: don't have more than 2 adults review your essays, ideally those that are aware of the college process and what good writing looks like.
“· The admissions officer reading your essay did not write the prompts. Their goal really isn't to know the answer to the prompt. It is to know you.
· The question they are trying to answer is what else is there to you that doesn't show up in the rest of the app that should make them want you on campus? The essay is what makes you 3D to them. It is a chance to show them what makes you tick and what could make you a positive addition to their campus.
· Sure, you need to loosely answer one of the prompts. But figure out what you want to tell, then fit it to a prompt.
· Those poor admissions officers read hundreds of essays on the same prompts every year. Unless you have a whale of a sob story (immigrant boat people or homelessness type big), my advice is to look for something positive to write about. Things that seem huge to a teen (secrets about sexuality, overly religious parents, abusive parents, etc) are not uncommon themes, but also don't really make you stand out in a positive way.
· The admissions officer has to meet with the team and make a case for you. They'll shorthand you as they debate it -- it is probably better to be the "kid who loves reciting Chaucer " than the "depressed kid from Connecticut".
· Teens are notoriously terrible at judging the quality of their essays and how they will come across. They are also awful judges of whether any humor they've included is funny to an adult. Get an adult editor who has some understanding of the admissions process.
· Here's another tip: be likable in your essay. Colleges want to admit people they like.
· A Columbia admissions officer once said that your essay should be so about you, that if it fell on the floor without a name, a classmate could pick it up and identify the author. If you are all about your mental illness, then write about that. But if you prefer to be identified by some other attribute of your personality, that is probably a better topic.
· The point behind an admissions essay is to "sell" your application-- to give the adcom a chance to see you as more than just your statistics, to separate you from others with identical qualifications.
· I'm not convinced that it's the best time to point out anything which doesn't "sell" your application.
· No one is suggesting hiding mental health issues. But the suggestion is simply that this particular time and place may not be the right one to highlight it.
· Attention to all teens: The person reading your essay and deciding if YOU will get into their college is an adult. No generational difference can erase the fact that, unless you are a great writer (bearing in mind that the vast majority of teens are not great writers), the college admissions officer is primarily interested determining if you can succeed at that college, and if you fit in. The adult reading your app is protecting the bottom line of the college: keeping students in school, who help fill their coffers. If that adult feels you don't measure up, especially because of red flags in your essay, he/she isn't going to admit you. You are selling yourself, so give them a reason to say yes.
· This is a time when you should consider your audience carefully. They ARE judging you. Even a millennial admissions officer is tasked with something of a gatekeeper role to identify students most likely to succeed in their environment. Pointing out the reasons you might not succeed, might add drama to campus (they do NOT want drama on campus), or cost the college more in services, is not helpful.”
WilliamTheReader case study example from the AO's perspective.
I have realized something. Many of you have been really overrating the quality of your essays, or you just have no idea what top colleges are looking for. This is concerning to say the least. So, as the deadlines are approaching, I want to give some insight on how essays are actually evaluated. This is critical advice that I'm not seeing anywhere else on the internet, and it comes mostly from my experiences on the other side of the table as an AO. The main takeaway is that essays are the single most important factor on your application, excluding outside factors you can't control (race, HS, hooks etc.)
The first thing you have to understand is that there is only one universal goal that a top admissions essay has to accomplish: to make the AO like and root for you on a personal level. No other universal rules exist. That is the only guiding principle, everything else is dependent on the AO
If I reject the 36 ACT 4.0 superstar, I lose nothing. If I accept him/her, I gain nothing. This is dangerous, because now we have a wealth of kids to pick from whose fate affects us in no way. It's January 2nd, 2019 and I'm starting to read applications. I'm going through the applications for my region and read Applicant A. He's a USAMO qualifier, he tutors at-risk kids, he is captain of his state championship debate team. But he writes a really sort of average common app essay. Well my enthusiasm for him is only going to be so-so not because I choose not to be, but because I genuinely don't remember anything about him ten applications later. But, he still gets to make it through to the next round because his accomplishments are really strong and he scored a 35 / 3.95 UW.
So his application comes up in committee. I, as his regional counselor, am responsible for pitching him. I stand up and tell my colleagues about this academic superstar, accomplished leader in his community, family oriented role model. I then explain his common app essay. I say all of this in sort of a matter-of-fact prose style. I try to be enthusiastic but faking it is hard. I get no reaction from the rest of my colleagues because 1) I personally am not enthused by the essay, and my lack of enthusiasm is very apparent and 2) his common app objectively sounds generic. Well, none of my colleagues are going to throw their weight for a kid who I myself am not crazy about. Also, nobody gets fired if we reject this superstar. We vote. He gets half yes's and half no's and he ends up in the deferred/waitlist/rejected pile. I don't personally care about this applicant, so I don't vote to appeal his case in the next round (which is something AOs do if they really love a kid that gets voted down).
Then, I pull up the next applicant file. Applicant B, a girl with lower scores and worse ECs than Applicant A. I visibly get excited, as I had been anticipating this profile all day. This excitement translates immediately to my colleagues indirectly (as any room of people would) and the intrigue starts to build. They're wondering, what's got WilliamTheReader so excited? I tell this story about this sort of average, haven't done anything noteworthy applicant. I have an outline for what I'll say because I've been thinking about this particular case for a while. I describe the common app essay and how it made me personally feel, and even quote one of the more profound lines in her conclusion. Her supplements are well crafted, vibrant, and create a full picture of her. Everyone in the room can tell how passionate I am about this girl, and since I work with them everyday and there's some level of respect/office politics going on nobody thinks it's worth it to fight against me. We're all veterans, and the first rule you learn about committee is to pick your battles. We vote and she thus gets 0 no's (and therefore all yes's), and she gets the acceptance. This sequence of events has happened multiple times every single day of committee, for every admissions office at every elite school in the country, for the past 20-30 years. As you can see, a bad pitch can ruin a good application, but a good pitch can really make the difference for a so-so application. Average essays ruin top applications, strong essays boost average applications.
u/minigolflyf said it well: Don’t be afraid to annihilate your baby (essay). #5 https://www.reddit.com/ApplyingToCollege/comments/fxxlv2/essay_advice_from_a_stanford_2024_admit/
Congrats on making it til the end. Do better. Everyone that has PM’d me. Read this because I’m not going to repeat myself. We need to have more meaningful conversations going forward if you want my help.
TLDR: I'm disturbed that you guys are not receiving and internalizing the good advice here and you want the quick fix. In your minds the quick fix is an example essay from someone else. For the love of god people, you do not need examples. This is not a math problem. There is no right answer but there are good approaches and bad ones that don't help your case in admissions. Was a masterpiece painted in a day and a carbon copy of something else? No. No. No. Stop taking shortcuts. Stop looking for instant gratification. Essays matter a lot. As u/williamthereader said, “Average essays ruin top applications, strong essays boost average applications.”
Edit 1: wow! I’m so glad this rant is getting read. Hopefully the angry approach gets the message out. You guys really don’t need any editors unless you feel it’s what you want. People keep asking about where to find the two adults to edit but that’s if you really need one and most don’t. People whose native language isn’t English would probably be the case where I’d have a native speaker review it for grammar but they probably don’t need to be adults for that purpose. Hope that helps
Edit 2: thoughtful DM questions are encouraged and all of those that did not get a favorable message last time, should say hello and share what you’ve got more recently
Edit 3: whenever a post gets traction, the haters come out. I definitely don’t care but let’s clarify some things. If you feel bad after reading real advice from parents and William referred to here, you need to reassess yourself and why a forum post can make you feel this way. None of this should demoralize you. It should inspire action. “My essays probably suck, however, this is 100% in my control. therefore, I can do something about it by starting with knowing my audience.”
Edit 4: although there is a small contingency of haters that have totally taken the conversation away from the point, I’m encouraged by the response of the intended audience for this post... that is, the ones that can handle tough love. Don’t get distracted by worthless discussions on whether I’m qualified ... to copy and paste advice from pros already on here for your convenience ... and my ethnic background. None of that noise changes the fact that you all should keep working on your essays keeping the adult reader in mind. It never ceases to amaze me how productive conversations on here inevitably veer off topic with a small contingency. No win situation so it doesn’t bother me but I’d hate that someone unfamiliar with this sub gets caught up in the drama and misses the message. If you have a problem with me, PM me rather than clogging up the comments with garbage the keeps repeating itself. You’d be better off making a meme for Wednesday honestly. You won’t hurt my feelings but I will only respond if you make a truly intriguing point. Thank you.
Edit 5: It might be helpful for some of you to know what the goal of this post is. This is not a standalone post. It is part 2 of this one with the two articles I liked the most copied and pasted into this on rather than accessing via link https://www.reddit.com/ApplyingToCollege/comments/i3z50e/guys_tbh_your_essays_suck_redeem_yourself_by/ These are also a collection of links from the wiki so if you didn't read that, then you don't have the context. I don't see the point in trying to come up with my own ideas because the ones I am showcasing are the best of the best out there and they're all underpinned by the fact that you need to consider your audience. Your perspective MAY NOT be interesting to an adult so make sure it actually is before you click submit.
It also references the brainstorming post, which encourages specific exercises and having you dig up others from the sub, Mattie's techniques and Scholargrade https://www.reddit.com/ApplyingToCollege/comments/hfzhy7/specific_fun_prelim_summertime_college_essay/
Most ideas that I've seen don't warrant a thorough response. My time is limited and this is free. You get what you pay for. My assessment is whether I think you're on the right track, whether you need a coach, and whether you have something that will stand out to your intended audience IMO. I would never share an essay with anyone for free if they're not someone you know like a teacher.
Please stop sending me essays. I don't evaluated them. I'd charge for that but I have no interest in making money from A2C so I can remain independent. Some of you that don't need college counseling services can go with my "poor sister" however your draft needs to be far along by the time you work with an editor. I've been having her take on pro bono clients too so I can make sure she is good enough. I've chosen 2 students already but there are 3 more that I will choose too.
Do not expect something super detailed for free. Be grateful that someone knowledgeable about the process is giving you a greed or red light on your idea in their opinion. I have hundreds of kids and I noticed a trend that most did not take their audience into account. I wrote a post that I hoped would address the issues I kept seeing because my time was wasted and all of you were making the same errors. That post didn't get enough traction so I had to step up the snarkiness to get the message out. I have no regrets and haters inevitably show up when something gets read.
There are also a lot of kids that are trying to monopolize my time. I can't give you much given the queue. Take the opinion or not. I'm not the be all and end all and I'm a good sounding board. It's on you and you really shouldn't care what anyone thinks besides you for your final draft. It's about finding the right idea that you guys need to work on now.
It is insane that people (aka special snowflakes armed with a closet full of participation trophies) are so sensitive. Toughen up. If that post makes you feel stressed, then there are bigger issues that you need to deal with. The intent is that it's free advice that was collated from our very own sub and a competitor forum that did indeed have a good thread for once because I am noticing that things get missed if you have links only. This is out of the goodness of my heart, I'm not making money from you like others on here so be grateful or downvote it, and move on with your life. It's your prerogative.
Edit 6: Thanks for the massive bump in followers. All the controversy seems to help in that department oddly enough.
Edit 7: All previous submitters of their ideas need to resubmit their newest to me OR talk about your understanding of audience and what you intend to do going forward. I said this before but the conversations I'm having are not very meaningful for me to participate in and I'm tired of repeating myself, so please make it worth my time or you will get a minimal response with a yawn emoji for instance. Respect my time please because you get what you pay for and no one here is paying. I'm saving you time and money should you choose to work with a coach or editor when you come to them with a good idea already in your pocket.
submitted by icebergchick to ApplyingToCollege


[LCK COLUMN] A Crumbling Dynasty - 3 Years of T1

There's a lot of discussion and frankly, a lot of hate being thrown around in Korean communities regarding T1's projected coaching staff roster. It might be helpful to understand how fan perception of SKT changed through the course of it's rebranding to T1 and track the changes made that resulted in the fiasco we see today.
SKT T1. Their name in League of Legends requires no further introduction. 3-time Worlds champions, 2-time MSI champions, 9 LCK titles, T1, along with their superstar mid laner Faker, were once considered so dominant, they were hurting the esports scene. But what once rose must also fall, and SKT fell hard after their 3-0 loss in 2017 Worlds finals against Samsung Galaxy. Faker's performance dropped off and he was subbed out for Pirean who famously went 0/9/2 against BDD, Untara was so non-existent SKT were forced to call up their rookie Thal to the top lane, and Blank and Blossom were both so bad at jungling that support Wolf went to jungle. SKT failed to make Worlds in 2018, losing against Gen.G in the regional qualifiers.

2019 SKT T1 - The "Dream Team" half-fulfilled

After T1's abject failure of the 2018 season, 2019 promised something much greater, with star head coach Kkoma personally contacting and recruiting high-value players like Khan, Mata and Teddy, as well as picking up young and fresh talent like Clid. 2019 also marked SKT's transition into T1, with Comcast becoming a major shareholder of the team, with CEO Joe Marsh promising to generate the brand value that T1 should rightly possess. However, while the brand T1 gained traction rapidly with increased sponsorship and better streaming environments, the team only found domestic success, being eliminated from both MSI and Worlds in the semifinals by the LEC champion G2 (G2 would go on to win 2019 MSI and make finals in 2019 Worlds, losing to the LPL 1st seed FPX).
The end of the 2019 season marked the end of T1's "Dream Team". The players under 1-year contracts all left T1 - Khan to FPX, Clid to GEN.G, and Mata retiring to become head coach of RNG. Even the dreamer could not escape the fallout, and Kkoma left T1, the team he founded in 2013 as SKT T1 K and stayed on as coach, then head coach for 7 years, to go to Vici Gaming in the LPL. Fans devastated by the departures of both core and star players (with Clid going to a rival LCK team, stating the reason as a better playing environment with fewer distractions, seen as a grave error of T1's management) and the failure to sign World champion top laner TheShy were only partly consoled by the signing of jungler Cuzz and prominent head coach Kim for 3 years (a first for Kim, who previously only stayed with teams for 1 year). T1 ultimately called up most of their rookies to fill in the 10-man roster.

2020 T1 - Rebrand, Recover, Regress?

T1's 2020 spring season was therefore seen as a stopgap period, so head coach Kim could adjust to the team and (hopefully) feed enough gaming experience to the rookies so they could be an asset to the team in summer. Coach Kim even went on the record stating that he viewed the current roster, especially the top lane as "failed" and he didn't have high hopes of winning the split. Kim seemed to be proven correct during the Kespa Cup, with rookie top laner Canna making costly mistakes and the main laner Roach faring no better.However, the team ramped up massively during the regular split, handily beating the much-hyped Gen.G in finals to win 2020 LCK Spring. There were still several issues to be solved, such as Canna's weak laning phase or the lack of synergy between Cuzz and Faker, but this result was a pleasant surprise to both fans and coaching staff (Kim's interview after finals quoted him saying the win was "a fantastic present" from the players). Coupled with a much more prominent media presence, better memes in their Twitter and Youtube, and several photoshoots, T1 seemed poised on the brink of a resurgence, combining the hard-work ethic of the East with the exuberance of the West. T1's new management also received much acclaim from fans, with their promise to upload more team content and protect players from toxicity during streaming, to move to a larger and fancier clubhouse in Gangnam, and to create an event tournament instead of 2020 MSI that was cancelled due to COVID being heralded as the positive effects of including western corporations in esports management. It is darkly appropriate that all these played a part in the confused mess that T1 seems to be now.
T1's 2020 LCK summer was brief. After coming in last in their group for the Mid-Season Cup, they struggled from the start of the split, with coach Kim resorting to benching Faker for rookie Clozer, stating "shot-calling issues" and that he had to "scold" Faker for his performance. Even as the team's standings dropped, their social media exploded, as the team seemed to film as many ads and photoshoots as possible, with Kim stating he was worried the players were fatigued from going to a photoshoot directly after matches. Faker himself shot at least 9 ads and starred in 3 reality tv shows during the summer season. Other, minor issues such as T1's team car illegally parking in disabled parking spots, or toxic donations on Twitch being shown unfiltered also plagued the team.
With the combination of an overburdened schedule, reactive and uncertain roster changes, and individual performance decline, T1 finished 4th in the regular split and lost in playoffs to Afreeca Freecs, a team that they were favored against. They were slotted in the regional finals, where coach Kim showcased a brand-new roster (Canna-Ellim-Faker-Gumayusi-Effort) that had only scrimmed together for 7 days. Funnily enough, these "1 Week Warriors" beat Afreeca Freecs, but then lost 3-0 to Gen.G. It was then that posts criticizing Coach Kim's interviews during summer and roster changes started to surface, and a media leak that Kim would be fired was confirmed by T1. This controversial decision split fans between those who thought Kim failed to utilize the players properly and created unnecessary drama through his interviews, and those who argued that the management should have given Kim more chances, considering they approached Kim with a 3-year contract and persuaded him to accept, even after he refused them many times.

2020 LCK "Stove League"

For non-T1 LCK fans, 2020 Worlds was festive and bright, with Damwon Gaming beating both LEC champion G2 and LPL's Suning Gaming to take home the Summoner's Cup. For T1 fans, which coach would commandeer T1 for 2021 was the main concern. The main candidate was the return of coach Kkoma, who left Vici Gaming after winning more games than VG had in the past 2 years, but failing to make playoffs. Kim's abrasive interviews had made many a fan long for the wishy-washy but protective interviews that Kkoma had made, always giving credit for victory to the players and putting the blame of losses on himself. Another growing concern was the (perceived) continued drop of Faker's individual ability, seen as due to the "aging curve" that esports players seemed to find themselves on faster than any other sport. Although the exact age an esports player declines is different for every game (with some FPS and combat games having significantly older players dominating the scene), 24~25 seems to be it for League of Legends, with only 8 players in the major leagues (LCK, LPL, and LEC) 24 and older making it to Worlds. Of them, 4 are supports (SwordArt, LvMao, Hylissang, Vander), 3 are ADCs (Rekkles, Deft, Kramer), and 1 is Jungle (Jankos). Even worse is that arguably only Rekkles and Hylissang were not the weak point of their teams, with all other players visibly outclassed by their opponents in the games they played.
It was therefore quite obvious to fans that 2021 season isn't one when T1 can safely hunker down and focus on rebuilding, at least not without writing off Faker. Many hoped this sentiment was echoed by the management, and therefore expected a major coach signing (Kkoma or Homme, or even Reapered) and an upgrade to the support position (Lehends or Keria). Then one fan found a Douyu VOD where Effort was in a Discord server titled "2021 T1" with Polt and LS, with LS requesting feedback on his review of DRX's game against TES. The rumor that Polt would be head coach of T1 in 2021, and LS the main coach, was seen to be confirmed by a FOMOS reporter's tweet that referred to them as "future" head coach and coach, respectively.

Why the Backlash? Two Reasons

Both Polt and LS are better known in the western esports scene than in Korea, but that Polt was a former Starcraft 2 pro, new to the League scene with no coaching experience and a lackluster solo queue tier (Gold 2), and LS obviously being held in low esteem due to his support of former BBQ jungler Malice against former SKT top laner Untara was enough to enrage T1 fans. Even the more level-headed of them were against Polt/LS as head coach and coach, stating the lack of experience leading a top-tier team as the main reason. This stance was supported by DWG's Nuclear saying that their coach Daeny had a lot of trouble adjusting to their team and being taken seriously because he wasn't a League of Legends pro player, despite Daeny being a former PUBG pro and currently Grand Master on the ladder.
Due to the strict embargoes and general lack of leaks regarding sports star signings in Korea, most information is obtained via anonymous posts from involved personnel, which fans choose to believe or disregard based on whether the poster had given accurate information before. One of these anonymous posts stated that the reason behind T1 signing Polt and LS was that they wanted a head coach who would not argue against increasing external photoshoots and videos, and that they planned on filming more ads in 2021. This incredible discrepancy between expectation and result angered T1 fans further, and LS filming himself wearing a Nike jersey/in a location similar to the sauna room in T1's clubhouse as early as in September gave ground for suspicions that T1 were planning to hire LS as soon as they fired Kim, without considering other prospects.
The backlash over Polt/LS was then twofold - one, fans did not think Polt and LS had shown any sort of coaching skill in the capacity that a team aiming for the Summoner's Cup requires, and two, T1's management preferred to consume Faker's remaining career as a figurehead for ads, not as a competitive player. T1's management's steadfast ignorance of fan outcries, from blocking comments on their Instagram and ignoring emails to banning users on twitch who mentioned Polt or LS during player streams (which also was seen as management protecting their own when before, the players were exposed to all sorts of toxic hate without any oversight) became the trigger for stronger outbursts, such as sending funeral wreaths mourning the death of SKT T1 as a gaming org, to mass-sending emails to the sponsors of T1 decrying the hiring of Polt and LS as a severe case of mismanagement.

Concluding Remarks

The rebranding of SKT to T1, and the influence of the new co-owners was initially hailed as a positive aspect. Fans welcomed the inclusiveness of T1, and looked forward to more merchandise and online content. They also believed that T1, although faltering, would rise again to greatness, richer and stronger than before. However, the several media/marketing issues created by T1, the forced meme-ing on Twitter, CEO Joe Marsh's tweets about wanting to make "Faker pursue a music venture" or his controversial "Baby Yoda" tweets were viewed as the negative aspects of a western presence, and the prospected signing of Polt and LS, as well as the consistent refusal to address or attempt to explain the rationale behind the signing, is now seen as the culmination of Comcast's influence on turning T1 from a respected, elite gaming org to a gaudy and profitable media product. Some are going as far as to predict Comcast will milk Faker for all he's worth then sell off their shares, leaving T1 in shambles.
submitted by Hektor_Ekhein to leagueoflegends