College Admissions Employees Share Tips For Students Who Want To Get Accepted
College Admissions Employees Share Tips For Students Who Want To Get Accepted[rebelmouse-image 18347353 is_animated_gif=
Getting into college is nerve racking simply because you don't always know what they are looking for other than great grades and extra curricular activities, not to mention all of the competition. What if you could have someone inside the system who can tell you just how to catch the eyes of the admissions department? Your lucky day is today!
People who check University Applications. What do students tend to ignore/put in, that would otherwise increase their chances of acceptance?
Start taking notes from this ultimate cheat sheet!
No suck ups, it's about you![rebelmouse-image 18346072 is_animated_gif=
Never write about the school you're applying to. Write about yourself. Who are you, what do you have to offer, what motivates you, who will you be one day?
Professional advice from University of Chicago[rebelmouse-image 18347354 is_animated_gif=
I read and evaluated applications for the University of Chicago and now, for the last ~6 years, have helped ~300 students apply to college as an admissions consultant, using the insight I gained within a top-5 admissions office.
- I see so many students leave off extracurricular activities because they worry they're not prestigious enough. They leave off hobbies as they didn't realize the 10 hours a week they spent on independent art projects could count as an extracurricular. They don't mention their family obligations, such as having to take care of their 4 younger siblings for many hours each day as their single mom works two jobs. For more insight on what might count on your college app, see my post here.
- They underestimate hours spent on an extracurricular activity. While it is obviously bad to lie/exaggerate your hours, it's not good to underestimate them, either! Last year I worked with an Olympic athlete on her applications. In looking at her original list of extracurricular activities, she had included 15 hours/week as an estimate for her commitment to her sport. I was surprised to hear how low of a time commitment that was, and she remarked "Oh, well, my mom and I have to travel, like, 4 hours roundtrip every day just to get to practice." 4 HOURS EACH DAY!? Add that significant travel time to your activities list, girl! If you, too, have an activity that requires travel time, you can include that time in your estimated hours/week time commitment on your applications. Check out my guide to the activities list for more tips like this.
- Their essays are generic, too, because they fail to include how they think, feel, or view the world differently as a result of their experiences. I cannot tell you how many students' essays I've read that talk about football or piano or their research position and just gives an A to Z guide of their participation in the activity. After a lot of 1-on-1 brainstorming and revisions, the student wrote an excellent essay starting with really cool imagery about the origami artwork hanging from her bedroom ceiling before transitioning into her hobbies. She wrote something like, "Just as distinctly different are the [origami shape 1] and [origami shape 2] hanging above my head are my passions for [activity 1] and [music]---but they both hang in my heart." It was more well-written than that, but I'm pulling from the dregs of my memory. The essay turned out awesome, was super reflective of how the student thought, felt, or viewed the world differently as a result of her experiences and interests, and she's currently at an Ivy League university---in part because she wrote an essay at the Ivy League level.
- Be extremely, extremely specific. Research the school extensively. Find classes that the university offers that you haven't seen at any other school (o-chem doesn't cut it). Mention the curriculum (Core at UChicago or Columbia, Open Curriculum at Brown, for example), and don't just say you like it---really dig into WHY that curriculum exists from a fundamental educational level and what sort of catalyst it will be for your own thinking. Search the school's online newspaper for some cool programs that other prospective students might not know about, talk to current students/alumni (if possible) and incorporate things that you learned. Ask them what underlying qualities the student body possesses (for UChicago, it's a thirst for knowledge, and at Georgetown, it might be some Jesuit value), and evidence your possession of those very same characteristics in your essay. Mention specific professors under whom you wish to study/research, and connect their classes/research back to your own intellectual interests. Better yet, email the professor, have an awesome conversation with them, and incorporate some element of that conversation in your essay. Don't think professors will give you the time of day? This strategy has worked for my 1-on-1 students at Stanford, UChicago, Yale, Princeton, Penn, and many more schools. You can download my guide to emailing professors here. Bottom line: If the essay can be copied and pasted to fit any other university, be more specific.
If you have any questions, I'm all ears. And if you're applying to college or graduate school and want to work with me 1-on-1, check out my website at www.HelpWithApps.com or engage with me on r/ApplyingToCollege.
References and confidence are everything for grad school[rebelmouse-image 18347356 is_animated_gif=
Wow, I can answer this since I work in American higher education! For graduate school, recommendations are absolutely crucial, so be very careful with who you pick. It's normally the first thing universities look at. I recommend someone who will write passionately but honestly about you. It can sometimes be helpful to send your writer your resume and essay submissions as well (and if they're willing to look at and incorporate those documents, they're probably a good writer for you).
Also, self-advocacy is key for your essay submissions, so don't be afraid of coming off as bragging. A lot of students try to be humble (or even vague), which hurts their application since admissions doesn't have time to interpret their essay.
If you have any specific questions about applications, feel free to ask me!
For those applying abroad[rebelmouse-image 18347357 is_animated_gif=
The strongest bit of advice for students applying to a European (particularly UK) University course - don't send a US style personal statement.
Applications in the US tend to be handled by admin staff whereas in the UK/EU by academic staff. These academic staff do not want to read several pages on your non academic interests and skills, it's a waste of their time - focus entirely on your subject based interest and experience. It's often not even worth saying why you want to attend that particular Uni on a UK application, unless it's due to the strength of the department or the teaching staff on the course you are actually taking.
Remember the basics![rebelmouse-image 18347358 is_animated_gif=
Spellcheck, and check your grammar.
People often forget to answer the most important question: what do you want to study, and why? You'd be surprised how many personal statements I read that are full of fantastic achievements etc, but none of that matters if I can't tell what you're applying for!
No sloppiness, only specificity[rebelmouse-image 18345108 is_animated_gif=
I work in the admissions office of my school. Improper emails, misspellings, terrible handwriting all make us critical of whatever you're going to say next. The thing that agitated me the most however , and probably the people that the actual decisions is your level of research on your career. "Elementary school math teacher" is not what you put in the blank for major, "Education" is a major. It's astounding how many potential students don't do research before applying. Last week we had an applicant that wanted to go to the NFL.... we don't have a football team.
Submit everything online[rebelmouse-image 18347359 is_animated_gif=
Submit your application online. I work in admissions and getting paper applications is not only annoying but it slows down the whole process. For one the amount of spelling errors is alarming and we end up having to call people to see how the correct way to spell their first name. Second as much as it sucks, sometimes paper apps get lost. Get lots in the mail, doesn't get filed properly. Things just move a lot quicker online.
A list of undergrad and graduate tips[rebelmouse-image 18347360 is_animated_gif=
I've worked in admissions to an undergrad honors program.
- Humor is fine, but morbid humor is generally hit or miss.
- I'm scanning your recommendations for actual examples of your awesomeness, as everything is generally going to be boilerplate "best ever!" so if your recommendations have a particulary example "he wrote an essay that made me cry"/"he was the fastest at (whatever)"/"he always stayed to help after" it's helpful. Remind your recommenders of these moments before.
- Also on recs: I've read some REAL BAD ONES. Every once and awhile there is a person who asked the wrong teacher. If a teacher seems reluctant DO NOT TAKE THEIR REC ASK SOMEONE ELSE.
- I'm expecting you to have reasonably good grades, so I'm probably scanning your grades for "mistake" grades that you need to explain elsewhere. Why did you get that D? What classes are your weaker classes? if you got below a C- in a class, you probably need to explain that to me.
- Let someone read your essays for cringe. Please don't write an essay about how a 2 day volunteer trip changed your life unless you actually started volunteering everywhere else/created an NGO for that cause after. I'd rather hear more about your life and activities/hobbies as a whole. Please, if you're going to exaggerate, don't make it something which is basically a lie.
- If you choose to write the diversity essay, be careful and sensitive with what you say.
For graduate school (I've sat on an admissions board here/field specific to social science):
- The rec thing above TIMES A BILLION MORE. Don't just go for a big name if they don't know you, s/he will write you a 1 paragraph s*** rec.
- Your statement of purpose should display (1) your research interest (2) how you've previously done work with it (3) who EXACTLY you will work with. Depending on the school, you can and should reach out to professors to discuss with them, especially in smaller schools.
- Rewrite your statement of purpose over and over, with outside eyes. If you are in undergrad, the career office will and should help you with this.
- Submit everything on time!
- Yes, your GRE counts. Yes, that sucks. If your GRE is below a certain threshold, if your GPA is below a certain threshold, if your recs were less than glowing, or if your SoP was less than well-matched, any of these alone can disqualify you depending on the school.
Explains the holes or deficiencies[rebelmouse-image 18347361 is_animated_gif=
If there are problematic areas in your application (for example, some bad grades or weak extracurricular activities), give me some context. I want to understand why you're still a good candidate. I really want to admit you. As a college, we need the tuition and financial aid money you can provide, and we can't get that unless you're admitted and enroll. So explain those bad grades or other problems that might make me think you would struggle in college. Be careful not to shrug off responsibility for your own actions, though. Ideally, I want to see you take ownership of your struggles and that you've learned from them, with evidence that you've improved.
Always do more[rebelmouse-image 18347362 is_animated_gif=
Show your effort, in any way you can. This doesn't mean to try those gimmicks or to pester the school with unsolicited materials, but do take advantage of every single opportunity and option they offer. Don't just do the standard or minimum amount of effort if you can do more.
Update your info, yikes![rebelmouse-image 18347364 is_animated_gif=
You'd be surprised how often people use a copy and pasted response to questions, or even their entire admission letter. You can have the best application ever seen, but your chances drop instantly if your admission letter for University X still says "for these reasons and so many more, I believe University Y is the perfect fit for me."
Ok, so go to University Y. Application rejected
Depends on the school...[rebelmouse-image 18347365 is_animated_gif=
I guess this is just at select institutions. I worked in an admissions office for a 8 years and the institution I worked at just cared if you had the correct high school credits, GPA, test scores, no criminal record. If you met that you were admitted and many times even if you did not you still get in. Funding was based on numbers so they didn't give a rats a** about you or your ambitions.
Some specific advice on sharing your dreams[rebelmouse-image 18347367 is_animated_gif=
Hi there, I'm a former Admissions officer for a private liberal arts college.
If the school(s) you're applying to take the Common App, try your best to make it stand out with unique stories or big dreams you have. Admissions offices receive tens of thousands of Common Apps every year, and many of these admissions offices are bored of reading about your 4.0 and involvement in 17 different leadership groups. Our office wants to know why you should get a chance at a stellar secondary education, not why you're already such a smart cookie. We want to put the best and brightest people in a position to succeed for the rest of their life, and as most people know here, GRADES AND CLUBS MEAN NOTHING AFTER GRADUATION.
A good way to address this within the Common App essay: "What have you experienced in your life that made you try to enact a change, better yourself, or cause deep reflection?" Some examples that I read about include, a woman who used her popularity as homecoming queen to organize a school-wide flood cleanup effort, a former athlete whose career-ending injury made him look into his true passion of astronomy, and a programmer who at age 23 wanted so badly to start his own company, but wanted to take management courses to round himself out.
Oh, and of course, spell check, spell check, spell check. Have someone else read your essay for you. Read it out loud in front of a mirror. Make sure the grammar works verbally too.
You're going to be okay. Best of luck to everyone currently working on their applications! :)
How to stand out for the right reasons[rebelmouse-image 18347368 is_animated_gif=
Finally something I can answer about my work.
I assist with admissions for a graduate program at a large University (40,000+ student population). Our program sees over 400 applications per year, first an online application, and then we do in-person interviews. You're probably doing most things right when applying, spell checking your submissions, make sure your references are strong, meet all the requirements, etc..
Things you DON'T want to do - make yourself stand out in a negative way. Any applicant who doesn't submit docs on time, whose interactions with staff are rude/negative/pushy (including reception) - we note and keep track of all of that and you will not be getting an interview, despite what your GPA may be. If you waited until two weeks before the submission deadline to ask a referee to send a letter and they didn't get around to it? Don't call and ask for additional time, there's a deadline and it was your responsibility to meet it. Didn't like the answer you got to an emailed question? Don't come in after seeing our note that we don't do in-person advising, and try and pressure staff into giving you a different answer. Don't, for the love of god, have your parent call or come in on your behalf. There are privacy laws for a reason and we don't want a student who can't ask their own questions. Unsure if your documents reached us? Don't call or email to ask about them; read the instructions we listed that stated to check your online application as all updates will be made there and that we won't take call to confirm. Don't ask to speak to the Department Head or an Admissions Committee member because you have a 'unique' situation. We note everything. We receive enough applications from students who exceed all of our minimum requirements that we can afford to be extremely picky.
The people who do stand out are the ones who did everything that was asked of them; submitted all documents on time, met and completed all requirements, didn't come in when we said not to, didn't make a fuss, were passionate, enthusiastic and had a positive interaction to everyone they interact with.
Devote yourself to something, it will pay off[rebelmouse-image 18347369 is_animated_gif=
Don't just be a resume filler. One year in the environmental club, one year in the history club, one year in the robotics club, etc. shows your just trying to con your way in. Find something you really enjoy and stay devoted to it. Show you're willing to put in work for something you care about, not just go through the motions.
A job looks great![rebelmouse-image 18347370 is_animated_gif=
Part-time jobs. In this day and age a lot of kids go to college never having held a job. If you did have a part-time job and can get a letter of recommendation from your boss (responsible, hard working, gets along well with others, reliable, honest), it goes a LONG way.
Always submit as much as you can[rebelmouse-image 18347371 is_animated_gif=
I'm a student who works for admissions, so I don't technically decide whether or not you get in, but I do have a good tip.
I'm from a state (hint, it's Delaware) where there is a heavy emphasis on "test-optional" submissions, especially for in-state students, and lots of people think that they will just ignore the test scores and judge you without them.
While this is true, this puts you at a HEAVY disadvantage with the admissions team. They look at test-optionals last, so if they've already gotten close to their admissions quota, they will be much more scrupulous, and it'll be harder to get in. Their logic is that if you don't submit your test scores, you either don't test well, or "aren't smart enough" for the university, which is unfortunate.
So if you want to submit test-optional to a certain large university in Delaware, please please PLEASE only do it if you've got a great GPA, a large amount of extra-, and recommendations from teachers/administrators. Even mediocre test scores are better than no test scores, it seems.
Think about what they are looking for[rebelmouse-image 18344986 is_animated_gif=
Put yourself in the place of the admissions reader. Just imagine how many apps you have to read. Imagine how boring they are. Imagine how many sound like clones. Imagine how many times you have to see the same adjectives. Imagine how happy you are when an original one comes along! In other words, personalize your app. Make it serious, but fun. Show how distinct and creative you are.
Basically, what you want to demonstrate is that you are smart, creative, and above all else, that you will contribute something positive and unique to the University Community.
Grading thousands of college papers each year, I cannot tell you how happy I am when I see someone who thinks differently, who takes the assignment seriously, has fun with it, and who doesn't just offer up the routine stuff.
There is a process[rebelmouse-image 18347372 is_animated_gif=
I used to work in the admissions department of a university in Florida. One thing I learned about the admissions process there: although you're required to submit an essay, it won't even get read unless they can't make up their mind on grades alone. So the best tip I can give is to just not f*** around in high school.
Please don't![rebelmouse-image 18347373 is_animated_gif=
I used to work in an Admission office and it was remarkable how many students used text language, i.e. LOL, BTW, etc. Just embarrassing
It's a teacher's job to leave a lasting impression and set a good example for their students.
With this in mind, particularly in this age of viral videos and social media, teachers have to be very careful of what they say during class hours.
Even so, there are very few teachers who haven't said something they've regretted when teaching a class.
Sometimes to control unruly students, other times when they've simply had enough.
Then too, sometimes teachers leave their students baffled and perplexed by what they say in their classroom, well aware of what they were saying.
Always making for a memorable story.
"What’s the wildest thing you’ve ever heard teacher say in class?"
And Anyone With Such Closed Minded Views Shouldn't Be Teaching...
"Had the Head of the Department in college claim in class that anyone who actually needs accommodations for mental health issues should not be in college to begin with."
"This was while we were discussing 'Death of a Salesman' and the discussion had veered over to unhealthy pressure and social standards for success."- RavensQueen502
"My very well-respected Biology teacher in college spent almost an entire lecture telling us that Jamie Lee Curtis was a hermaphrodite."
"It seemed oddly personal to him."- Urbane_Cowboy
Sad On So Many Levels
"Not heard but my freshmen year high school teacher once pulled a bottle of Jack out of his desk and took a shot during class."
"He was dying so towards the end I think he just stopped caring."- Mangothefello
Can't Take The Heat, Then Stay Out Of The Classroom...
"High school science teacher told my class that a kilometre was longer than a mile."
"Refused to budge when refuted and kicked out several students for doing so."- SupersonicDebris13
"5th grade teacher: 'Mount Whitney in California is the tallest mountain in the world'."
"5th grade me blurts out: 'No it isn't, Mount Everest is."
"Whitney is not even the tallest mountain in the USA, which is Mount McKinley in Alaska'."
"I got in trouble for 'contradicting the teacher'."- gtmattzget out GIFGiphy
It's Not Just Students Who Are Bullies...
"I had a teacher ridicule a fat kid about his lunch choices in front of the whole class."
"He ran out crying as she was making fat guy blimp gestures and telling him he was going to be huge as an adult."- SnooOwls5859
Some Dramatic License It Seems...
"I had a literature teacher who told the class that he didn't believe in dinosaurs, because the universe is only a couple thousand years old."
"The bones were put there by Satan."
"Thank f*ck he wasn't a science or history teacher."- AllBadAnswersof montreal dancing GIF by Polyvinyl RecordsGiphy
Everyone Deserves Nice Acomodations...
"My English teacher told us that he genuinely believes that the Rothchilds own a hotel for aliens in the Bermuda triangle."- TroyLear77
"We had this kid in our 6th-grade class."
"Very dark skinned kid from Africa."
"His name was Tajak."
"Every now and then when we'd line up to go to another class or lunch and the lights would go out some of his friends would go 'where Tajak at?'"
"Anyway one day we had a sub and we we're lining up for lunch, the lights went out and there went the 'where Tajak at?' and the SUBSTITUTE TEACHER who was also black went 'Boy you darker than night'."
"6th grade was f*cking wild."- 11221mikew
"Psych teacher in high school told us that 1 in 10 of the people were friends with in high school would be dead within 5 years of graduating."
"At the time I thought it was hyperbole, but it turns out he was being conservative."
"3 of the people in my high school friend group were dead by the time I was 22."- Reddit
Do They Really Need A Reason?
"'Now girls, don't you let them boys touch your breasts'."
"'It'll give you cancer'."- jondru
Maybe Should Have Checked With The Geography Teacher?
"A teacher in Elementary school claimed during history class that the Colosseum was in Greece, as an Italian kid I was very confused, this was in Mexico."- Spascucci
So Much For Instilling Hope...
"Didn't hear this personally, but read in a book about a guy who recalled his teacher skipping chapters in a textbook and saying 'You will not need to know this when you are down in the mines'."- futanari_kaisa
The mark of a good teacher is that students will take everything they hear from them with them for the rest of their lives.
Though, the less-than-wonderful teachers may also say things their students will never forget.
People Who've Had A Serious Illness Describe The Exact Moment They Knew Something Was Really Wrong
As a kid, I never raised alarm bells even when I started to feel sick. My mom got stressed easily and was busy taking care of my younger brother, so I never wanted to be a burden by making her take me to the doctor only to find out nothing was wrong.
However, in fifth grade, my ears started to hurt and I knew something was wrong. I told my mom, she took me to the doctor, and I found out I had an ear infection.
Now, an ear infection isn't serious at all, and it was easily treatable. Still, I learned something from that experience: no one knows your body better than you. You know if and when you're sick and how serious it is, even if you don't now exactly what is wrong.
Redditors can corroborate this. Many of them have experienced symptoms that told them they were sick in some way -- usually with a very serious illness -- and are ready to share those experiences.
It all started when Redditor thelearner18 asked:
"People who have had a serious disease (cancer, MS, organ failure, etc) when did you realize something was really wrong?"
A Lesson Learned
"Hust found out i have rectal cancer. 42 yrs old. multiple stools per day, not fully emptying, thin poop. so got a colonoscopy. bam! cancer. starting chemo next week. lesson learned for everyone....if your stools or stool schedule changes, go see a doctor"
A Lucky Break
"I had been having a lot of pain in my midsection, and all around my torso for several weeks. I went to the doctor and it was dismissed as gynecological cramping (menopausal?). It remained. After several weeks (6-8) I couldn’t take it anymore. I went to emergency in the middle of the night. I got a CT scan that showed a large kidney stone. They also found a mass on my ovary. The kidney stone lead them to finding a rare ovarian cancer. If not for that stone, I wouldn’t have known about the cancer and might not have caught it in time. I have been in remission since September 2021."
Cause For Concern
"My kid, who was 14 at the time, kept throwing up in the morning and having weird headaches. Her doctor thought it was migraines. She went back a couple of times, but the doctor was not concerned. Then one day she complained of a whooshing noise in her ear. Went to the children’s hospital and found out it was a brain tumor near her cerabellum. She was in ICU for a month, but turned out it was non cancerous and it never grew back. She is doing great now."
"I heard a whooshing noise in my ear a few years ago I only really heard it at night when it was quiet it would sometimes switch ears now I basically never hear it. I'm pretty sure it was just pulsatile tinnitus but still scary."
It Was The Salt
"I have Cystic Fibrosis (terminal lung disease) and it was found out when I didn't sh*t for 3 days after I was born and then my mother gave me a kiss and said I tasted REALLY salty."
"Now I'm on a gene modification drug called Trikafta and this is some serious witch craft a** sh*t because I no longer feel sick to death and I basically feel like a normal person. It's f*cking wild!
"Went from 19% lung function to 87% in 3 months. I no longer cough my a** off or feel like I'm suffocating from mucus. Go science!"
A Funky Optic Nerve
"I was diagnosed with MS when I was 22 after having blurred vision in one eye after a ski trip. I went to the optometrist and they said I had a dry eye probably from not wearing goggles while snow boarding. So they gave me steroid drops. After a week it kept getting worse, so I went back and they told me my eye looked much better so they did a field of view test, which showed I couldn’t see anything out of the lower half of one eye. They sent me straight to the emergency room since nothing was wrong physically wrong with my eye. They did some tests and I was diagnosed with MS and ended up going completely blind in one eye. My vision eventually came back and I got on medication within a month so haven’t really had any symptoms or issues since thankfully. I’m only 29 now though."
Caught It In Time
"This isn't me, but this happened to my best friend VERY recently. Like in the last couple of months."
"Was perfectly fine and healthy one day. Then the next he started feeling a little bit of pain in his kidney. He'd had kidney stones before, so he figured it was that again. Then he started peeing blood. He thought it was still part of the kidney stone thing so let it go for a couple days, but he was still peeing blood and the pain was getting worse."
"That's when he decided to go to the doctor. They did an X-ray and found a mass in his kidney and told him that based on where it was located they can't remove the mass, and they can't do a partial kidney removal, and it's about a 90% chance it's cancerous, but they wouldn't be able to do a biopsy without removing the kidney first. They did the whole insurance dance, but it went fast and within two weeks he was in surgery having his kidney removed."
"He's still recovering at home right now, but they got the biopsy results last week. It was indeed cancerous, but they caught it before it spread."
Happily Ever After
"I couldn’t walk anymore with my crutch I had been using to get by. Had Been on Percocet for 8 months because of the extreme pain. Nobody was finding answers to my pain but I knew something was wrong, badly. After finally having an ultra sound on my hips at the age of 26 I found out I had to undergo a double hip replacement to walk again due to a serious rare disease. I was stage 4 Avascular Nercrosis. Took a year to recover from both. But Happier ending, I’m doing good now. However it was very very upsetting news to get over a phone call at 26."
It Really Sneaks Around
"My wife started getting numbness in her right arm. The breast cancer had spread to her right shoulder and the tumor was crushing the nerves. She has stage four breast cancer in her bones."
A Turn For The Worse
"For me, it started May 14, 2014. I went to work and was having a good morning. Then, at about 9:00 in the morning or so, I started to feel some lower abdominal pain. Not to be crude, but it felt like that cramp you get when you really need to go to the bathroom. I did so, but the pain didn't go away. It got worse. I started to feel chills, was sweating, and felt nauseated. My employer has a clinic on site, so I went there. After some poking and prodding, the nurse asked me if I wanted to go home or if I wanted to go to the emergency room. I decided to go home, and if the pain didn't subside, then I'd go to the emergency room. As I was saying that, though, I noticed that my pain had gotten a LOT worse. They always make you rate your pain on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being no pain at all and 10 being the worst pain you've ever felt. When I went into the clinic, I was mostly uncomfortable, maybe a high 2 going into a 3. On that very subjective scale, I was now a 6 or a 7."
"I changed my mind and decided to go straight to the nearest emergency room. My boss drove me, and by the time we got there about 15 minutes later, I was now a 10. This was the worst pain I'd ever felt. My previous definition of the worst pain I'd ever felt was when I broke 7 bones in my wrist, it was misdiagnosed as a sprain, and I had to have them rebroken 2 weeks later. The pain in my abdomen was now worse than that. The emergency room admitted me and put me in a wheelchair. They wheeled me to a room, I curled up on the bed they put me in, and passed out."
"At some point, a nurse came in and gave me some morphine. Great stuff. No pain at all anymore. A doctor came in and told me they suspected a kidney stone. He wanted me to get a CT scan to confirm it, and I agreed. An orderly wheeled me off to imaging. I got scanned without contrast and was wheeled back to the room. My wife had arrived while I was getting scanned. Shortly later, the doctor who told me he thought it was a kidney stone came into the room. With another doctor. And two nurses. They all crowd around me with solemn looks on their faces."
"The first doctor told me it was a kidney stone. A 2 to 3 mm kidney stone had been lodged in the ureter of my left kidney. That's the tube that goes from the kidney to the bladder. It passed into my bladder when they gave me the morphine, but they could see evidence of it on the CT scan. Then the other doctor said they were more concerned about the 6 cm mass they found on my right kidney. They had my attention."
"They did another CT scan, with contrast this time, and it was impossible to see anything but a tumor in the pictures they showed me. They made an appointment for me with a urologist for the next day, as well as an appointment in a few days time to get it biopsied. It was an after-hours appointment for the urologist, but he was nice enough to stay late to see me. He looked at the CT Scans and cancelled my appointment to get it biopsied. He said there was nothing else it could be but cancer, and the kidney would have to go."
"Two months later, I had the kidney and the tumor removed laparoscopically. I was incredibly lucky. They caught it in stage 1. The doctor said there were signs it was going to start moving soon. I have no idea how doctors can look at a softball sized lump of cancer and tell anything other than 'gross', but that's why they're the doctors and I'm not."
"My recovery was smooth, and I've been cancer-free for 9 years. I was incredibly blessed. I didn't have to deal with chemo, or radiation. While those can save your life, they are also horrible experiences with nasty side effects. I didn't have to deal with any of them. I was bracing myself to have to. They said it was a possibility. But I didn't. I have every respect for those not as fortunate as me, and wish them all the best in recovery."
Reason #5,622 To Start Exercising
"I started jogging again to try and get back into running shape. I kept noticing that just after a mile or so, I'd stop and get REALLY lightheaded. Kept thinking, "oh, I'm really out of shape" and kept going. Went in a few weeks later for my annual physical and doctor said "you ever been told you have a heart murmur?", no. Two months later I spent Christmas of 2017 in the ICU after having a section of my aorta cut out and a new valve put in. Surgeon said it was bad. Said it wouldn't have made it too much longer."
"Edit: for clarification, it was an aortic dissection."
Slow And Steady
"My dad's friend went on a hike with a doctor who knew him and he was winded not far from the car. The doctor clocked it right away and told him to get his heart checked. He had 98% blockage in his heart arteries."
"He tells my dad so my dad gets the test to see how his arteries are doing and they found a massive aneurism on his aorta. He is getting it removed tomorrow. He had no symptoms but the doctors said if he had overdone it he would be dead before anyone would even know what was going on. Crazy how a random friend's hike may have saved his life."
It Takes A Village
"I never did, my teacher and parents did."
"I was seven, usually an active kid and my first grade teacher noticed that rather than running around at recess I sat down and took a nap. It happened a couple more times and after I fell asleep in class (totally out of character), she gave my parents a call, we had been visiting the doc fairly regularly cause I was also complaining of joint pain and frequent ear infections combined with the new symptoms and a new doc at the practice I was finally diagnosed with leukemia."
Thank goodness for that teacher (and of course, the parents)!
When in the beginning stages of dating, it's important to know as much as humanly possible.
The element of surprise is no longer a fun aspect of romance.
Ask the small questions. Ask the hard questions.
Interrogate. Grill. Investigate.
Of course, you should do it with a subtle hand instead of an interrogation lamp.
The truth is all we have.
Redditor RedditPenguin02 wanted to make a list of the best inquiries to make when starting a relationship, so they asked:
"What is a good question to ask before you start dating someone?"
From what I've learned in my past, always ask... "Are you into Buffy the Vampire Slayer? The TV show."
If it's a no, then it's a dealbreaker.
I DoShocked Schitts Creek GIF by CBCGiphy
"Are you married?"
"I would ask that. If they said no, the next question was 'Would your wife agree?'"
"If they laughed, they were telling the truth. If they got indignant and pissed off that I thought they were lying…they were married."
"Worked every time."
"Do you clap when the plane lands?"
"I swear people used to do this all the time when I was a kid (early 2000’s), and I don’t think I’ve heard anyone do it in 5+ years. I guess 9/11 really made people afraid of flying for about 10 years and then most folks decided they didn’t need to applaud when the plane landed safely?"
"Do you want kids in the future? If one person wants kids and the other wants to stay child-free, then they are not compatible. And it is better to try dating someone else."
"It confuses me whenever some couples who disagree on this end up in a conundrum because one expected the other to change their mind. This is something I bring up early cause I see no future with someone who wants kids when I do not."
"You should always put childfree on your dating profile. It's not a small thing. Either you agree on it or not. If I had to date, I would put childfree on my profile too."
Carb it on...
"Do you like bread? That is the extent of my flirting skills."
"Being German, bread is like a frickin' cultural phenomenon here, we have around 300 kinds of bread, there's a bread museum, every time I go on vacation I'm like yeah it's nice here but the bread ain't it yall, never as good as home lol. So yeah, valid question and the only answer to this is an enthusiastic yes."
Room TemperatureFrosty The Snowman Winter GIF by filmeditorGiphy
"What temperature do you set the thermostat to throughout the year?"
"Haha this one always gets me as someone who needs low temps - you can always put on more clothes, I can't peel my skin off to get cooler."
The thermostat is a dealbreaker for me.
It's gonna be 60. Love it or move on.
DiscoveryBlown Away Wow GIF by AminéGiphy
"When was the last time you changed your mind about something?
"Opens a window to how they think."
"If that was really early on in the dating I’d think it was a bit of a head-f**k question. I’d probably find that question a red flag, tone dependent, although I agree with the sentiment."
"Aside from major differences about finances, kids, politics, or religion, a big one is; What are your hobbies? If they don’t really have any, you may be the next hobby, which isn’t going to work unless you’ve got that kind of time. If the hobbies are time-consuming ones generally done with a SO."
"But you have no interest in them, that could be an issue as well. If only one of you likes camping, wanted to spend vacation lounging instead of exploring, didn’t like sports, etc either that partner is annoyed or the other feels like they don’t get to enjoy what they love."
"Ask them about their exes. If they think every single one of them is an a**hole... they are likely the real a**hole."
"I have mixed feelings about that - I've been in three previous relationships and all three were emotionally abusive towards me (one wasn't nearly as bad as the other two, though) in various ways. I know this is a common sentiment and it always makes me afraid that people won't believe me or something.
"I mean, I realize in your comment you said 'likely' and not '100% sure' and there's plenty of room for nuance."
"I would try to take care of any dealbreakers. If I find out that she has different political values than I do, it's not going to work out in the long run, so I wouldn't bother. Same thing with other factors (religion, financial values, etc.). I would also ask how much cuddling she likes to engage in, as I prefer a lot."
EssentialsTell Me More To Do List GIF by Disney ChannelGiphy
"When I was dating my three essential questions were always kids, sex, and money. If you're not on the same wavelength for any of those three things, just don't even try."
"So, how much personal debt do you have?"
"Source: the guy who dated a woman with huge debts and was asked to pay for everything and then some".
"After that, I'd go with, 'Have you ever been diagnosed with borderline, narcissistic, or histrionic personality disorders?"
The questions are basic.
Just ask for the truth.
Do you have any good Qs to add to the queue? Let us know in the comments below.
As much as we always hop for our dating efforts to be worth it and for every relationship to work out, we all know that some relationships are not destined to work out.
But sometimes relationships end for totally valid reasons, and sometimes the reasons are painful, if not devastating.
Redditor overIorded asked:
"What went wrong with your last partner?"
History Repeating Itself
"He cheated on me. And I was glad because that was finally reason enough to allow myself to leave."
"Now I know somebody who's in the same situation. They're trapped. And she's such a gentle and fun person who's afraid to leave him because 'well, it's always been like this, I'm used to it,' and 'I deserve it.'"
"She wants to leave him, she knows she should leave him, but it's so hard to do it, and I know that feeling."
"I'm thinking I should give her my phone number like when the day comes you've had enough, I'll gladly come to help you move out from that s**thole."
Mental Health Struggles
"I'm lost in my own trauma and mental illness and he deserves better than anything I have to offer right now."
"I’ve been on the receiving end of this, and mildly said, it absolutely ruined me. Her trauma and mental problems were BAD, but I still wanted to be with them. So if you ask me, as long as they can give you the space and support you need, and want to be with you, let them make the decision."
"It's also fair and mature to care very much about someone but realize that you only have the emotional bandwidth to take care of yourself right now."
"I'm sure it was very hard for both of you to come to terms with that decision. I don't think it's that he deserves better, I think it's that your attention needs to be on guiding yourself through this thicket of trauma and mental illness before you can be someone else's partner. You can love each other very much but also acknowledge that you don't have the tools to spare for a relationship right now."
"I'm proud of you for focusing on your own mental health and someday, when you have more emotional stability and energy, I hope you find a wonderful partner."
"We disagreed on how many women he was allowed to date. I’m very strong on monogamy and have no interest in someone (in a supposedly committed relationship) that isn’t."
At Least There's That
"Her psychotic brother tried to kill me. Thankfully he has a Stormtrooper's aim..."
"Hate the attempted murder, love the 'Star Wars' reference."
"He wanted a big family, like, six kids, all-natural. Obviously, he wouldn't be birthing them. This was very important to him while I was pretty ambivalent about kids, and the further into my adulthood I've gotten, the more I've realized I just don't want to be pregnant."
"I broke it off so we could both get the lives we wanted. He was also quite a bit more conservative than me, and at the time closeted pansexual person, and some stuff he believed just didn't line up with what I believed. It hurt, but it was amicable."
"Now he has a wife and kids like he wanted, and I am happily partnered and childfree. It worked out for the best."
"She hated that I had a healthy relationship with my family and was trying to find ways to sabotage it."
"Similar aspect to mine, she hated my sister and mother because she had a bad relationship with her sister and mother. She would get mad at me whenever I brought my family up."
"My last boyfriend dumped me because I got mad that he was coming to Dallas after I hadn't seen him for two months, but didn't want to see me."
"He was going to meet up with some friends of his he hadn't seen in a few months. I told him that was fine with me, but I felt he should make time to see me too since we hadn't seen each other in two months and we were supposed to be a couple."
"He responded to my anger by ghosting me. That was two years ago."
Distracted with a Punch
"A girl contacted me about him talking to her. I asked him what was going on, and he sucker-punched me in the face."
"He cheated on me for all six years we were together and then accused me of cheating on him, even though I wasn't allowed to leave the house."
"I'm also pretty sure he slept with my sister-in-law when my brother and I went to pick up dinner."
Children Come First
"He was and still is no father to his kids, has anger issues, and probably has other mental health issues. I tried for years to help him and help the relationship, but he wasn't having it. After seeing how my oldest suffered under him, I had to leave."
"I communicated how I felt about many things in the relationship. He never communicated about anything."
"Oh look, it's the last 14 years of my life..."
"I'm guilty of this, and boy, do I regret not being able to open up about my feelings. It cost me my marriage. But now I'm trying to be more open and share my thoughts and feelings. Just wished I could've done this earlier than later."
"I started drinking again and became a miserable a**hole due to my own depression and my s**tty job. As such, she didn't get the attention she deserved, and had to put up with my s**tty mood all the time... so she left. I don't blame her."
"So, it was me. I don't know if I trust myself with a relationship again, but aside from the shame of knowing I hurt someone who I loved, and loved me back, but I was too self-absorbed and selfish, I am trying to be a better human to everyone."
"And to my ex: You'll find someone again... someone better."
"He wanted to move to Alaska to be with some girl he was 'friends' with before me."
"My ex's early-onset Alzheimers (at the age of 50) and the resulting violence, paranoia, and irrational thinking. I tried to honor my vows, but he was so far out there, I feared for my life."
Different Definitions of Marriage
"She cheated on me after five years total together, the last one of which was while we were engaged. She cheated on me for months, all while I was planning the wedding, working part-time, and going to graduate school so I can support us comfortably in the future."
"I planned on giving her everything I could and sharing the rest of my life with her, and apparently she didn’t care."
This conversation just goes to show that relationships can end for all kinds of reasons. Even in relationships where there is still a lot of love and committment, the relationship can still end, just like how the relationship can end suddenly because of a surprising and devastating realization.