Don't Stand Out For the Wrong Reasons[rebelmouse-image 18347397 is_animated_gif=
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.
Filler[rebelmouse-image 18347398 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 you're 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.
Experience Pays[rebelmouse-image 18347399 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.
Copy & Paste is Not Your Friend[rebelmouse-image 18347400 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.
Spell Check Your Grammar[rebelmouse-image 18347401 is_animated_gif=
A surprisingly large number of essays include obvious typos and grammar issues. Use spell check, read your essay aloud, and have a few other people read it to check for errors. I want to know that you're taking this application seriously.
Stand Out[rebelmouse-image 18347402 is_animated_gif=
Give me a sense of who you are. What makes you different than your peers? What would make you an interesting member of my college's community? I want to see some personality. It's not strictly necessary, but it helps me understand you and why you're a good candidate compared to the other couple of dozen applicants I'm reviewing today.
Own Your Mistakes[rebelmouse-image 18347403 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.
No Generic Essays[rebelmouse-image 18347406 is_animated_gif=
In your essay make sure to tailor the reasoning to each school. Each one is different. Some are research focused and some are mission based. Make sure your reasoning for attending the school is laid out. Try to talk as little as possible about other people. I've read essays that talk about all the great things someone's parent did but gloss over what the applicant does. Then on the other side there is the applicant that looks full of themselves. I'm not saying don't brag, in fact do it like your looking for a job, but make sure you aren't over zealous and are realistic with your goals. (This next part applies to the 90% of schools that aren't Ivy League or STEM heavy) I see applicants who say they are going to change the world. Odds are you won't, and what then. Will you drop out when you see you can't cure cancer after 2 years of undergrad or med school. What is a realistic plan that will work if you stick to it. Thinking you will solve a problem on your own when there are literally tens of thousands of people working on the same issue is unrealistic and will sometime cause us to pass on an app. If your applying to MIT or Berkeley and you make these claims you better already have 2 years of research under your belt that is showing promising results.
Good Points[rebelmouse-image 18347408 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.
Go Paperless[rebelmouse-image 18347409 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 to correctly spell their first name. Second as much as it sucks, sometimes paper apps get lost. Get lost in the mail, doesn't get filed properly. Things just move a lot quicker online.
Know What You're Talking About[rebelmouse-image 18347410 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 make 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.
Goals[rebelmouse-image 18347411 is_animated_gif=
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!
Recommended Reading[rebelmouse-image 18347412 is_animated_gif=
The number one thing that kids like to just wimp out on is recommendations. They saved so many asses when it came to kids being accepted. For example:
Kid 1 - has a 2.6 GPA, 21 ACT, has a great recommendation from a teacher who explains their struggles or their constant growth, anything flattering that isn't too over the top.
Kid 2 - has a 2.9 GPA, 23 ACT, has a generic recommendation sheet from a counselor, usually just a blank sheet with someone basic info, only a simple recommendation signature from a counselor.
You would not believe how many times the school would pick kid 1. Having a personal educator saved them and got them admitted over someone slightly better in terms of academics. Character is looked at a lot by universities.
Don't Overshare[rebelmouse-image 18347413 is_animated_gif=
The thing people do is share things they absolutely should not be sharing. Let me tell you about how my friends and I do meth every day in gym class... Even if I wanted to give you the scholarship, I can't now, because "Meth addict gets full ride to X school by bragging about being a meth addict" is bad press for the school. Just don't write about your criminal activity, okay? The vast majority of those are things like "I think drugs should be legal because I smoke all the time." But there are a few like "I killed a kid and no one knows." WHAT. THE. FUCK? I had to call the cops on that guy, which was definitely not how I wanted to spend my afternoon.
The last bit of overshare is people talking about how they aren't inspired and don't try hard at their school. Again, you're an idiot. Why would you tell a school that you don't want to be in school? Why would you tell a school that you don't like school? Why would you tell a school that you think school is stupid? You are the stupid one in this scenario.
Be Specific[rebelmouse-image 18347414 is_animated_gif=
Many universities (UChicago, Penn, Michigan, Columbia, Brown, Yale, Stanford, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, etc.) ask "Why our college?" or a combo between "Why our college?" and "Why your major?" BE SPECIFIC. I cannot tell you how many essays I read for UChicago that were like "When I visited your campus, it felt magical. I was surrounded by students who were so driven yet friendly. As I explored your biology major, I found great classes like organic chemistry and intro to biology, and I just knew that such a prestigious university would prepare me for medical school." BLAH BLAH BLAH---all this could apply to any school! 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. Bottom line: If the essay can be copied and pasted to fit any other university, be more specific.
The Mandela effect is when multiple people share the same, incorrect memory.
Its name stems from when paranormal researcher Fiona Broome falsely believed that the future president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, died in prison in the 1980s.
A false memory she shared with a number of others.
Our memories have been known to deceive us, as we might frequently forget someone's name or one of our numerous online passwords.
But when we share a memory that turns out to be false with many others, convincing ourselves it wasn't the truth can be a very difficult ordeal indeed.
Redditor Mysterious_Boat_1701 was curious to hear people's most unsettling experiences with the Mandela Effect, leading them to ask:
"Which Mandela effect freaks you out the most and why?"
A mysterious gym
"Just had one personally."
"Went to a mall where there was supposedly a gym, asked around and nobody that worked at the mall knew what I was talking about."
"Looked around and couldn't find it."
"Come back a few months later and it’s right there in front of my face, you'd have to be strung out to not notice it."
"idk how or when it just appeared but it freaked me out."- prex320278
A "fruit"ful logo.
"That the fruit of the loom logo never had a cornucopia."
"What’s crazy about that one is that someone emailed the creator of the logo about it and he said even he remembers it having one."- mrcock2·
Less well intentioned than they thought.
"I Mandela effected my whole family once."
"Years ago there was a football player on a rival team that always did a dumb celebration after he got a sack and my family and I always hated it."
"One night after he did it my family started trashing the celebration and I said as a joke 'we are all going to feel terrible when we find out he is doing that celebration as a request from a make-a-wish kid'."
"Fast forward to years later and our team is playing that team again."
"The player got a sack and did the celebration."
"I rolled my eyes and said 'I hate that celebration so much' my mom instantly turned and said 'don't say that, he is doing it for a sick kid'."
"'I actually like it."
"So I was like 'what?'"
"'No there is no sick kid', my whole family then proceeded to argue with me'."
"They all vividly remembered reading articles about it, seeing special report segments before games about it, and other information."
"Some of them even thought they knew the disease the kid had and even extra details about why the kid chose that specific celebration."
"They all had these shared memories that they were sure were true."
"I was floored by all this and insisted none of that was true."
"So we looked it up.'
'No kid like that ever existed.'
"They still have trouble wrapping their heads around this one."
"Turned out human memory is not near as reliable as we think"
"It was American Football and the player was Jared Allen of the Minnesota Vikings and his cattle roping sack celebration."
"This was maybe 10 years ago."- AUSpartan37College Football Win GIF by Michigan State FootballGiphy
His eyesight was better than we thought.
"Mr. Monopoly's monocle."- Additional_Day9903
It's not easy being green.
"I have a personal one that to this day a decade later still destroys my mind."
"I had an old(ish) 2001 dodge neon."
"With BLACK SEATS.'
"I drove this car for years and years, like 80,000 miles.'
'All through college."
"I took work breaks in my car, commuted hours every day total, to college and then the opposite direction to work and back."
"I even lived out of this thing on several occasions.'
'The day I go and trade it in, I'm pulling misc things out of the car at the dealer."
'And the seats are GREEN."
"Not even a little."
'Like very unmistakably GREEN."
"In my black Neon, with black interior, that ALWAYS HAD BLACK SEATS."
"My girlfriend then, wife now, goes oh they've always been green."
"EXCEPT THEY F*CKING WEREN'T DON'T LIE TO ME."
"This is still upsetting to this day..... life is a lie and nothing is real."- ZakuLegionWinona Ryder Omg GIFGiphy
An urban legend was born.
"Not a global one, just a family thing."
"Back in 2002 my grandma had her 60th birthday, my father took us home at 10.00pm, ready for bed."
"We, me and brother, were 12 and 14 at this time."
'All went well."
"Over the years, a story was made up that we went missing after visiting the local playground after dinner at said grandma's birthday party."
"Some neighbors help to search us, the whole train of 'missing children in a smal village'-thing."
"Fun fact: we never went missing."
"Dad brought us home, put on 'Toy Story' on tv and left."
"My brother and I heard first about this in 2015.'
"From different people on different occasions."
"'Ah your one of the missing boys'."
"I first thought they were mocking me for a different event.'
"I got lost, but it was 2013, alcohol inflicted, different story."
"But then they ALL tell us the same story about us going missing."
'And the stories are damn close to 'true' in every story my mum is driving around the same neighbors to different locations to search, old wine yard, old mill etc."
"Sometimes I think I got lost on the most brutal way."
"I was lost and changed this plane of existence with another one."
"It sometimes made me think about my whole life."- tjorben123missing kenny mccormick GIF by South Park Giphy
Memories are a fascinating thing.
They can be changed or altered with even the tiniest suggestion.
And making the truth seem less believable than lies.
One last time. One last meal.
How do you chose a last meal?
Let's hope we never have to find out.
People on death row get that option.
Do they deserve it?
Whose to say?
But they have it.
A steak. A pizza... Burger King.
The food world is their oyster.
Oyster. Also an option.
The menu is endless...
Redditor No-Caterpillar4212 wanted to know what our menu choices would be if we faced the end. They asked:
"You're on a death row, you have one hour left, they ask for your final meal - what is it?"
I'd want 2 hours in a Golden Coral with a bar. Covers it all.
Masailor moon cooking GIFGiphy
"Everything my mom has ever made."
"I want a nice filet mignon, medium rare, a baked potato with everything on it, and a nice Cabernet from a good year - I'm thinking 2135."
"'Sorry, we couldn't get the Cabernet from 2135. So instead of what could have been a great wine request from a more plausible period of time, you get this crappy stuff we sourced from Wal-Mart. Enjoy your meal, I hope that maintaining your sense of humor was worth it."'
"Something badly cooked so I will be sick and want to die sooner and have diarrhea so bad it will be a last revenge!"
"Taco bell it is!"
"If Taco Bell makes you poop a lot, it's a sign that you probably need more fiber in your diet."
The Yuck Factor
"A huge bowl of baked beans, a bowl of shredded wheat, a six egg omelette, and a gallon of apple cider. I'm gonna make it awful for everyone."
"Save yourself the hassle of eating all that, just ask for one pack of sugar free Haribo gummy bears. Should make for an interesting time for the folks watching you die."
"You void your bowels when you die too so that should be lovely."
PerfectFried Chicken Scandal GIF by ABC NetworkGiphy
"Fried chicken with some Fanta."
Fried chicken is on the top of everyone's list!
DetailsInterested GIF by Nick CannonGiphy
"150mg of MDMA. I’m dying happy."
"This should absolutely be allowed. If our leaders insist on the practice of capital punishment then the condemned should be able to ingest any substance they damn please."
"McFlurry. Those machine are always broken. I just bought myself some time."
"Is this like an American thing? I worked at a McDonald's in Denmark once and our machine was never once broken when i was there."
"I saw a video about this once. I'm a little fuzzy on the details but I think it has something to do with the contract that was signed in America. Only one company is allowed to do maintenance on the machines and they basically lock out if it's cleaned incorrectly. It's a crap system."
"Cabbage!! Add some cabbage. I don’t know if an hour if enough to take effect but there was an old coworker on a cabbage diet. Omg she smelled, like it was coming out of her pores. She knew she smelled and kept apologizing and reminding us of the diet."
The OG Always
"Olive Garden. Unlimited soup and breadsticks."
"I saw a sketch once, can't remember who it 2qs from. But a an inmate ordered the all you can eat buffet and had been eating for like 8 years. He's constantly on the toilet and takes micro-naps between bites."
"Unlimited for 1 hour. Cool."
How GoldenGolden Girls Dorothy GIF by HULUGiphy
"If my grandma is still alive her potato soup and cheesecake. Hopefully I'd be able to cook said meal with her one last time."
Let's hope none of us has to make this decision.
Most people have friends they've been close to for most of their lives.
But at the same time, friends evolve, and everyone finds themselves losing touch with any number of people they at one point considered their friends over time.
Most of the time, this isn't intentional, but just simply happens.
On rare occasions though, people might realize that their friends were not exactly who they thought they were, and didn't like who they revealed themselves to be.
Redditor One-Refrigerator69 was curious to hear stories of people who realized their friends were not exactly the nicest people to be around, leading them to ask:
"When was the moment you realized that your friends are assholes?"
Compared to others...
"When I started hanging out with better people."- Darklink326
All it took was getting my life together
"When I quit drinking ‘cos it was killing me."
"There were people I literally saw every single day who just disappeared as if by magic."
"12 years ago this week, as it happens."
"I’m not anti-drink, far from it."
"Some people, me included, just can’t enjoy it without it becoming a problem."
"Everyone is different."- bigdaftgeordie
A little perspective goes a long way.
"After I realized that other people don't sh*t on each other on every possible occasion in their circle."
"And that it isn't right when a 'friend' uses every known insecurity as an argument against you when you do not behave the way he/she would want you to."- ViscousPlatemanThe Simpsons GIF by MOODMANGiphy
Lack of respect for other people's things
"I let my friend borrow my ps2 when I went to boot camp."
"When I came back, he said he sold it and gave me $50 I think?"
"This was in 2006."- madmike-86
Lack of mutual respect
"When he does sh*t to me and acts like it’s no big deal, then I do the same back and he gets offended."- Primary-Maybe-2749·
Constantly being taken advantage of.
"They only bothered with me when it suited them."
"I'd rather have nobody than have to deal with that."- zombi33mjhappy eric cartman GIF by South Park Giphy
When they literally revealed themselves to be criminals
"When they robbed me at gunpoint."- Ok_Student8032
When they stopped liking them after a change of situation
"Fourth grade, when my parents economical situation went downhill and suddenly no one invited me to their birthday party."
"Until Seven years later no one had never invited me to their birthday, or to anything at all actually."- Justalittletoserious
Not being able to get a word in...
"When they tell me to shut up when I say anything."- the_golden_cheesela respuesta GIF by Becky GGiphy
Violently playing with emotions
"She got a boyfriend and would let him listen to our phone calls and not tell me, even if I was crying about personal stuff that I would only ever tell her."
"Then they both started lying to me about my crush liking me back, forcing both him and me into awkward positions, telling everyone we liked each other so they'd play along, swapping places constantly to make us sit next to each other, pressuring him into giving me a lap dance, making him kiss the prettiest girl in the room, etc, and encouraged me to shoot my shot more and more."
"All the while they knew he didn't like me, he had told them both directly."
"One night I was crying on the phone cause I was so confused why my advances weren't working, and they just kept explaining it away, blaming some other bullsh*t reason and telling me to try again."
"The next day they told me they were laughing throughout the whole call, because I didn't get it and I was so upset."
"I should add I had no dating experience at all and nobody had ever liked me at this point."- Juliemj
It's always sad when our friends disappoint us.
But when our friends proved to be completely different people than we thought they were, it can be devastating.
As the saying goes, one never truly knows who their friends are.
When visiting any foreign country, one should always be familiar with the laws and customs of the land.
After all, what might be generally accepted on your home turf, might be frowned upon, if not illegal, elsewhere.
For that matter, even locals might need a refresher course on what they can and can't do while at home.
A recent Redditor was curious to hear what tourists and locals alike should avoid doing in the USA, leading them to ask:
"In the United States, what should you never do?"
Stay out of the skies!
"Don't fly a drone in Washington, DC."
"The whole D.C. Area is a no fly zone."
"It's a federal offense."
"Just don't do it."- PeytonCarrK
Cops can't be bribed.
"Don't try to bribe cops when you get pulled over."
"I had some Argentinian friends immediately pull out their wallets and start pooling their cash when they got pulled over once.'
"Fortunately someone in the car noticed and told them to put it away immediately."- PeytonCarrK
"Don't pay off the police."
"My dad has friends from several third-world nations where it is common practice to give the police some cash when you are pulled over."
"However, if you try to bribe a police officer here, you'll get into a lot of trouble."- JohnASmiley
Know your rights.
"Everyone, including foreigners, has the right to be silent and have a lawyer when being questioned."
"Don’t say anything."
"Also, even if you speak English fairly well, ask for an interpreter."- WickedLilThing
Enjoy all that nature has to offer... carefully!
"Don't wander off in the national parks."
"It's very real wilderness and you can get lost and die out there."
"This includes going over railings you aren't supposed to, or off trails."
"People have died accidentally falling into a steam geyser that looked like normal water, mauled by animals or left to the elements."- AlphaOhmeganational parks GIF by Visit The USAGiphy
Allow plenty of time!
"Expect consistency at TSA in airports."- WickedLilThing
Some terminology doesn't translate...
"If you’re from England, they’re called cigarettes here."- Yung_Onions
Make sure your license is up to date.
"If you come from a walkable country don’t come here expecting the same."
"There are some areas with good public transportation and bicycle/pedestrian friendly streets but for the most part, especially outside of cities, the areas are designed to accommodate cars more than anything else."
"The reason a lot of Americans drive everywhere is because, depending on where you live, we have no choice."- The_Cars93Dog Driving GIFGiphy
Wait for instructions.
"Get out of your car and approach the cop when being stopped by a cop unless told to."- hildrash
Whether your'e waling down a street in a foreign country, or the street you've lived on for your entire life, it's always wise to be on guard and aware of your surroundings.
Not to mention, obey the law.