I know it’s crunch time, and this is not how you intended to spend your winter break so I’m here to help as much as possible with some old advice and with some new insights. Check out my old blog posts on Tufts resources to master your application, and time management tips to motivate you through writing those essays! The essays are a big deal, but the most successful ones are casual and authentic to your personality. This is not a wild strategy; what makes the application hard is how much time it takes to reflect, solidify, and verbalize your personality through your experiences. If you do this in a clear and authentic way, the admissions officers will fight for your case in committee meetings.
In the past year, I’ve spent a lot of time in the admissions office as an intern where I help with engineering outreach projects and blogging. I’m starting to understand what the admissions officers are looking for in an applicant, and so much of how they learn about you is through the essays. It’s great to brag about all the cool things you’ve done in high school, but one of the most helpful traits to convey to an admissions officer is what role you will fill in the Tufts community. Are you the kind of person who will start a band with the people you met in “History of Rock and Roll,” and then in turn teach an Ex College class about your experience? Are you interested in spending every other weekend hiking at the Loj in New Hampshire with the Tufts Mountain Club? Does research dazzle you, and do you want to share your experiences through the Energy Conference or TEDx Tufts?
It is important to note that these are not commitments or some kind of contract. The point is to include in your essays how your past experiences have shaped who you are, so the admissions officer will see how your personality and interests will fit in at Tufts. At the very least, do not apply undecided!
So try not to get mad at your parents if they are nagging you about the essays. Keep your cool if your great aunt keeps asking you where you are going to college. They are genuinely curious because they want the best for you, and you are going to make them proud by finishing early so that you can spend New Year’s with them! You got this!