107: What I've Learned from Reading Over 10,000 College Essays

THE PRACTICAL step-by-step GUIDE from Ethan's Show and tell:

SHOW NOTES

This episode is special because it’s an interview with one of my heroes of the college admissions world. In fact, his experience is so deep and he knows so much about so many different aspects about college counseling that if there were a “Master College Counselor” designation he would have received it. He spent 28 years in the office of Admissions at the University of Virginia--28 years!--and I’ll give you his longer bio on the episode in a minute, but

During our conversation, we cover, among other things:

  • What Parke has learned reading over 10,000 college essays
  • We’ll go behind-the-scenes to look at how close decisions are sometimes made by committees at highly-selective universities (and why essays matter even more as a result)
  • What Parke wrote his college essay about
  • Parke’s 10% rule for when students should/shouldn’t write about their activities or achievements
  • What an “authentic voice” is and why, contrary to popular wisdom, we maybe shouldn’t be encouraging students to write in it
  • Some dos and don’ts for the “Why us” essay, including one thing students should definitely do but most don’t, and
  • Why Parke believes his job is better than being a king

PLAY-BY-PLAY

What the episode’s about. [0:40]
Who is Parke Muth? [2:07]
What does it take to become a Top Writer on Quora? [4:10]
What Parke has learned reading over 10,000 college essays [7:40]
What was different in terms of how Parke read essays when he went from being an admissions officer to being an application consultant [9:00]
A behind-the-scenes look at how close decisions are sometimes made by committees at highly-selective universities (and why essays matter even more as a result) [11:10]
How students can give themselves a great chance of winning over an admissions committee: two different theories [13:20]
One question Parke asks students all the time [15:15]
What Parke never argued for (on behalf of a student) and what he would argue for in committee [15:25]
What are some of the best personal statements you’ve ever read? [18:16]
Is a hook necessary for a great essay? [20:40]
What Parke teaches the students he works with [22:10]
What Parke wrote his college essay about [23:25]
How Parke would approach a sports essay, if he were to write one [24:25]
Parke’s 10% rule for when students should/shouldn’t write about their activities or achievements [28:10]
How Parke starts an essay process with a student and sees his role with students [30:10]
How Parke sees his relationship to students [32:45]
How Parke motivates his students like a coach [33:50]
Do essays really matter? [34:54]
Why essays don’t make much of a difference for probably 80% of students [36:04]
Can you think of any examples of students that “wrote their way in?” [37:04]
One of Parke’s all-time favorite essays, which began, “The woman wanted breasts...” [39:00]
Why Parke started his blog and why he writes at all [40:00]
Why do you write a blog at all? [41:24]
What your essay tests and why do you post them? [42:55]
Some of Parke’s most surprising reactions to essays [44:47]
Why Parke thinks that a good essay doesn’t have to be a story about struggle  [47:30]
What is a student’s authentic voice and should students be encouraged to use it? [48:53]
“The Made-Up Self: Impersonation in the Personal Essay” [49:30] 
What makes a good writer is an ability to play with voices [51:09]
How much help should students get in their essay writing process? [52:02]
How much help is too much help? [53:11]
How much should you let yourself explore students’ personal lives in the essay writing process? [54:50]
Why writing about your support for Donald Trump probably won’t help your admissions chances. [55:25]
Should I write about politics and religion in my college essay? [56:13]
How writing about unusual topics (like raising baby tarantulas) can help you stand out on a college essay [57:19]
How the idea of “writing what you know” is counter intuitive [58:08]
What are the riskier topics you’ve seen students pull off successfully? [59:52]
Why it’s important to toe the line between writing an essay that is outrageous and writing an essay that touches on risky subjects [1:02:14]
Should I curse in my college essay? [1:02:19]
How many great essays about horses or horse-riding have you heard? [1:02:40]
How someone’s privilege and opportunity can play into your college essay. [1:03:08]
Do you tell students to not about topics that highlight their privilege? [1:04:23]
What are you tired of seeing in Why Us essays? [1:06:17]
What are some creative approaches to writing a Why Us essay? [1:08:19]
How to prepare to write a Why Us essay [1:10:27]
How reaching out to schools and teachers at a school you want to attend can improve your chances of getting in [1:10:50]
How does it typically take to write a Why Us essay? [1:14:06]
Parke’s Show and Tell: The difficulty of students trying to get into high-caliber schools [1:17:13]
Ethan’s Show and Tell: a blog post about how to show schools that you’ve done your research [1:20:00]
The last question: Why do you do what you do? [1:20:26]
Why Parke feels like his life is better than a king’s. [1:22:37]

LINKS MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

106: Colleges That Change Lives: Great Schools You May Not (Yet!) Know About

SHOW NOTES

While Episode 105 was about how workshops can change lives, on this episode you’ll learn about some Colleges That Change Lives. 

My guest is Maria Furtado, the Executive Director of Colleges That Change Lives (aka CTCL), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement and support of a student-centered college search process. I HAD SO MUCH FUN RECORDING THIS EPISODE MARIA IS BRILLIANT FUNNY--I LOLd MAYBE 20 TIMES IN THIS CONVERSATION--AND YOU WILL FEEL SMARTER AFTER THIS HOUR. We discuss, among other things: 

  • What is a liberal arts education and why is it important?
  • Three questions every student should ask when it comes to picking a college
  • Three ways to reduce anxiety during the college application process: the Car Idea, how to avoid “college creep,” and how the Ice Cream Prize can make a tour better
  • One great way to increase (not decrease) stress during the college selection process
  • How to make the most of a college fair experience
  • Perhaps the single most important thing for parents to consider when it comes to the college application process

PLAY-BY-PLAY

Quick info on Maria Furtado [2:42]
Colleges That Change Lives: How did it begin? What does it do? How? [3:26]
What is a liberal arts education and why is it important? [8:17]
Two things Maria always says about the liberal arts (heads-up: the first is funny, the second may surprise you) [9:38]
A look into the future: How liberal arts prepare students for success in a rapidly changing world [11:39]
Is a small college better than a large university? What are some of the merits of a small college? Who might thrive at a small school? [14:32]
A great story illustrating what type of student might prefer a large school [17:12]
Is there any danger in focusing on name-brand schools only? [18:50]
One great way to increase (yeah, not decrease) stress during the college selection process [19:45]
What does “best fit” mean in terms of college selection and how can students find a best fit college? [21:00]
Questions every student should ask when it comes to picking a college [22:00]
Why is important to have a “student-centered” process? And what are some signs that a process is/isn’t student-centered? [30:13]
Advice to parents who may feel that the college application process is the parent’s “report card” [31:18]
Advice to parents (and students) when it comes to discussing the college list with family and friends [32:02]
How can students, parents and counselors make the process more student-centered? [31:10]
Perhaps the single most important thing for parents to consider when it comes to the college application process [34:15]
In which cases Maria chooses name brand only [36:53]
Might a name-brand school be a better fit for certain students? [37:27]
What schools would be on your college list, Maria, if you were applying today? [38:13]
Which schools get to become CTCL member schools? (What does it take to become a College That Changes Lives?) [42:11]
Three ways to reduce anxiety during the college application process: the Car Idea, how to avoid “college conversation creep,” and an idea for making a college tour better [44:23]
What to do when you’re feeling overwhelmed by mail from schools [49:55]
What are some practical ways that CTCL can be useful to students? [51:15]
List of upcoming Colleges That Change Lives programs, presentations, and college fairs [53:00]
Resource: Questions to Ask at a College Fair [53:30]
(Question posed by Parke Muth in my Private Facebook Group for Counselors): How do you keep CTCL from becoming just another brand in the college marketing ecosphere (pun intended)? [56:16]
Why do you do this work, Maria? [57:34]
SHOW & TELL: Life advice from Maria, plus Ethan’s resource, “How to Make Your College Fair Awesome” (printable for both students and counselors) [1:00:14]

Links Mentioned On This Podcast

105: How to Lead a Life-Changing Essay Workshop

how to lead a life changing workshop

SHOW NOTES

Usually on the podcast I interview the most brilliant minds in the college admissions world, to analyze their genius, and then break it down for you into a series of practical, actionable steps to help you in the college application process.

But sometimes, especially when I see that a resource isn’t already out there, I’ll go ahead and create it myself--and that’s what I’ve done in this case with the college essay workshop. Allow me to explain:

Over the past ten years I’ve delivered hundreds of personal statement workshops--some as small as 4 and some as large as 800--and earlier this year I was getting a bunch of workshop requests and thinking: I can’t deliver all these--in large part because I like spending time with my wife and baby. But you know what I could do, I thought? Leverage one of students’ greatest resources--their counselor (and if you’re a counselor listening, that’s you)--and all they’d need in some cases is a few tools to help guide their students through the process. So I spent the past few months creating something called the Essay Workshop in a Box that basically walks counselors step-by-step through how to deliver a great workshop--and I found a way to do it that would bring no cost to their students. That’s right: free-ninety-nine.

So the podcast episode you’re is a webinar that I gave to counselors called “How to Lead a Life-Changing Essay Workshop” and I share three parts of this Essay Workshop in a Box, including:

  • 6 Ways That Most Workshops Fail in the First Five Minutes (aka 6 Terrible Ways to Start a Workshop)
  • 9 Tips for Leading a Workshop of Any Size
  • 5 Potentially Life-Changing Workshop Moments
  • Bee tea dubs: These are essentially three of the modules from the Essay Workshop in a Box--there are 29 total, btw, and you can find out more about that in the show notes.
  • At the end I also say a few words about my Counselor Training Program, which I’m super duper excited about.

Thanks for listening to the podcast and, if you aren’t a counselor, don’t worry because the next episode--and all the others!--are for you. Please enjoy this episode… I hope it changes your life.

PLAY-BY-PLAY

What today’s episode is about [0:49]
Including the Counselor Workshop in a Box [1:45]
And the Counselor Training Program [2:30]
What is something that you’d like to be better at being or doing? [3:03]
I spill my guts about what I wants to be better at. [4:117
Second introduction here? [3:53]
You have a mention of the webinar here. [4:36-47]
Six ways facilitators lose their audience in the first five minutes [6:25]
First way to not start a workshop: give out a lot of information [6:30]
Should I start a workshop with an introduction?[7:45]
Third way: don’t start your workshop by talking about breakfast [8:40]
Fourth: don’t start a large workshop by going around the room and sharing names and intentions [9:24]
Fifth: don’t start your introductions with superficial questions [10:35]
Get nametags--skip the name sharing.
Why it’s important to clarify your intentions [11:45]
My counseling intention: to bring more ease, purpose, and joy to the college essay process [12:16]
A list of deep questions to use with students to create content [14:53]
Crappy brainstorming exercises [13:19]
Building rapport is incredibly important for working with students [14:11]
Build rapport by playing the “If you really knew me…” exercise [15:06]
Five potentially life changing moments [19:44]
Students’ lives begin to change in the first five minutes of a workshop [20:03]
Moment two: Amazing Workshop Icebreaker: the “I love” Game [20:15]
What does it mean to change someone’s life? [21:04]
The values exercise [21:52]
My top value for the day: release [23:22]
How to write a narrative essay [23:58]
Setting agreements with your students: no gossip, listen with respect, participate fully, take care of themselves [24:32]
The basic structure of a workshop introduction [25:25]
Feelings and Needs Exercise and why I love them [25:49]
Make sure to take an 8-minute break after a heavy Feelings and Needs Exercise [27:00]
The fourth life-changing workshop moment: ask students to share their stories [27:18]
Make sure that listening students get time to repeat the story they heard back to the storyteller [28:46]
If there’s time, talk about the montage structure [29:18]
Moment five: encourage an open essay-reading time where students can tell their story [29:023]
Ask for feedback from the listeners and storytellers about what it’s like to hear each story told [31:02]
9 tips for leading a workshop of any size [31:55]
Tip 1: make sure that the task you’ve given students is really clear [32:04]
For example: How to create breakout groups for the essence objects exercise [32:56]
Tip 2: specify how long the exercise will last [34:43]
Tip 3: assign a little less time to your students than it will actually take them [35:08]
Or extend the time you give to students for an exercise if they’re working diligently [36:48]
Tip 4: Get support (like a volunteer or other counselor) to help you facilitate the workshop [36:55]
Tip 5: Don’t let “adultism” get in the way of building rapport with students [37:14]
If students are not on task, it might be because the task is not clear to them [37:59]
Tip 6: if students aren’t on task then clarify the task [39:21]
Tip 7: don’t leave the room during paired work [39:31]
Sync up your bathroom and food breaks with your students [40:06]
Encourage students to not check their cell phones during the breaks [40:22]
Consider “productive tangents” as opportunities to workshops student’s stories live or answer important questions [41:08]
When it comes to workshops, “the map is not the territory”. [42:37]
Essay Workshop in a Box [43:29]
Counselor Training Program [44:40]
If the Essay Workshop in a Box is your boat and a map, the Counselor Training Program will teach you to sail [45:06]

LINKS MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

103: How to Appeal a Financial Aid Award Letter

HERE’S THE PRACTICAL GUIDE THAT THIS PODCAST INSPIRED:

SHOW NOTES:

Jodi Okun is the social media rockstar of the college admissions world--check her out on Twitter!--and she is my go-to person for financial aid. A former financial aid officer from Occidental and Pitzer, she is the founder & president of College Financial Aid Advisors and has helped thousands of families navigate the financial aid process.

Jodi is the brand ambassador for Discover Student Loans, the About.com Money Expert and was recently featured as one of the Top 30 Social Influencers in Personal Finance & Wealth.

She is a social media strategist, speaker, consultant and small business advocate, and her recent book Secrets of a Financial Aid Pro is an Amazon bestseller.

On this episode we discuss:

  • Who should make the call to a financial aid office: the student or parent?
  • What to literally say to a financial aid officer when you call them to appeal
  • Why you maybe shouldn’t start off the conversation by mentioning a financial aid offer from another school
  • Jodi’s five points to cover in an appeal letter
  • What tone to take and how long the letter should be
  • The one thing students and parents should do but don’t

PLAY-BY-PLAY:

Who is Jodi Okun? [2:46]
What Jodi feels she really nailed in her book [4:51]
What has working for 10 years in the financial aid industry taught Jodi [5:32]
The first thing you should do if you receive a financial aid award letter and you’re disappointed [6:55]
Four considerations to make before filing an appeal [8:27]
What parents can do (years!) in advance to avoid a disappointing financial aid award letter [9:27]
How to predict how much financial aid you’re going to get [10:36]
Who should appeal a financial aid letter? [13:12]
How to appeal a financial aid letter [14:22]
Who should make the call to a financial aid office: the student or parent? [15:32]
What to literally say to a financial aid officer when you call them to appeal [16:02]
The importance of “The Pause” when making an appeal [16:42]
Why you maybe shouldn’t start off the conversation by mentioning a financial aid offer from another school [18:22]
How often are parents speaking with the person who could be the decision-maker? [19:32]
An inside look inside how decisions are sometimes made in a financial aid office [20:22]
What can negatively impact your appeal? [23:02]
How to be prepared for the financial aid appeal conversation [25:12]
Jodi’s five points to cover in an appeal letter [26:22]
What tone to take and how long the letter should be [27:24]
When should students appeal? [30:27]
Should students include additional materials to make the case for an appeal? [32:32]
Financial Aid 101 and common financial aid terms to know [37:17]
The one thing students should do but don’t [37:42]
The one thing parents should do but don’t [38:66]
Why do people always pronounce it “FASFA”? [39:27]
Should families who make a lot of money still apply for financial aid? [39:57]
Why Jodi is bummed about the IRS tool (why it shut down and what it means) [40:52]
Why you should absolutely go to admitted student day [43:08]
Jodi’s favorite secret tip for those who can’t attend an admitted student day [43:52]
Tips for filling out your FAFSA: whether or not to include house and retirement when reporting assets, when you should include business assets and when you shouldn’t, etc. [44:36]
Tip for filling out the CSS Profile [46:52]
Jodi’s Show and Tell: Mindfulness and Ashtanga yoga
Ethan’s Show and Tell: Headspace (meditation app) and a TED Talk by its founder, Andy Puddicombe
What would you like to leave us with? [50:22]

LINKS MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

104: How to Plan a Fulfilling and Productive Summer

HERE’S THE PRACTICAL GUIDE THAT THIS PODCAST INSPIRED:

Welcome to the podcast! This episode’s theme is SUUUUUMMMMER and I’ve got the nation’s #1 summer expert to school us on pre-college summers. Who is she, you ask? Check it out:

  • Jill Tipograph is a youth development expert who has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Forbes, Business Week, Inc., Bloomberg, NBC’s Today Show, ABC and NBC News, CNBC, MSNBC, U.S. News & World Report and more.
  • Jill’s two children have been campers, camp counselors, and participated in a variety of pre-college summer programs. 20 somethings, they’ve made it through the college process (!!) and are navigating their careers now.
  • She’s an independent educational consultant,  20+ year industry veteran and the founder of Everything Summer & Beyond, through which she guides families worldwide through the complex and important summer planning and enrichment process.

In this episode of the College Essay Guy podcast, Jill and I discuss:

  • Great questions to ask when it comes to planning a summer
  • The 2014 National Pre-College Summer Survey, which Jill put co-authored with counselor Paul Kaser of the Bergen County Academies, and that involved asking 100 colleges: What summer opportunities matter most on a college application?
  • Are expensive summer programs “worth it”?
  • What students and parents should do but often don’t do when it comes to planning their summer
  • Plus a great Teen Program Evaluator Jill created that’s basically a scorecard students and parents can use to determine whether or not a summer program is a good fit

I even asked Jill, "Which program is definitely going to get my daughter into Harvard?" And she gave me an answer.

PLAY-BY-PLAY

Who is Jill Tipograph? [0:58]
What Jill does and why she does it [3:36]
Why the “meaningful or productive” distinction is important [5:26]
Great questions to ask when it comes to planning a summer [6:30]
Which program is definitely going to get my daughter into Harvard? [9:14]
Tips for students for making the most of their summer [10:43]
Are expensive summer programs “worth it”? [12:59]
What students should do but often don’t do when it comes to planning their summer [17:49]
What parents can do to help students plan their summer [19:40]
Why it’s important to be transparent with the summer program faculty and administration [20:30]
Jill’s Summer Guide and Planner: a 74-page guide to help families establish priorities and summer goals [21:00]
The Teen Program Evaluator Scorecard (Ethan’s favorite resource) [22:54]
Recommended summer planning timeline [24:57]
Are certain summers more important than others? [27:01]
3 words that summarize Jill's process for finding a summer program [28:42]
Advice to students who have no idea what they want to do over the summer [29:07]
Weird/interesting summer adventures [30:57]
One trend Jill is seeing with STEM students seeking to do research [31:58]
Ethan’s exercise for how to make your summer more fun AND more productive--in two minutes [32:23]
Show and Tell: Jill’s Teen Program Evaluator [37:25]
Ethan’s “Five-Step Guide to Planning a Fulfilling (or Productive) Pre-College Summer”  LIVE URL [39:28]

LINKS MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

102: How to Advocate for Undocumented Students

HERE ARE THE PRACTICAL GUIDES THAT THIS PODCAST INSPIRED

SHOW NOTES

In this episode, which is Part 2 of 2, I speak with veteran counselor Dr. Aliza Gilbert about how counselors and teachers can best advocate for undocumented youth. And who better to discuss this with than someone whose PhD examined how schools support (or fail to support) undocumented students. In our conversation, I learned, among other things, how even “wonderful and caring” teachers can go wrong when it comes to undocumented students and how it’s not only about how much you care, but also about how much you know. 

You’ll also hear:

  • A quick primer on terms to use (and not use) when working with undocumented students
  • What the Dream Act is and why not all students love the term “Dreamers”
  • What percent of kids born right now are born to undocumented parents
  • Whether or not students should reveal their undocumented status in their personal statement
  • How incorrect assumptions can sometimes make a student feel horrible
  • How to know if a school (or a state, for that matter) is/isn’t supportive of undocumented students
  • What teachers/mentors/counselors can do to help undocumented youth

Also be sure to check out the resources that accompany the post, including: 

You’ll also find a recording in Spanish of a resource called “6 Cosas Que los Estudiantes Indocumentados Necesitan Saber Sobre la Universidad” (6 Things Undocumented Students Need to Know About College), which was published by the CollegeBoard, and my reading of it, in case you’d like to share it with parents. 

PLAY-BY-PLAY

What the show’s about [0:57]
Interview begins: [3:18]
What are the Colleges That Change Lives and why should people know about them? [3:53]
Whether or not high schools are currently doing a good job advocating for undocumented students [5:53]
A quick primer on terms to use (and not use) when working with undocumented students [6:35]
What the Dream Act is and why not all students love the term “Dreamers” [4:28]
Common misconceptions about undocumented students [9:12]
Why is this such a big deal right now? [11:15]
What percent of kids born right now are born to undocumented parents [12:27]
Unique counseling challenges when it comes to working with undocumented students  [13:22]
Should students reveal their undocumented status in their personal statement? [16:22]
The “Undocumented and unafraid” campaign [17:45]
How counselors can advocate for undocumented youth [19:44]
Where “wonderful and caring and loving” teachers go wrong when it comes to undocumented students 27:50
What teachers/mentors/counselors can do to help undocumented youth [29:05]
How incorrect assumptions can make a student feel horrible… and what they can do instead [31:02]
How to know if a school (or a state) is/isn’t supportive of undocumented students [34:36]
Dr. Gilbert’s advice to undocumented students [38:43]
Show & Tell (Dr. Gilbert): the IACAC College Advising Guide for Undocumented Students -- a “one stop shop” for resources for undocumented students and their advocates [39:07]
Show & Tell (Ethan): I'm First! Guide to College
Some colleges claim to meet 100% full financial need, but how does this apply to undocumented students? [44:48]
Questions Undocumented Students Should Ask Colleges [48:57]
Examples of students advocating for other students [51:40]
Dr. Gilbert’s final piece of advice for high school teachers and counselors [54:37]

Links Mentioned in the Podcast

Resources

101: Life As an Undocumented Student at Harvard

HERE ARE THE PRACTICAL GUIDES THAT THIS PODCAST INSPIREd

SHoW NOTES

Normally on the podcast I’ll be interviewing admissions professionals, but I wanted to begin with a student named Daishi Tanaka for a few reasons:

He is an inspiring human being with an incredible story, as you’ll hear on this podcast.

He happens to be undocumented, and under the new administration a lot of questions have come up for students and parents and even teachers/counselors--big things like What’s changing in general? To more specifics like “Should students reveal themselves as undocumented in their personal statements?” I wanted to interview Daishi to get his perspective on this, since he’s on the front lines of this debate. And just, on a human level,

I wanted to find out from Daishi what it’s like living as an undocumented college student under a Trump administration while attending Harvard University.

Quick side note: there are many wonderful colleges out there (Harvard is just one of them) and one of my goals with this podcast is to introduce you to some of the non-Ivy-League schools, but, I elected to kick off the podcast with Daishi and, well, he happens to attend Harvard.  

This is also a special episode because it’s in two parts. In the next episode I interview Dr. Aliza Gilbert, a 2017 Counselors that Change Lives recipient whose dissertation examined how high schools influence an undocumented student’s college search--she also discusses how counselors and teachers can advocate for undocumented students, so be sure to check that out.

But in this episode--the one you’re about to hear--we discuss:

What a typical day is like for a Harvard student

What it might mean for him and 700,000+ other undocumented students if the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy is repealed

What Daishi wrote his college essay about and why

What he felt like he really nailed in the college application process

How he stays calm/centered

PLAY-BY-PLAY

What the show’s about [0:57]
One thing that makes Daishi amazing [3:05]
What a typical day at Harvard is like, including how the food is [4:05]
The class Daishi feels lucky to take [8:20]
Whether Harvard was easier or harder than he thought it was going to be [9:15]
What surprised Daishi about college life [10:25]
What helped Daishi most in his transition to college [11:45]
What it’s like being an undocumented student at Harvard [13:15]
How things have changed for him since the election [17:30]
When and how he began to embrace his undocumented status [19:15]
What happens to him and 700,000+ other undocumented students if the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy is repealed [23:40]
What election night was like for Daishi and the members of his organization, Act on a Dream [26:05]
What makes Daishi so brave [28:20]
Daishi shares the personal statement he submitted to Harvard [31:05]
The perfect line in the essay that explodes in my mind and takes it to the next level [35:11]
What it was like writing his essay and how many drafts he wrote [35:50]
When Daishi knew he was done with the essay [36:30]
Why he chose to open the essay with three repeated Japanese words and what resonated with me personally [37:23]
What it’s like looking back on the essay years later [39:24]
What Daishi felt he nailed in the application process and advice to students applying to college [40:27]
What was crucial for you in the college application process? [42:06]
The crazy thing he did in high school that led to a topic for his second essay[44:30]
Why he chose the topics he chose and why he chose to reveal his undocumented status in the essay [47:38]
Daishi’s advice to other undocumented students debating whether or not to reveal their status in their college essays [42:07]
What it was like the day he was accepted to Harvard [53:40]
When he began to feel he was woven into the fabric of Harvard history [56:49]
What the future looks like for Daishi [58:35]
The new role Daishi’s organization is playing on the Harvard campus since Trump’s election [60:35]
The advice Daishi would give to any student going through this process [1:02:57]
Show and tell [1:04:58]
Guided Meditation to the Most Relaxing Song Ever [1:05:00]

RELEVANT LINKS FROM EPISODE

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