Common Misconceptions About How to Be Competitive For College

| podcast

In today’s episode of “College Admissions Real Talk”, Dr. Legatt uncovers misconceptions about what makes applicants look like strong competitors.



VO: Welcome to College Admissions Real Talk with Dr. Aviva Legatt, a podcast for students seeking to get admitted to top-tier colleges. Each episode will feature an important tip for your college admission success, delivered with candor and love. If you’ve ever wanted to take a peek inside the mind of a college admissions officer, this is your chance. Have a question? Text Dr. Legatt at 610-222-5762. So, what’s your dream school? 

AL: Welcome to College Admissions Real Talk. This is Dr. Aviva Legatt, founder and Elite Admissions Expert at Ivy Insight and author of “Get Real and Get In”. Today we’re going to be talking about one of the most common misconceptions about applying to college, and that is a misconception I cover in my book, “Get Real and Get In”. It’s called The Impressiveness Paradox. So what is the Impressiveness paradox? The paradox is simply that almost all impressiveness goes out the window when you’re trying to be impressive. This is something you know, intuitively in your own social circle. No one is impressed by someone who’s trying too hard to make an impression like the selfies on social media. You know, they have a filter. You also might see this in someone who tries to kind of fabricate their experiences to match an applicant to a University that they want to go to. But it’s not really their own interest. In these kinds of situations, you know that there’s something a little bit off someone is trying to play you or play a role that doesn’t seem authentic. It doesn’t seem real at all. So exactly the same dynamic applies when admissions officers are sitting around the committee table and they want to make a decision on your application. But clearly it’s been built on a false premise, whether that’s a premise that you are following in someone else’s footsteps or simply trying to add things on to seem impressive. I see this all the time with students trying to add extra community service hours and causes that they clearly don’t demonstrate interest in, or they take on way too many clubs and barely dive into these clubs. No clubs, so-so great activities you try for a semester, but then decide not to continue to be mindful when you’re thinking about what you want to do in the future, that it’s not just about recreating somebody’s path to get into the top choice college. It’s about finding things that you truly enjoy and dive in deeply into them. That is the only way to make a true impression on the admissions officer of that top college you’re seeking admission to and to stay authentic and true to who you are. If you’re simply just trying to follow in a journey that someone else has taken, you will never find the journey of your own. There’s another pitfall that you are at risk of falling into as well. That’s the pitfall of seeming fake. So maybe you’re a little bit too earnest in your application a little bit too impassioned. And without having external social proof to kind of backup that passion. No letters of recommendation talk about that passion that you shared on the application. No one really knows about it or talks about it outside of the application. So just make sure that you are presenting yourself when you do go to apply in a really authentic way. And before you go to present yourself, make sure that you’re making choices that are true to who you are and what you think you might like to do. Not everything that you’re going to choose is going to be that special jewel on your application. But all the things that you do choose the opportunities you do take. These are all stepping stones on the road to your college journey. The road is not always smooth and not always clear. You’re not always going to progress from member to vice President to President or to go on the same trajectory as a friend. It’s not that any of these pitfalls show that you’re a liar or that you’re an inauthentic person, but you want to be mindful of that check box mentality where you’re simply just trying to check things off your list that you think will get you to where you want to go and kind of pre-package yourself before you’ve even had a chance to explore. And instead actually take that adventure of exploration as you’re going on your college journey. I’m cheering you on and look forward to hearing about your journey. Feel free to text me at 610-222-5762 to ask me a question. Tell me what’s going on. Until next time.

VO: College Admissions Real Talk is hosted by Aviva Legatt, edited by Stephanie Carlin, and produced by Incontrera Consulting. I’m Caroline Stokes and this has been your daily boost of college admissions insight. Have a question? Text Dr. Legatt at 610-222-5762. For more information on Dr. Legatt and Ivy Insight visit www.ivyinsight.com. And you can pick up Dr. Legatt’s book, “Get Real and Get In”, at major retail outlets across the world. Insight out.