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September 6, 2021

2 Minutes Read

Hi friends,

Greetings from New York and happy Labor Day!

The final Write Your Way Into College cohort of the year starts in eight days, and enrollment is open until Friday.

It’s not just a course about writing college essays. It’s a course about becoming a compelling college applicant. And it’s a course about aligning yourself with how the holistic admissions process has changed, so you can create the greatest amount of opportunities for yourself — all by telling powerful stories.

If you’d like to join, click here to enroll

You can also read an interview with a past WYWIC student. And, in honor of one of  America's most renowned storytellers, Philip Roth, we are offering a limited number of scholarships to each cohort. To apply click here

Here's what I want to share this week:


🤔 Admissions Fox (Continued)

The greek poet Archilochus wrote, "the fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."  Philosophers have many interpretations of this parable, but, as I mentioned last time, I have often thought about it in terms of college admissions strategy.
As anticipated, I did receive a fair number of questions about my interpretation—that the fox embraces the nuance of the holistic admissions process more than the hedgehog— and whether it might actually be better to overpower the admissions process by becoming a "spiky" applicant like the hedgehog... 
First, thank you for the inquiries! With our Savvy Applicant community now over 15,000 students, parents and counselors, I still try to respond to all your emails. I appreciate your patience🙏.
For those of you interested in exploring the philosophical background of the fox and hedgehog parable (i.e. the kind of student colleges would love to have on campus), I encourage you to start with the first page of Isaiah Berlin's famous essay.
To read the second part of our Admissions Fox article, click here.

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🎯 Goals vs. Systems

According to James Clear, author of the best selling book Atomic Habits, "You don't rise to the level of our goals, you fall to the level of your systems." In regards to studying, develop habits surrounding when, where, how, and with whom you do it. 

For selective college admissions, focus less on the ultimate result and more on being the type of person who could achieve that result. So, instead of worrying about getting into a particular school, focus on being the kind of person who is curious and loves learning. Instead of fretting about polished final drafts of college essays, focus on the process of developing and refining ideas. 

As you start the new school year, whether you are just starting high school or completing college applications, I encourage you to view a desired outcome as a byproduct of your mindset and building better habits. 

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💉 Covid on Campus


  • Duke's ConditionGetting more strict after hundreds of positive tests, the university is now making masks required at all indoor and most outdoor settings on campus. They will also give profs the option to run classes remotely for two weeks and make vaccination a condition of employment for all faculty and staff.  

  • Amherst Objects: Over 400 students signed a letter objecting to very strict protocols that require masks outdoors and prohibit students from going to off-campus restaurants and bars.  They had already mandated vaccination for all students, faculty and staff. 
  • Florida Lacks AuthorityUniversity of Florida president, Kent Fuchs, claims he does not have the authority to mandate masks inside. This is the opposite of what the local K-12 school board down the street says.

Bottom Line: America's pandemic policy has been all over the map which has led to a wide disparity of approaches in higher ed. Depending on the politics of the state and decision makers at a particular institution, protocols could be stricter or more lax than CDC guidelines.  

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✍️🎵Don't Just Write Words, Write Music

Whether you're writing for school, college applications, or anything else, part of elevating your style is controlling the rhythm of your writing.

Dont Write Words. Write Music.