December: ‘Tis the Season…

to be jolly  for last minute college application cramming.

The coming and going of Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season, which also inevitably means the start of holiday parties, family gatherings, and shopping galore. Unfortunately for thousands of high school seniors across the nation, the holiday season also means that college application deadlines are coming up.

For those who are completely done, congratulations. For those who are not, I promise that you’ll see the light at the end of the tunnel soon.


This past week I watched a short video series titled Everything is a Remix, which is about creativity and how everything that a person creates is influenced by something that the person has come across in life. In other words, new ideas aren’t completely new ideas.

For some reason, I was reminded of a European history course I had taken years ago. It wasn’t the most memorable of courses, and I honestly cannot recall much information, but I do remember that John Locke had the idea of tabula rasa (blank slate), which of course can be traced back to the writings of Aristotle. (I learned something!)


The idea is that humans are born as blank slates: we know nothing, understand zero concepts, and are open to new things. As we grow up, we are influenced by our family, surroundings, and society; thus, our blank slates become accumulations of those influences as well as our sensory experiences.

Cranking out supplements is kind of similar to tabula rasa and remixing. Seniors, you will find that colleges ask very similar questions (excluding the likes of the University of Chicago, whose essay prompts are the most ingenious, hilarious, and unique). Word of the wise: write about five or six very strong essays. Then? Recycle, recycle, recycle.  This method saved my tush on so many occasions when I worked on college apps, and it will save yours too.

Writing and editing what seems like a million supplements will seem like endless torture, but it’ll be worth it in the end when you receive that big envelope in the mail in the Spring. Of course, these applications are important, but so are family. The holidays are here, so step away from the computer once in a while, take a breather, and make some killer memories.

Everything will work out in one way or another. In the words of Dory, just keep swimming.


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