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Student Z Cornell University

1What is the most helpful part from TSAF during the application process?

In the past year, I had a lot of ideas in mind to fulfill, from starting a club to coming up with a new plan on community sustainability, but I have always tried to seek help from others. I once thought that asking others for help would make me seem weak, but I soon learned that external assistance would strengthen me and help me realize more things than I could imagine.


Throughout the year, I have seen both academic and personal growth. Like many others, I often felt quite lonely while at school, which is no longer the case during my college application, since I have received much support during that tough period. I am very pleased that I could attend my dream school Cornell University this fall.


During the application process, TSAF collaborative brainstorming was the most beneficial part to me; it helps me transform my personal experiences and interests into an eye-grabbing essay, and tell my very own stories. At first, I found it difficult to express my enthusiasm and internal journey through words, however after going through them again and again, I was finally able to finish my essays in a creative, efficient way. After we are done with the entire application process, I was proud of what I have finished and submitted.


2How did you plan out and execute your extracurriculars and essays?

Before applying, I have been participating in a variety of extracurricular activities for years, but I have not found the main activity I want to showcase yet.


I have always been interested in environmental issues. For many years, I have come up with all kinds of ideas concerning environmental protection, and have even spent a semester on a related project to immerse myself in environmental research. However, my activities are all centered around environmental sustainability. After going through and talking about them with TSAF team I gained a clearer understanding of which activities are most important to me, and learned how to showcase myself and my interests through a diverse range of perspectives instead of just limiting myself to one field.


Looking back, I am surprised to find out that my favorite essay is the one on soccer and my role in the soccer team. The essay prompt was asking for my influence over the community, and I was planning to write about something besides environmental sciences. After collective discussions with TSAF team, we ended up considering a theme surrounding the soccer team. I am usually a quiet person, but when the team needs it, I will be the first to put myself forward. Though this essay, I wrote about my dedication, empathy and leadership skills in the soccer team.