Live essay review with Elias

Recorded Monday, November 15 at 09:30 PM

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About this livestream


Join Elias for another installment of our Live Essay Review!

During this event (designed specifically for current high school students), Elias will select a few pieces of writing submitted by the audience to review LIVE on air. Any type of writing is welcome in this review — college and scholarship essays, papers for class, articles for your school’s newspaper, or even personal projects of your own. For each piece, Elias will walk through what you’ve written, paying particular attention to any special review requests, and offer suggestions for improvement.

You can submit an essay for review to this form See you there!

Your host

Undergrad College: Harvard University '17

Major: Music

Graduate College: University of Michigan, M.M.

Work Experience: Now in my fourth year at CollegeVine, I have helped dozens of students gain acceptance to their top-choice schools and have also advised and mentored thousands more through my livestreams. Apart from my work at CV, I am also a professional conductor and a multi-instrumentalist. I currently serve as the music director of the Apollo Ensemble of Boston, and I have led symphonic concerts and operatic productions throughout the United States.

My Admissions Story: Initially interested in pursuing a career as a performing cellist, I applied almost exclusively to music schools with dual and double degree options and ultimately enrolled in the Tufts University/New England Conservatory Dual Degree Program. Unhappy with the combined program and worried I'd never feel like I was fully a student at either school, I logged back into in October of my freshman year. I can't say I went about the transfer process in the smartest way (I only applied to two schools!), but Harvard miraculously accepted me (or 'excepted me' as I wrote in a celebratory Facebook post that day - no one ever let me live that one down), and the rest was history.

Audience questions

These are questions from the audience that we had time to answer during the live session. If you have any other questions, you can request an answer from Elias and other CollegeVine experts in an upcoming livestream or on the Q&A Forum anytime.
0:00@ngraf:Good evening all
0:00@ngraf:How are we today
0:00@sandy12398:Has the stream started?
3:10@fani:I see a blank white screen
3:12@fani:Did the stream start?
3:30@Tuna:Yeah it did
3:36@Tuna:Yes. I'm new here
3:42@summerorbanwrites:Hi Elias!
3:44@ngraf:Just finished my Vandy essay! would love some feedback!
3:47@Tuna:You should refresh your page
3:57@PamDemic:So I have a quick unrelated question. It is about extra curriculums. So does doing modeling for brands like H&M considered a Tier 1 activity?
5:45@sandy12398:quick overviews
5:47@summerorbanwrites:General overview maybe?
5:53@ngraf:Do full overview
6:03@Jnnaelmansy:Overview for sure
6:04@Tuna:Cursory overview sounds fine
6:06@shrithapillai:general please
6:07@fani:I still see only a white screen after refreshing? Maybe because I’m on my phone
6:10@hn2004:Word for word
6:11@Jnnaelmansy:no full essay review i want more essays to be done
6:13@Tuna:I hope we can cover as many todayy
6:15@_mhayree_:I am new here too
6:26@ngraf:Good idea
8:12@fani:I want specific word for word advice
8:30@summerorbanwrites:I didn't know if I should submit my Pomona essays separately since they have a word count of 50 max each so I submitted both with their prompts if that's okay?
8:41@Tuna:Do you "peer review" essays sometimes?
8:43@_mhayree_:Mine is lagging
8:45@ngraf:These essay reviews are so great thanks for doing them
8:47@_mhayree_:Quick overview
12:16@fani:Can you tell us what essays you will get to just so we know if ours is included
12:19@princesstammi:hi! i'm a junior in highschool and i have no idea what a college essay is..
19:12@ngraf:My Vandy essay is only 400 words if you want to take look. It starts with " I had always been interested in the most abstract"
19:13@Jnnaelmansy:this is me. Begging
19:16@fani:Oh sorry I missed some of what you were saying because of tech issues
19:18@ngraf:It's the elaborate on an extracurruclar
19:22@Jnnaelmansy:can you do mine, i just want some general thought on if it’s decent
19:28@Tuna:I don't see any people begging lol?
19:31@Jnnaelmansy:tun fact: if you read mine ill sleep like a baby tonight
19:36@Tuna:Is there a filtering system here
19:38@Jnnaelmansy:🤲🏼Spare some insight on my essay please🤲🏼
19:43@sandy12398:Thought I might as well be one of the people begging in the chat lol. I would really appreciate it if you could read my Georgetown essay. It starts with "I began planning my 2040"
19:47@fani:hi pls pls pls read my essay its due in two days and I'm freaking out a bit :))
24:13@fani:Or maybe: "I've sold a multitude of products throughout my life: from pokemon cards to notebooks to candies. However.."
24:38@malar:its hanging
24:41@_mhayree_:Please read my essay It is titled " Adulthood"
24:46@fani:My submission starts with " One of my strengths is that I have great...."
24:50@summerorbanwrites:I submitted mine at like 12:25 I think but I didn't know if it got through or not with the wifi glitching?
24:53@shrithapillai:could you please do mine it's due tonight, it's the tulane supplement "my favorite word is "I'm"" pleaseee im begging
25:03@JoanneT:Can you read my tulane essay?
25:09@fani:mine is the "list your strenghts and weaknesses"
25:11@ngraf:I have a longer EC one lol
25:13@Tuna:Common App Essay Pleaseee
25:15@fani:the official prompt is: "List three of your strengths and three of your weaknesses. Which of your strengths will be your greatest asset as you continue your education? Which of your weaknesses do you think will be the most challenging for you to overcome?"
25:17@_mhayree_:Please read mine.. please
28:08@summerorbanwrites:Pomona lol!
28:11@sandy12398:please my georgetown one if you can
36:45@Rosa:bruh that was fantastic
36:54@Jnnaelmansy:ME AHHH
36:56@summerorbanwrites:Oh my gosh thank you I was so nervous I was overthinking it!
36:59@_mhayree_:Please my essay is titled " Adulthood " please review it im begging
37:01@_mhayree_:My essay is titled Adulthood
37:03@Tuna:I made sure we have paragraphs!
37:07@hn2004:I think where there is no space after the period is where there should be a paragraph break
37:10@Antibroccoli:it started with " and the first place goes to..." if u can I would appreciate it if you got back to it if u have time. thank u.
37:16@PamDemic:Should one do the additional essay? I am applying for Harvard and they ask for an additional essay if you feel like your personal statement wasn't sufficcuent. D you think it will make or break the application?
37:19@_mhayree_:Please read mine , it is titled " Adulthood"
37:24@sandy12398:Im not sure if this makes up for it, but I went more in depth in my extracurricular essay. Should I still add more to this essay?
37:36@Jnnaelmansy:may you do mine?
37:40@ngraf:If you are looking for another EC elaboration one since I know people have been asking, I have a 400 words Vandy one. It starts off: "I had always been interested in the most abstract" if you want to take a look. Thanks so much for the session this is great even if you aren't getting your essay reviewed lol
37:50@_mhayree_:My essay is titled Adulthood please read
43:23@Antibroccoli:U opened mine and didn't read it.
43:25@Tuna:CommonApp third from bottomm
43:27@Jnnaelmansy:“Some students...” is mine
43:30@juyce:could you read the prompt "duke looks for a diverse student body..." please?
43:32@_mhayree_:Read mine prompt 3
43:33@ngraf:Oh lmao, in that case it just starts off "Vanderbilt"
43:36@fani:List three of your strengths and three of your weaknesses. Which of your strengths will be your greatest asset as you continue your education? Which of your weaknesses do you think will be the most challenging for you to overcome? is the prompt
43:39@sandy12398:got it, thank you!!
50:45@shrithapillai:can you please do the one that says its due tonight?
50:48@_mhayree_:@PamDemic it won't break the application , it is completely up to you( optional) I applied early action to Harvard , I just wrote how I was passionate about sport but being an international student , my school did really provide sport equipment so that is why sport wasn't listed on my extracurricular activities . To be it is completely up to you , just choose wisely.
50:58@_mhayree_:Please read mine.....I beg you😥😥😥
50:59@ngraf:"Vanderbilt Main Supplemental" is mime, 400 word essay
51:02@summerorbanwrites:I mean you always say no one's active in the chat when you do lives so... At least that's not the case anymore now!
51:05@Jnnaelmansy:mine is “some students...”
51:06@Jnnaelmansy:my prompt is “some students...”
51:09@fani:Is it okay that I listed?
55:17@Tuna:it was my turn in the beginning lol
55:21@_mhayree_:Please read mine.pleeeeeeaaaaaaassssss3eeeeeeeeeee
55:37@Jnnaelmansy:me me me me me
55:38@shrithapillai:can you please do my supplemental its 300 words
55:42@sandy12398:the panic in this chat is palpable lol
55:47@ngraf:Hey you are in very high demand!
55:52@Jnnaelmansy:im begging
55:58@Tuna:Common Apppp
56:00@ngraf:Vanderbilt 400 word
56:02@Jnnaelmansy:begging rn
64:17@Tuna:The only problem is "merciless" you say?
64:50@_mhayree_:Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee my own
64:52@_mhayree_:Please read mine before you end
64:53@fani:Thanks for everything Elias!! We really appreciate you taking the time to read all of our essays even though we are desperately annoying sometimes
64:54@_mhayree_:That's how this Livestream will end without achieving anything 😥😥😥😥😥
65:03@Antibroccoli:Is there any chance we can get a part 2?
65:04@_mhayree_:Prompt 3 please
65:07@Jnnaelmansy:mine is a common app but its not long
65:09@_mhayree_:Prompt 3 please
65:15@ngraf:Mine isnt common app
65:19@Tuna:we started at the bottomm
65:20@_mhayree_:I'm begging
65:24@ngraf:"Vanderbilt Main Supplemental"
65:25@Tuna:merciless is not about my brother tho
66:48@summerorbanwrites:It's interesting reading an essay about autism from the other side for me at least
74:32@ngraf:Try "Vanderbilt Main Essay" only 400 words
74:33@Jnnaelmansy:mine is “some students...
74:35@ngraf:Sorry, "Vanderbilt Main Supplemental"
74:38@juyce:Duke University seeks... please!
74:39@Jnnaelmansy:YES TY
74:40@_mhayree_:You just opened mine did that happen 😥😥😥😥😥
74:45@_mhayree_:You just opened my essay and removed it please read it prompt 3 please please
74:47@Antibroccoli:If u choose to do one more, please do " discuss an accomplishment... " and thank u very much for this.
74:50@_mhayree_:I just resent my essay please read it for me I'm begging you
74:52@Jnnaelmansy:Thank you. It’s all good constructive criticism
74:55@Tuna:did not
74:58@Tuna:I dont really understand your comments regarding the previous essay
74:59@_mhayree_:Please I just sent the correct essay that you opened just now , prompt 3 please read it
75:02@Jnnaelmansy:Its not 650 words, thats just the max
75:06@ngraf:If you want a shortish one mine is "Vanderbilt Main Supplemental" it's an EC essay, thanks for doing this stream it's great lol
76:06@_mhayree_:Please mine prompt 3 I just resent it please I am begging
76:26@ngraf:And we appreciate it so much <3
76:27@ngraf:Thank you <3
79:24@summerorbanwrites:Sorry wifi glitched! Yeah in regards to the last essay, how the brother is described is a little on the cringey side for me, but it's not language I'm unfamiliar with. I agree with Elias on focusing more on how your brother's behavior affected you specifically and less on his behavior in general. Obviously, I don't work in admissions so take this with a grain of salt, but if you just be careful of your word choice in relation to your brother you still have a pretty solid essay!
81:59@_mhayree_:I resent the correct one
82:03@Tuna:Can you briefly explain what you think about the baglama essay
82:05@_mhayree_:I just resent the correct one now prompt 3 please
83:11@ngraf:Thanks so much!
84:00@hn2004:this should go one r/choosingbeggars lol thank you for your hard work!!
84:52@summerorbanwrites:Also thank you so much for looking over my essays again, I really appreciate it! I'll be sure to send over my Harvard supplement drafts once I get some pitches under my belt (no one's hiring me here lol).
84:59@summerorbanwrites:Bye Elias!
85:05@fani:Thanks Elias!! We really appreciate it a lot


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