Note to self:

“In such a competitive institution where everything is earned and not given, UC Berkeley forced me to undergo a state of metamorphosis; it chiseled me into an irrepressible young woman who is ready to tackle failure, but even more ready to accept it.”

-Mariah De Zuzuarregui The Daily Californian


“How do you go about writing a strong appeal letter? Foremost, be guided by common sense and maintain a positive tone. Believe in yourself and your capabilities, but also acknowledge the efforts of the admissions office. Be pleasant. Focus on your accomplishments. Definitely do not discuss other candidates. You want the admissions office to feel bad about having rejected such a capable, articulate, nice candidate like yourself.”

“Appealing a decision is not for the weak willed; the Berkeley website explicitly tells you: ‘We strongly discourage letters of appeal unless you can provide significant new information…’ so make it good. It then concludes with the ominous: ‘Even if you choose to appeal, we recommend that you do not delay accepting an admission offer from another college or university.’ In other words, they’re telling you this is a long shot, and that you should have a lot of alternatives well in hand.”

“This is not about your pride. This is about the next few years of your life.”

“Don’t lose heart.”

“Treat it like a thwarted romance, then you’ll know when to quit.”

“Use your gut instincts in approaching appeals. You must firmly believe that you are a perfect fit for the school.”

“Think rationally before appealing. Doing so does prolong the admissions process for you.”

“If you love a school, appeal. If you want a school, appeal. If you think you deserve admission, appeal. There is no reason to remain disappointed if there was another option, a second chance to get into the school of your dreams. I didn’t let my aspirations die because of one rejection. I kept pushing, and that’s why I am where I am today.”


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