Student Stories - Philosophy (Pre-Law)

Updated: Jul 18


Application Identity:

  • Gender and ethnicity? Female, Korean

  • Any particular “hooks”? (student athlete, legacy, etc.) First Generation Student

  • What did your application focus on? Any academic subjects, extracurriculars, etc. in particular? Life experiences & my own personal goals for the future. Some of my extracurriculars include: Varsity Sideline & Competition Cheer Captain (3 years), Gymnastics (2 years), Rally/ Homecoming Choreographer (4 years), Powderpuff Coach (4 years), Key Club (4 years), Leo Club (3 years), KASA (4 years) Humane Society (3 years), 100+ hours volunteering, mainly with year long tutoring programs, (ELD children, Korean school, ect.), concurrent enrollment student (took college & high school courses)

  • What are your plans for next year? If you’re planning on attending a college, what’s your school and intended area of study? Attending UCI as a Pre-Law Philosophy major, most likely graduating 1-2 years early


What was the general composition of your college list? How many schools did you apply to? How many reaches, matches, and safeties were on your list? Did you feel like your list was balanced?


Mix of moderately competitive & safety schools, with 3 safeties, 6 matches, and 3 reach schools. I felt confident in my list at the time I applied, although looking back I wish I applied to some more competitive schools that I wasn’t sure of but now feel I was matched to.



What was your general application timeline? When did you start your applications? How did you manage your workload?


Started definitively working on my college list in junior year, and worked on my essays starting at the beginning of the summer. I had to work on CSU, UC, Common App, and Coalition App prompts, as well as many supplementals, but I spread out my work and would go back and revise periodically to effectively edit my essays.



Who helped you throughout the application process? Parents, school, private counselor? What resources did you find the most helpful?


Mainly worked on essays myself, and asked a few friends to revise. I found my own personal research most effective, but also found that relying on one or two college students who had already written their essays was very informative.



What are your top tips for college applicants? What advice do you wish you’d known while you were going through the application process?

  • START EARLY! I was much less stressed than my peers when the application deadlines started approaching because I didn’t procrastinate.

  • Don’t be afraid to revise or completely rewrite if needed

  • Write a couple of solid essays and use them for more than one prompt (ex. Use your Common App essay as one of your UC essays)

  • Make one BIG college doc to refer back to and save all of your information on it. List your grades, AP/ Honor classes, extracurriculars (sorted by sports, volunteering, clubs, school involvement, and other), schools you’re applying to, and all of your essays.

  • Make a to-do list so you know what you’ve completed and what you still need to do, and write the deadlines so you know what’s the most urgent

  • Don’t write about what you think the college wants to hear; write naturally and write about the little things in life that matter most to you personally. College admissions staff can usually see right through college essay tutors that write your essays for you.

  • For supplementals- BE SPECIFIC & RESEARCH THE SCHOOL. Don’t talk about general topics like location or student population, talk about specific clubs, campus organizations, professors, or major/ minor programs that are only offered at that one college.

Collebo