Colors, as much as they look fun, are actually the main stressors in our lives… Color is the number one reason why all of us are stressed trying to post colorful photos on Instagram, giving us the urge to compete with our friends in the popularity race to see who has the most “likes” on our social media accounts. Color is the main reason behind our unhappiness. Black and white, on the other hand, are not colors. There is something mysterious about black and white… something that leaves a lot of room for imagination. I grew up watching black and white television shows, and I can assure you that it was the most creative time of my life. My mind was always imagining the real colors behind that screen. Was the leading actress in that sitcom wearing a white dress or a light pink one? Or maybe even ivory? Maybe light blue? Did it really matter? It did not, but it did lead my 6-year-old brain to think creatively, critically, and most importantly, outside the box every single day. Today’s children and teenagers are blessed with the colorfulness of all types of media, but are they really? Are we killing the creative side of our brains? Is the very colorful life we seem to have on the outside creating the colorless, anxious, and depressed individuals on the inside? Can we not at least try to go back to the basics and leave some space for imagination?
At the end of my M.B.A., I completed a graduation dissertation on “Subliminal Messages in Advertising” which taught me the undeniable effects of colors on the consumer behavior – in plain English, how to influence your target customers to buy your goods or services by manipulating them subliminally, by playing with colors. Trust me, every color has a subliminal message and can be an effective tool in turning an advertisement into a sale. That is why I will not play that game… I am not a seller, nor am I a marketer… I am simply an educator who wants next generations to get the best possible education that they are able to. That is why I refer to my “clients” as my “students”, which is contrary to what the industry calls for. That is the reason why all of EdMission Possible’s social media content is black and white, following the footsteps of my childhood, when children were happy and teenagers were not as burnt out as they are today. That is why EdMission Possible would like to bring back those good old days so that our students can at least get a glimpse of what it means to live simple, follow the guidelines, take charge of their own future, and succeed. Life does not have to be colorful or complicated! Just give yourselves a much-needed and well-deserved break, and enjoy the simple things that life has to offer… like black tea with a little bit of white sugar…
College applications are no different. Today, I see so many students trying too hard to prepare their college applications in a way that does not reflect who they really are. I see a lot of students pretending to be someone they are not just to impress those fancy colleges. Have you ever thought about the consequences? Well, colleges decide on the profile of each year’s class before they start reading the applications. They come up with a specific list of qualities they are looking for to build the incoming class. Let us assume that a student is not honest with the college admissions officers right from the start and polishes her/his application way too much. Let us keep assuming that most of the colleges on the student’s list do not conduct interviews to make their admissions decision, which means that the college does not have a chance to actually meet the applicant face-to-face. What if the student gets by with all the exaggerated information s/he shared about herself/himself? What happens after admission? That student was admitted under false pretenses that s/he possess all those qualities as outlined in her/his application. This means, to be able to fit the incoming freshman profile, s/he really does need to have certain characteristics that stood out in her/his application. How is s/he ever going to measure up to those expectations now? Long story short, your application does not have to be too colorful in a way that it is not your application anymore. Although getting some editing help is totally acceptable, your essays must be your original work and must reflect your own voice; not your teachers’, not your counselor’s, and certainly not your parents’… Writing in black and white is more than fine as long as that is your unique style. Not everything has to be colorful. Just know who you really are, and work on your story in that direction… Be real, be honest, and be true to yourself. Do not forget; you are building your brand, so make it a good one that really represents you in the best possible way. If your true personality is not good enough for some of the colleges on your list, oh well, it is their loss. You would not want to attend a college that does not respect your values anyway, would you?
Here at EdMission Possible, we strive to set realistic expectations so that our students arrive at their destinations knowing what to expect – nothing too much, nothing too little – just the right amount. After all, that is what finding your true fit means…
Burcak Deniz Cakir, M.A., M.B.A.
Founder and President | EdMission Possible