How do I make this sound less cliche?
I like to think of cliches as overused repeated phrases or thoughts, which is bound to happen to people who read a lot. To avoid cliches, it would be best to back out of a specific phrase and think about a general idea that the phrase is attached to. You can come up with other interrelated thoughts to that more general idea. A helpful exercise may be to draw this out. For example, let's say the cliche is "shoot for the moon because even if you miss you will land amongst the stars." This specific cliche is related to ambition and striving to achieve excellence (e.g. you should try to be the best because, if anything, you will be really good). Perhaps a different phrase that is less cliche could be "your personal best will be the most rewarding part of hard work."
What are neighborhood effects?
Neighborhood effects have been commonly understood as the degree to which individual outcomes are influenced. Neighborhood effects are a concept in studies of inequality in urban areas and its unique interrelation to economic and geographic divisions. Neighborhood effects affect an individual's life chances in a negative way on the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum (Chetty et al., 2014). Regardless of one’s own family income, those who live in poorer neighborhoods disproportionately struggle with issues relating to economic self-sufficiency, violence, drug use, low birth-weight, and cognitive ability, among many others (Wilson, 1987). These issues can be grouped into five general, somewhat oversimplified, categories: adult economic self-sufficiency, mental health, physical health, education, and risky behavior (Sampson et al, 2008; Glaeser, Resseger, & Tobio, 2008).
I am on the waitlist for a college - what should I do to get off?
I was actually on the waitlist for Columbia, so I completely understand the position you are in. I sent in the waitlist interest statement Columbia requested the day after I got my waitlist decision. After that, I went to my guidance counselor and begged him to do whatever he could to get me off the waitlist–he sent an email to our regional admissions officer and my third quarter grades. After May 1st, the deadline for regular decision admission confirmations, I sent another continued interest waitlist letter with updates on what I had accomplished in the spring to my regional admissions officer. Essentially, I tried to get my name out there as much as I could through any and all possible ways. You should know that people definitely get off the waitlist though :) It totally happens! Try your best to communicate your passions and present your initiative to the admissions committee. Good luck! Do you have any other specific questions?