This week’s student spotlight is shining brightly on Emily T. from MeriPasadena! Emily is currently a senior at Los Osos High School and was just accepted to her dream college, Princeton University!  

Emily first came to MeriEducation this past summer for SAT Prep and College Essay Coaching. After dedicating her entire summer to test prep, she took her second SAT in August and increased her score by 100 points to reach her goal score! Emily also wanted to apply for Early Action, so she worked with Dara, her College Essay Coach, to finish her personal statements before her senior year started. 

“I'm really glad that I found MeriEducation. The tutors, especially Dara and Josh K, are really helpful and tended to my needs! My advice for current test prep students is you really need to dedicate time to practice and independent study. It’s helpful to keep a routine and dedicate specific times to help you develop the habit and mindset.

Emily’s success can be credited to her willingness to make sacrifices. She devoted most of her time to swimming competitively and keeping up with her academics. Her typical schedule during the school year consists of 5 am swim practice every weekday before school and practice after school. That would leave her only a couple of hours every night to finish her homework and study for exams. Despite her very limited study time, Emily was able to achieve a 4.1 GPA.

“I can’t stress how important it is for students to utilize your time wisely and don't procrastinate! Don't overcommit yourself so you can't use the excuse you don't have time. For certain chapters that chapters that involve reading or learning, just go back to the assignment/reading from the previous day so you review a little. It helps with retaining the content better!”

This summer, Emily continued with her daily 5 am swim practices was also committed to a yoga training program for 6 hours a day, 3 times a week! In between her commitments, Emily would drive out to the Pasadena for tutoring about 2-4 times a week, despite living an hour away from the Pasadena center. For her, sacrificing her social life was not as hard as she thought it would be. As an athlete and yogi, it was clear to Emily that her passions are health and lifestyle. Now, she’s only a few more hours away from being a certified yoga instructor

“I made sure to decide what was most important for me and to prioritize that. I also wanted to do well in both swimming and on my SAT so I could make my parents proud. They are both Vietnamese immigrants who have sacrificed a lot to give us a better life, so the least I can do is try to honor their sacrifices.

Emily’s dedication and discipline paid off because she received acceptance letters from Princeton University, Duke University, and USC. She will be heading to Princeton next fall and will also be apart of the Princeton Women’s Swim and Dive Team. Emily hopes to study pre-med and minor in psychology! 

Emily was attracted by Princeton’s small class size and she felt Princeton offered more opportunities for growth. They also have a great swim team and a beautiful pool! Emily is most looking forward to being in a new environment and meeting new people.


College applications are almost due! Make a checklist to help you keep track of important tasks and deadlines. Here are some friendly reminders

1) Personal Statements: meet with our College Essay Coaches to review and edit your drafts! 
Need a quick & simple edit? Upload your statement here:

2) Applications: Do you have questions about filling out the app? We can help with navigating different platforms and fine-tune your application! Ask us for more information!

3) Don't forget about other requirements such as requesting transcripts, submitting test scores, and applying for financial aid!
Contact us at or visit our website for more info!
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