In addition to being an open letter home, dearyall strives to be a resource for students that is transparent about the ways in which I (and other students) have succeeded in the past. These are resources that have helped me, that I wish I had, or that I find myself repeatedly directing students to.
This post will be updated periodically. If you have suggestions, please feel free to get in touch.
Resources for college applicants
College! (Powerpoint by Brad Campbell): Before I had my blog, I documented my college application process/timeline for my sister in a google slides presentation. Brad used it in his application process, got into Harvard, and then updated/expanded it. This is a helpful overview of what to do when including writing personal statements, scholarship applications, and financial aid applications/appeals.
CollegeVine: This site analyzes the prompts colleges put out each year and offers specific guidance for how to write the supplement essays for each college you’re applying to. This is a great way to understand what colleges are looking for and find some starting points even if you have no idea what to write.
Dearyall blog posts
The Forthcoming series: Interviews with current college students about their application/college experience, what their life is like now, and what they think helped them get where they are.
Resources for college students
Dearyall blog post
Finding other opportunities
UC Berkeley’s guide on how to cold email a professor about research: Students often ask me how to get involved with research. Since the department of linguistics is fairly small, I’ve never had to cold email to get involved with research, but this is the resource I direct people to.
Hey, Students: 5 Things That Are Wrong With Your Cover Letter: NPR’s guide on how to put your best foot forward when it comes to cover letters (with examples!)
Yale specific resources
Residential College Writing Tutors: Make an appointment with a professional writer who is teaching/has taught at Yale, and they’ll read over your papers/writing and help you make it better. I can’t recommend this resource enough. In my sophomore year, I went at least once a week, and it helped so much. It’s really great to get feedback from someone is a great writer and has experience grading papers. PS: some tutors are cool with you coming in with nothing and helping you brainstorm. Please get in touch for recommendations!
Academic peer mentor groups: Peer mentor groups help students navigate the “hidden curriculum” at Yale. I haven’t used this resource (because it didn’t exist when I was a first-year). But I wrote this article about the FGLI version of it, and the people here are so kind! This is the kind of group I wish I had as a first-year, so please take advantage of it!
Office of Career Strategy: They can orient you to Yale career resources, review resumes, and help you apply for internships.
Search for Funding: If you ever want to do something academic but don’t have the money to do it, chances are, there’s a grant/fellowship for that! This is Yale’s page on how places to look for funding complete with links to the Yale student grants database. (It also has a bunch of links to external databases which would be helpful even if you’re not a Yale student)
Dearyall blog posts
Light Fellowship Blog series: The Light Fellowship is an all-expenses paid study abroad scholarship for Yale students to study an East Asian language. While I didn’t get to study abroad in Bejing as I planned, here’s my blog series from summer 2020 which details the day-to-day experience of studying abroad online. In this post, I also link out to blogs kept by previous fellows who did spend their time abroad.
Resources for Writing/journalism
The Craft of Writing
Writing to be Understood: This book details methods for writing nonfiction which make writing compelling. On top of being an enjoyable read, it explains some of the cognitive science behind reading which will help make your writing more clear. If you have (like me) have aphantasia, you might find her analysis of analogies particularly interesting because it explains how people who visualize perceive them.
If you don’t have time to read a whole book, here’s a book summary resource from the author’s personal website.
Draft No. 4: John McPhee’s book has been super helpful to me for understanding narrative structure in journalism, fact-checking, and the drafting process. His drawings of story diagrams in the beginning chapters helped me understand how stories come together. I frequently share wisdom from this books with students/writers when I’m editing.
Successful Pitches: This database is full of successful pitches that have been published with the context in which they were accepted. When starting out, it can be super intimidating to cold email editors. And this database can help you get an idea of what has worked in the past.
Who Pays Writers: Similar to Successful Pitches, Who Pays Writers is a database full of rates from different publications, how easy it was to get paid, and the context for the commission. This is a great resource for contextualizing a reasonable rate for the outlet you’re pitching.
Opportunities of the Week: This newsletter from Sonia Weiser is $3/month, and it’s how I find editors to pitch! It comes out twice a week with open calls for pitches, and even if I don’t have an idea for them at that exact moment, it’s a great way to find smaller pubs, keep track of what editors are looking for, and get inspiration for story ideas. PS: I think the $36/year is totally worth it. Even if you only get 1 commission from the newsletter, you’ll get more than your money back. But if you really can’t afford it, Sonia also has sponsored slots!
Freelancing with Tim: Freelancing with Tim is a project by Tim Herrera, an editor at the New York Times. In addition to putting out a newsletter full of freelancing resources, Tim hosts panels on Sunday afternoons with successful freelance writers, authors, and editors. These Zoom panels are AMA style, free to attend, and taught me so much about freelancing/writing in general. To get you started, here is Tim’s compilation of 50+ pitching guides for different publications.
The Writer’s Coop: This podcast unpacks how to set up your freelance business, find assignments, and navigate the tricky parts of freelance writing. In the second season, Wudan and Jenni interview other freelancers about their careers.
Journalism Jobs and a Photo of My Dog: Yes, this is exactly what it sounds like. Mandy Hofmockel puts out a weekly newsletter with journalism resources, a list of jobs, some freelance opportunities, and internship opportunities. Besides Twitter, this is the place I found places to apply to for summer internships.
What am I going to do with my life? -A guide with resources on how to think about your career and navigate its twists and turns. Career growth is not linear! How can you design the life you want?