I started working with The Red Pen back in grade 8. Looking back now, I realise the massive impact this had on my college admissions and the development of my resume and portfolio. In grade 8, I was ambitious, driven and rather clueless about what the admissions process entailed. That’s when my mom brought me to The Red Pen and everything changed for the better. The first thing that they helped me with was the subject selection. I wanted to pursue humanities and thought that because of this, I could drop all three sciences. However, The Red Pen informed me about the importance of having strong subjects and how it would set an excellent base for my IB subject selection. Besides this, The Red Pen also encouraged me to start working on my resume now. Most colleges want to see continuity on your resume, which means doing fewer meaningful activities for a longer time and then many irrelevant ones for a brief amount of time. Starting in grade 8 made sure that I had enough time to pursue my different passions and demonstrate growth in my applications. On the extracurricular front, I remember The Red Pen’s advice about my music portfolio–I wanted to give every Trinity exam on the planet but they were the ones who told me that universities wanted to see more of my performances than just fancy exams on my resume. They also helped me brainstorm numerous community service ideas and guided me to use my music to help those around me. Apart from this, they also helped me map out my summers with summer programmes and internships. I believe all this gave me a holistic background–something that US colleges look for in students. I would highly recommend all of you to give yourselves a head start in the college admissions process by starting early and The Red Pen are the right people to do it with!