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Tikiman53
12-22-2008, 05:05 PM
Hey, guys,

I go to an extremely competitive school in California. It's one of those high schools where at least 20 kids get into top colleges every year (Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Duke, Ivy League...etc). Like this year, we had 4 kids get into Stanford on early action, and there might even be more later on in the year. Anyways, lots of ambitious, competitive, and smart kids. I'm not racist, but there are a ton of Asians (I am Asian too) and they are all dogging for the top spots. So I have a lot of friends who are stressing about this, complaining about it during lunch and whatnot, and now I'm worried too. I mean, I guess I'm not doing badly, but I'm not doing excellently either. What does it take to be even considered for schools like Stanford, Harvard, Yale...etc? I know that those are just big names and may not be the right college for me, but I consider those schools to be the hardest to get into, and I'd like to know if I even stand a chance.

I'm a sophomore right now. I have an unweighted GPA over 4.0, something like 4.2ish. Freshman year, I kind of messed up and I didn't apply myself enough and I ended up getting a lot of Bs, which I know aren't bad, but top colleges are probably looking for better than that. I'm in a few clubs, and I might start my own club soon. I do some volunteer work at a humane society, and I guess I may have some work experience because I do tutoring and babysitting. Um... I play USTA tourneys, so I guess that may help. And I play a musical instrument for an after school band downtown. I'm in art, and I'm starting piano. Iunno if all that counts for anything though.

I know I probably sound like some huge nerd but I am starting to worry because there are thousands of kids who are valedictorian club presidents track stars with perfect grades and top SAT scores, and I really don't feel up to par with them. I think for the rest of high school I can get straight As or at least As and maybe 2 or 3 Bs. And I'm pretty sure I can get a good SAT score. Last summer I was around 2100, so hopefully by the time it counts, I can get 2200 or maybe even higher.

I don't know. The whole process is scaring me. I mean, there are so many top students, so how is anyone supposed to stand out, you know?

Any help would be appreciated

Headshotterer
12-22-2008, 05:19 PM
i had a dream i got rejected by stanford but accepted by berkeley

and it is impossible for an unweighted gpa to be over 4.0

what school do you go to?

my school is also pretty good i know some people who got into stanford, berkeley and harvard and princeton and yale and UCLA

they all had high gpa's like 4.5

Headshotterer
12-22-2008, 05:28 PM
and if i screwed up this semester(4.0 weighted gpa) but came back next semester with straight A's and got 4.3 gpa, would i have a shot at Berkeley?i will be on varsity tennis and i have lots of community service and decent SAT's(hopefully)

i also 10th grade

raiden031
12-22-2008, 05:31 PM
Sounds like your credentials are good but not Stanford material. But I wouldn't know because the best school I applied for was University of Maryland back in the day. :)

But I'm pretty sure you need to be one of the top in your class to get into those Ivy league schools.

PopWar
12-22-2008, 05:35 PM
4.2 unweighted and you got B's.
Hmmmm.
The principal must love you.

Headshotterer
12-22-2008, 05:39 PM
maybe he meant 3.0 and 3.2?

ZoomUltraflight
12-22-2008, 05:54 PM
All I can say is do your best, apply, and hope for the best. That's honestly all you can do. I had a graduating class of 670ish and I was ranked, let's say 40th and I got into UNC, the 5th most selective public university in the country. And anyone from outside of NC knows that they rarely accept out of staters--well, I'm from NY, I got a 1980 on my SAT's, 33 on my ACT's, and I'm white. I got straight A's (atleast) in all AP's/Honors classes. I wasn't an all-sate athlete or musician, but I did play tournies and the sax.

HS into college acceptance is pretty screwy, especially once you get to the level where everybody is smart and vying for the spots. I know people who got into Wesleyan and got rejected from schools with significantly lower acceptance requirements.

Mansewerz
12-22-2008, 06:12 PM
Some schools, like mine go by a 5.0 scale.

Therefore:
A=5.0
B=4.0
C=3.0
D=2.0
F=WTF ARE YOU DOING!

Headshotterer
12-22-2008, 06:38 PM
if those are honors or ap

J-man
12-22-2008, 06:42 PM
Hey, guys,

I go to an extremely competitive school in California. It's one of those high schools where at least 20 kids get into top colleges every year (Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Duke, Ivy League...etc). Like this year, we had 4 kids get into Stanford on early action, and there might even be more later on in the year. Anyways, lots of ambitious, competitive, and smart kids. I'm not racist, but there are a ton of Asians (I am Asian too) and they are all dogging for the top spots. So I have a lot of friends who are stressing about this, complaining about it during lunch and whatnot, and now I'm worried too. I mean, I guess I'm not doing badly, but I'm not doing excellently either. What does it take to be even considered for schools like Stanford, Harvard, Yale...etc? I know that those are just big names and may not be the right college for me, but I consider those schools to be the hardest to get into, and I'd like to know if I even stand a chance.

I'm a sophomore right now. I have an unweighted GPA over 4.0, something like 4.2ish. Freshman year, I kind of messed up and I didn't apply myself enough and I ended up getting a lot of Bs, which I know aren't bad, but top colleges are probably looking for better than that. I'm in a few clubs, and I might start my own club soon. I do some volunteer work at a humane society, and I guess I may have some work experience because I do tutoring and babysitting. Um... I play USTA tourneys, so I guess that may help. And I play a musical instrument for an after school band downtown. I'm in art, and I'm starting piano. Iunno if all that counts for anything though.

I know I probably sound like some huge nerd but I am starting to worry because there are thousands of kids who are valedictorian club presidents track stars with perfect grades and top SAT scores, and I really don't feel up to par with them. I think for the rest of high school I can get straight As or at least As and maybe 2 or 3 Bs. And I'm pretty sure I can get a good SAT score. Last summer I was around 2100, so hopefully by the time it counts, I can get 2200 or maybe even higher.

I don't know. The whole process is scaring me. I mean, there are so many top students, so how is anyone supposed to stand out, you know?

Any help would be appreciatedThe best I can tell is to just do your absolute best and study hard hard hard. And to be honest, don't f around. I am a sophomore in HS as well I kind of screwed myself over by getting a couple of c and really slacking off. You seem to be making good progress on the SAT, so keep that up too. but just study your a*s off and hopefully it will pay off. Good luck man

dave333
12-22-2008, 07:31 PM
I would recommend you to do two things: Keep your grades up. Obviously, to be competitive with other kids, you at least need to be in the running with high grades. I know California is really competitive, so its essential those grades stay up.

However, grades will only get you so far; there are a few things many asians I know that fall short in a variety of other categories. They had great grades, perfect SATS tests, but they only made it to dartmouth, brown, cornell (great schools, just not the top, though a lot of them are in top graduate schools). But what colleges really want to see, unless you are really lopsided (like a top mathmetician in the country, or top violinist) is for you to be well rounded. Do lots of community service, join a few clubs and try to get leadership roles, run for student office, maybe do some kind of music, and you have tennis as your sport.

I know kids who were barely in the top decile and only a 2100-2200 SAT that made it to Yale, Harvard, and Stanford because they demonstrated leadership (class president, captains, president of clubs, etc.), community service (hours and hours at soup kitchens, schools, or tuturing), music (all states, all east, etc.)

So don't just be the typical high grade, awesome test score asian; get those extracurriculars!!!

Tikiman53
12-22-2008, 08:28 PM
Oh whoops. I messed up. I meant a 4.2ish weighted gpa

Headshotterer
12-22-2008, 08:39 PM
that is very good
what would it be if you had straight a's
and what school is this?

Fee
12-22-2008, 09:06 PM
What Dave has written is true. There are many, many, many students with good grades and high SAT scores. There are also many who join everything in sight and try to pad their resumes to be competitive and that is a waste. You want to be well rounded, but COMMITTED to the things that truly interest you and you definitely need to demonstrate LEADERSHIP in the activities that you do participate in.

For instance, 'I was a hospital volunteer' is considered run of the mill, but 'As a hospital volunteer, I organized a cupcake drive for the children's unit every Saturday' is leadership. Be truthful, if they decide to verify your package you can be denied admission for lies.

Finally, don't stress about this. I know that sounds trite, but honestly so many teenagers stress themselves and each other out with these uber competitive lunch time conversations. Work hard, live a balanced life, do the best you can and apply to the schools that YOU want to attend and are truly interested in, not the schools that everyone is talking about and telling you that you should be interested in (maybe Berkeley isn't for you because its too big and you would prefer a smaller school like Claremont, etc, etc). A family friend got accepted into a UC a few years back and she HATED it after one year. She transferred down to a CSU and was much happier because it was so student focused by comparison. You don't want to be miserable for four years at a school other people chose for you.

By the way, if money becomes an issue, you can always spend two years at a California Community College and then transfer. Almost every CC has transfer agreements with the UC campuses, so that is always a good backup plan. I'm a HUGE community college advocate, especially in times like now. :)

BullDogTennis
12-22-2008, 09:08 PM
whats the deal with yall wanting to go to these super high end colleges? chances are you get paid the same amount of money afterward whether you go to harvard, or a community college.

Tikiman53
12-22-2008, 09:14 PM
that is very good
what would it be if you had straight a's
and what school is this?

If I had straight As, I would have 4.7, I think. I'm basing my 4.2 on last year's grades. My average of the two semesters last year was 4.2ish. and I'm thinking this semester, I can get all As and one B, hopefully all As, but the one class I might get a B+ in (AP Euro) is so annoying and my teacher is completely ridiculous. She's the type of teacher who has favorites, and she always gives those kids extra points and bumps their Bs up to As. And even though I participate a lot adn study hard, she never shows that she likes me. WHenever I ask for help, she just yells at me in front of people or something. And sorry, I don't really want to say what school it is, but it is really competitive. It's kind of a wealthy area too.

Tikiman53
12-22-2008, 09:21 PM
whats the deal with yall wanting to go to these super high end colleges? chances are you get paid the same amount of money afterward whether you go to harvard, or a community college.

Sorry for the double post, but I want to go to a great college because if I don't, I would feel like I haven't tried hard enough. I know I have to accept the fact that I won't get accepted everywhere I apply, but I really hate the idea of being denied entrance somewhere because "I wasn't good enough." So from now on, I want to do whatever it takes to be "good enough". I don't want to feel like there's some higher level that I can't be a part of because I'm inferior. I dunno. Maybe I'm being arrogant, but I really want to be at the top and make a difference in this world. Lol, I guess that's easy for anyone to say, especially some guy who's sitting in front of his computer and can't get straight As. Anyways, this whole college thing is pretty stressful for me, as it is for most.

angharad
12-22-2008, 10:18 PM
But what colleges really want to see, unless you are really lopsided (like a top mathmetician in the country, or top violinist) is for you to be well rounded. Do lots of community service, join a few clubs and try to get leadership roles, run for student office, maybe do some kind of music, and you have tennis as your sport.


That's partially true. Colleges like well-rounded kids. What top colleges are really looking for are the kids that have a focus to them. Jumping around from one activity to another and never making real progress within them isn't a great resume. As an example, a kid I went to school with was a great magician. He performed in talent shows at school, but also set up an entertainment business for birthday parties, as well as volunteering to entertain in hospitals and retirement homes. He had a passion, and used it in a variety of purposes. For tennis, you could play on your school's team, and find a way to volunteer with it (helping out at a clinic, possibly?). Maybe even find a way of turning it into a job.

In short, find your passion and stick with it. Schools love that.

Kobble
12-22-2008, 10:58 PM
whats the deal with yall wanting to go to these super high end colleges? chances are you get paid the same amount of money afterward whether you go to harvard, or a community college.That's how these kids compete these days. It's to weed out the girly guys. If you don't you to Ivy league you are some kind of *****. Don't you read message boards, BDT? All these guys are ****ing scholars with superior athletic ability. Message boards is where the cream of the crop come to get recognition.

abenguyen
12-23-2008, 08:33 AM
honestly high school is almost a joke to tell you the truth. getting into those colleges you said is what matters. to do that you have to do well in high school(which contradicts my first statement, i know).

truth is if you want to get into those schools, be involved in clubs at your school, the more the better. take as many, i repeat AS MANY AP/honors courses you can, colleges look at that now more than ever. and try to do well on your AP tests and get that college credit. if you can score 4's and 5's on your AP tests you can get a good 1-3 semesters of college done. i wish that i tried harder senior year, but instead i slacked off. got B's in class but only got credit for 1 of the 5 AP tests i took.

i still got 10 hours of college done which is almost a full semester. now if i take summer classes i can finish college in 3 and 1/2 years. i'm not in any of those ivy league schools, im going to the University of Texas at Arlington lol. college is college though, and what you choose to do affects you enormously. i plan to go to med school so working hard in college is what is important now for me

goober
12-23-2008, 09:20 AM
My bottom line advice.

Try your best- that is all you can do.

Don't stress about who is doing what and going where for college.

Only do extracurricular activities you are truly interested in, not to pad your CV.

Going to a top college is good, but not nearly as important than what you do while you are in college.

Whatever happens don't cave into pressure and become like Azia Kim (famous fake Stanford Student) haha :)

Tikiman53
12-23-2008, 10:41 AM
Man, I want straight As so badly this semester... but the one class I think it may not be possible for me to get an A in is AP Euro. Well, I don't know if I can get an A or not, actually, but chances seem really slim. My teacher is ridiculous. She plays favorites and is extremely biased. A lot of people just suck up to her (bringing her presents...etc) and even though it's just painful to listen to those kids talk to her, she can't even tell that these are the same kids that cheated on her tests and stuff. Like for our first DBQ, she didn't really even explain it, she just said, "You guys will get low scores on this. Okay, go do it." It's really easy to get a B, but it's so hard to get an A... GAH!!!! I want an A so badly, and my Dad won't stop bugging me about it. It's not as if I won't try as hard if I don't get lectured, yelled at, and all that.

Are straight As vitally important? I didn't get straight As in freshman year. Out of 13 courses, I got 5 Bs and 8 As. I guess I can get straight As from now on with a ton of studying and a crapload of luck though. And is it enough to just have passion for art, music, tennis and helping people? I do genuinely love those things, and I really do want to help people and make many lives better in my time, but how do I show that? And would I need to win big tennis tournaments or get a high ranking for it to help me? Would I need to win art contests or music competitions?

IanRichardson
12-23-2008, 12:41 PM
To the original poster.

Do you want to go to stanford? Is it your dream school? If so, why?

Too many high school kids (I was guilty of the same thing as well as all of my friends) obsess over the name of a school. Now, I am not saying it is unimportant to go to a good school, but go to a good school you like, instead of a school you hate that has a big name.

I currently attend Wake Forest University, my best friend goes to duke. I got into duke as well, as did another one of my friends. I chose not to go to duke because the school didnt fit me right. Wake Forest did. I went to a less highly ranked school (which btw is more difficult than duke but that is neither here nor there) because it was the school that fit me.

I am very happy right now, I cant say I would be as happy as I am if I had went to duke.

What I am trying to say to you is, follow your heart. If you feel like Stanford is the place you need to be, then that is where you should strive for. If you feel like another school is the best fit for you, then that is where you belong.

Do not get caught up in the name of a school so much. Do you best, and I assure you everything will fall into place.

dave333
12-23-2008, 01:38 PM
Man, I want straight As so badly this semester... but the one class I think it may not be possible for me to get an A in is AP Euro. Well, I don't know if I can get an A or not, actually, but chances seem really slim. My teacher is ridiculous. She plays favorites and is extremely biased. A lot of people just suck up to her (bringing her presents...etc) and even though it's just painful to listen to those kids talk to her, she can't even tell that these are the same kids that cheated on her tests and stuff. Like for our first DBQ, she didn't really even explain it, she just said, "You guys will get low scores on this. Okay, go do it." It's really easy to get a B, but it's so hard to get an A... GAH!!!! I want an A so badly, and my Dad won't stop bugging me about it. It's not as if I won't try as hard if I don't get lectured, yelled at, and all that.

Are straight As vitally important? I didn't get straight As in freshman year. Out of 13 courses, I got 5 Bs and 8 As. I guess I can get straight As from now on with a ton of studying and a crapload of luck though. And is it enough to just have passion for art, music, tennis and helping people? I do genuinely love those things, and I really do want to help people and make many lives better in my time, but how do I show that? And would I need to win big tennis tournaments or get a high ranking for it to help me? Would I need to win art contests or music competitions?

No. As long as you have a solid GPA, you should be fine. You do not need to be valedictorian. First decile is usually all you need if you show strengths in other departments.

As for the name of the school, I think its really important. Unlike brand names for clothes, the school that you attend ends up showing a lot about you. Sure, there are those legacy boys or those with connections, but they make up a very small part. So when you say you went to Harvard, Standford, Yale, etc., especially in a job interview, it immediately gives the impression you are a very intelligent, driven person that is going to do well. People are always impressed when you say you go to one of these top schools.

Not only that, but going to a top school is likely to get you good connections later in life.

I wouldn't kill to go to a top school (maybe i would :D) but it is certainly something to strive for. You've already worked this hard to get where you are now, you might as well take advantage of it.

Leublu tennis
12-23-2008, 02:21 PM
Read what Dave and Fee had to say. Top Ivy league schools have a terrific choice of applicants. Lots and lots of students with near perfect grades apply. If they wanted to, those shools could load up on superior students. But thats not what they look for. They want a varied student body. They want students to learn from each other and share the experience of college. So they pick a few 16 year olds who skipped grades and got perfect scores. They are needed in a top school.

But they also pick student athletes. Top athletes who are good students. Not necessarily the top students, but good students. A's and B's, probably more A's. All the schools like to have athletes and top schools have a variety of sports. Not just the usual ones, but lacross, wrestling, soccer, swimming, gymnastics, etc, etc. But you have to be very good at the sport to use that as an entry card. Look at Blake. I imagine it helped him that he was a super athlete and excelled at tennis.

There are other characteristics that appeal to top schools and that is extreme dedication to something tangible. Publish something? Form a business that makes money? Act in a local theater? But these have to be real. If you happen to be doing something that deserves to be noticed it will be. Pursue a hobby to an extreme. Spend your summers in unusual ways at unusual places, doing unusual things. What the schools look for is depth of character. One school interviewer told me that he particularly liked a student who got up at 4am every day to practice swimming until school starts. This was every day and full days on Saturday and Sunday. And he was a pretty good student. The interviewer said, people like that, not only do well in college, they go on to become top notch professional in medicine, business, or anything they pick.

Good luck.

LuckyR
12-23-2008, 02:27 PM
As many have mentioned to get into a very competitive school you need something. Extremely high grades at a known school would be one way, but it looks like you won't be doing that. Sports scholarship material, well off family (different admissions standards for families that use no financial aid), parents who graduated there and support the alumnae fundraising, family is quite famous or powerful...

As you mention, though there is the more important question of which is the correct school for you. These "top names" are often not the best school for most folks.

Lejanius
12-23-2008, 02:36 PM
I went to a public high school and was accepted to a lot of big name schools however in my opinion you should only consider those schools if they have a good program for what you want to be when you get done. Going to Yale just to go to Yale is all fine and good but you can get a better (and cheaper) education depending on your field at other colleges.

Leublu tennis
12-23-2008, 02:39 PM
Look at the thread High school question. The inquiry is very similar to yours and the answers are interesting.

Tikiman53
12-23-2008, 04:41 PM
As of yet, I don't know whether Stanford is the one for me, same with Yale or Harvard or all those other schools. But, I still want to do the best I can possibly do to make sure I can get into the best schools I can possibly get into and pick the one that fits me the best.

I'm really interested in the following things: tennis, creative writing, music, teaching, animal care, and art. But how do I show that I'm doing those things because I love them, not because I just want to look good? I'm doing volunteer work for a Humane Society, I'm taking art classes at school, I'm playing music for a nice school downtown (I was all-state clarinetist in junior high, but I can't do all-state in highschool because I'm no longer in my school's band and my teacher won't sign my forms :(), and I'm doing things such as peer tutoring and tutoring for money occasionally. From my description, even I would say that I sound like the typical, hypercompetitive kid who just wants to look good. I'm really into writing, should I be trying to get some works published? What should I be doing?

Edit: Oh yeah, and I love, love, love, love tennis. But realistically, I'm not a top ten junior. I'm not a bad player, and I do play tournaments and I'm trying to get a state ranking, but I'm not jaw dropping. So is the only way to show my passion for tennis to play USTA tourneys and be on my school's team?

LuckyR
12-23-2008, 05:50 PM
As of yet, I don't know whether Stanford is the one for me, same with Yale or Harvard or all those other schools. But, I still want to do the best I can possibly do to make sure I can get into the best schools I can possibly get into and pick the one that fits me the best.

I'm really interested in the following things: tennis, creative writing, music, teaching, animal care, and art. But how do I show that I'm doing those things because I love them, not because I just want to look good? I'm doing volunteer work for a Humane Society, I'm taking art classes at school, I'm playing music for a nice school downtown (I was all-state clarinetist in junior high, but I can't do all-state in highschool because I'm no longer in my school's band and my teacher won't sign my forms :(), and I'm doing things such as peer tutoring and tutoring for money occasionally. From my description, even I would say that I sound like the typical, hypercompetitive kid who just wants to look good. I'm really into writing, should I be trying to get some works published? What should I be doing?

Edit: Oh yeah, and I love, love, love, love tennis. But realistically, I'm not a top ten junior. I'm not a bad player, and I do play tournaments and I'm trying to get a state ranking, but I'm not jaw dropping. So is the only way to show my passion for tennis to play USTA tourneys and be on my school's team?


I wouldn't look to area of interest as necessarily my #1 criteria for choosing a school. I would look more to things like class size, faculty research attitude, the school "tone" or "spirit" or whatever you want to call that feeling you get when you walk around the campus. The competitiveness for students once they get into the school, remember the hardest part of college is not getting in, it's getting out.

angharad
12-23-2008, 05:58 PM
From my description, even I would say that I sound like the typical, hypercompetitive kid who just wants to look good. I'm really into writing, should I be trying to get some works published? What should I be doing?



It's about going that little bit extra. For something like art, try taking an art class outside of school, or entering something into a student art show (at your school or elsewhere). For writing, try writing for your school paper or creative arts magazine, or submitting articles to your local paper.

Keep in mind that your college essay can be a way to describe how important some of these things are to you. I was lucky enough to live near an Ivy League college that had a high school foreign language program. I took 4 years of a language, which sounds a bit hypercompetitive. I was able to explain in my essay, though, that the language I chose was one that was a part of my heritage. It allowed me to talk to my grandparents in their native language, and also allowed me to translate when another relative adopted children that were from that particular country.

Headshotterer
12-23-2008, 06:01 PM
i know 2 brothers who got into stanford and 1 person who got into harvard

the people who got into stanford had straight A's and a 4.5 gpa, 2300 SAT's, plaid piano, violin, were on the swim and track team, had lots of community hours

the person who got to harvard had a 4.5 gpa, was on the USAMO and chemistry olympiad, plaid violin and cello for 10 years and had his own fan club thing, 2400 SAT's

he even has his own website:
http://www.pacomusic.org/images/guestartist/georgelu.pdf

dave333
12-23-2008, 07:40 PM
There are a lot of people who go to stanford/harvard/yale etc. who are absolutely godly (like those above). But tehre are still plenty of mortals out there. Don't be too distressed when you see future nobel prize winner kids get into top schools like that.

Fee
12-23-2008, 08:51 PM
Tikiman,
take a breath, I'm beginning to worry about you.

To be honest with you, based on what you've written here, I would not put you in my top list of candidates if I was reveiwing applications (and I've reviewed resumes as a job recruiter for a year). I am sure you don't mean it this way, but you sound as if the competition is the thing for you, the end all, be all. I'm not seeing focus, discipline, motivation, just a guy who wants to win something, anything as a way to feel better than everyone else. I don't think that's really you, so take a step back and rethink what your true goal is. Do you just want a pile of acceptance letters so that you can boast to your friends, or do you really want to find the best school for you so that you can get the best education for you? Trust me, I've been through this. I got accepted to Cal and UCLA, and I was damn proud of myself, but I turned them down to go to a campus that I thought was better suited to my needs.

As a job recruiter, I never cared what college people went to or what their GPA was (but we cared if they lied about it and failed their background checks), I cared most about what people accomplished and what they could SHOW us they were capable of.

Forget about your grades and your SAT scores, what have you accomplished so far and what can you accomplish in the future? Joining every club on campus to pad your application is not an accomplishment; playing tournaments to pad your app is not an accomplishment either. Think about tangilble projects that genuinely demonstrate the things you say you love. If you love tennis, share it with others. If you love art, share it with others (especially children whose programs have been cut). If you love animals, use your writing skills to help people understand the importance of neutering or something. Make something real that you can show to people/interviewers and say 'I did this' not just 'oh I feel this way' and 'in the future I hope I can help someone'. Do you see the difference?

And seriously, STOP STRESSING!

Tikiman53
12-23-2008, 09:08 PM
Tikiman,
take a breath, I'm beginning to worry about you.

To be honest with you, based on what you've written here, I would not put you in my top list of candidates if I was reveiwing applications (and I've reviewed resumes as a job recruiter for a year). I am sure you don't mean it this way, but you sound as if the competition is the thing for you, the end all, be all. I'm not seeing focus, discipline, motivation, just a guy who wants to win something, anything as a way to feel better than everyone else. I don't think that's really you, so take a step back and rethink what your true goal is. Do you just want a pile of acceptance letters so that you can boast to your friends, or do you really want to find the best school for you so that you can get the best education for you? Trust me, I've been through this. I got accepted to Cal and UCLA, and I was damn proud of myself, but I turned them down to go to a campus that I thought was better suited to my needs.

As a job recruiter, I never cared what college people went to or what their GPA was (but we cared if they lied about it and failed their background checks), I cared most about what people accomplished and what they could SHOW us they were capable of.

Forget about your grades and your SAT scores, what have you accomplished so far and what can you accomplish in the future? Joining every club on campus to pad your application is not an accomplishment; playing tournaments to pad your app is not an accomplishment either. Think about tangilble projects that genuinely demonstrate the things you say you love. If you love tennis, share it with others. If you love art, share it with others (especially children whose programs have been cut). If you love animals, use your writing skills to help people understand the importance of neutering or something. Make something real that you can show to people/interviewers and say 'I did this' not just 'oh I feel this way' and 'in the future I hope I can help someone'. Do you see the difference?

And seriously, STOP STRESSING!

I think you misinterpreted what I've said. I'm saying that I really do actually have strong passions in things such as art and helping people as well as animals, but I'm trying to make that passion be real. As of right now, from an outsider's point of view, I think I look like some kid who just signs up for a bunch of clubs that he has no interest in and just wants to look good, and what I'm trying to do is find a way to avoid that kind of impression. And I guess it might seem like I'm just looking for the big name, prestigious colleges, but really, I'm not saying I HAVE to go to Harvard or Stanford or Yale. What I'm saying is, I want to do the best possible job I can so I can stand a chance in the applications process so when the time comes that I need to choose my college, I can at least have the chance to choose from the best. And I am not doing it for the competition. I guess it may seem like that, but really, it's the opposite. I hate competition. In my first post, I was talking about how my school has a bunch of hypercompetitive kids who talk about colleges during lunch and whatnot. And I hate it. Even if I somehow got into Harvard or Stanford...etc... I would not even think about telling other people. My first reaction would be to run around screaming with joy :). So yeah, you helped so much and thanks, but I think maybe I didn't use good phrasing or something because I gave off exactly the impression that I did not want to give.

What I want to know is in what ways can I prove to these college admissions officers that I'm not some run of the mill korean kid (yeah, I'm Korean) who just wants to fill his resume with a bunch of crap he has no interest in? And in the large scheme of things, does it matter whether you got 2200 or 2300? Is there a certain cut-off score where if you reach it, they say, "okay, this kid got a good enough score so now we're gonna look at his other stuff?"

Thanks for all the help guys. I have a sister who goes to a top college, and she's really smart, but she doesn't have much time to help me with these kinds of things.

Fee
12-23-2008, 11:15 PM
Your sister could provide an example to you. Did she have a bunch of junk on her application, or did she focus on the things that she cared about?

I believe that you do have a passion for tennis, art, writing, and animals. Now, put that to work in real ways. You volunteer for the Humane Society, which is GREAT!. Can you use your art or your writing to help the Humane Society? If you can, then you can say 'I created a (thing or event) that (raised money or awareness) for the Humane Society.' That is a real thing that you can point to and say 'I did this, I showed leadership, I have abilities.'

Give yourself credit, you already sound like a very well rounded person and your interests show that - art (creativity), animals (compassion), writing (intelligence - you write pretty well, by the way), and tennis (physical fitness). You have so much going for you, I can see the beginnings of an awesome personal statement already. Think about the things that you are happy to do and ideas will come to you.

I really think you are going to be okay. You soak up the information in this thread like a sponge and that's always a good sign. You're on the right path, and that's a good start. Don't get discouraged.

Tikiman53
12-25-2008, 12:04 PM
hey, thanks for the help, you guys. I'm a lot less nervous now. lol. Merry Christmas

Tennisguy777
12-25-2008, 05:09 PM
If you don't get into Stanford it isn't the end of the world go to another college for a year or two and do well there and then you can transfer very easily to Stanford. Remember it's not where you start that counts but where you Graduate and get that Degree. I know people who went to no name schools and then transferred to PENN - IVY league. Also on the same token I know people who went to community college and got an associate degree then transferred to a four year college and will be going to next to MED School / Pharmacy school.

Fee
12-26-2008, 06:41 PM
hey, thanks for the help, you guys. I'm a lot less nervous now. lol. Merry Christmas

Good, I'm very happy to hear that. :)

Personally, I don't think it matters where you go to college. You seem like the type of person who is motivated and discplined enough to be happy and successful no matter what the name across the top of your diploma is.

tenzinrocks
12-27-2008, 10:56 PM
wow a bunch of smarties