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Aspiring-Ivy League High school freshman advice

Kay2ajKay2aj Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
edited August 12 in College Admissions
So I'm the only freshman in my school taking 2 AP classes and I want to attend a prestigious college. This is my schedule:

Semester 1
World History H
Biology H
Algebra 2 H
English 2 H

Semester 2
AP Human Geography
AP Psychology
Geometry H
Chemistry H

Only a couple of freshman are taking AP Computer Science Principles at my school. I'm not taking that because I'm not very interested in it. I'm taking AP Psychology because I'm intrerested in the subject. I'm taking AP hum geo because other freshman that I know who live close to my town are taking it so I don't want to be left behind. Since I'm taking AP hum geo, do I still need to take World History H? It's not a prerequisite for anything and AP Human Geo counts as one of my required history courses for high school.
My school does not offer foreign language until junior year because of a shortage of teachers. I already know a foreign language so I don't understand why I still have to take it. Should I take high school Latin online on top of the rest of my schedule? I'm also considering taking my native foreign language on an online college (most high schools and colleges dont offer my native language). There's really no point in taking foreign language but thats the way things are.

For extracurriculars I dont want to join a sport because there are other things I'd like to do like practicing piano. I am considering self teaching guitar, ukele, and melodica(I don't know which one to start with!). I also plan to continue being on student government because I like the service projects we did in middle school. Hopefully I'll be a freshman class officer and then eventually an overall officer. I used to be in plays and musicals but I won't continue to do that anymore because it is very time consuming, exhausting, and difficult to juggle with my other EC's.

Is everything I'm doing ivy league worthy? Thanks in advance!

Replies to: Aspiring-Ivy League High school freshman advice

  • LindagafLindagaf Registered User Posts: 6,441 Senior Member
    Seems to me you are doing the right things to have a good high school experience. Do things you are interested in, not just because you want to go to an Ivy League school. Get good grades and take clases you want to take. That's all you need to do.
  • mikemacmikemac Registered User Posts: 9,461 Senior Member
    edited August 12
    You'll need good grades, scores, and ECs. For grades I suggest reading the book "Make it Stick" this summer, which discusses what it known about how to learn effectively and has lots of advice for HS/college students. Few schools ever bother to teach how to learn in the 12 years you're in the system. Memorization works for a while, but less so as you go on to more advanced classes especially in math and science.

    As for strong ECs, read thru the advice here on the forum from an Ivy interviewer at "Those ECs are weak...."- So what's good?

    2 very interesting articles about ECs that stand out and how to get them (same author, different examples) are at How to Be Impressive and Save This Grind? I don't buy into his underlying explanation of why they are impressive, but take a look at these 2 articles and I think you'll get some original ideas.
  • ConcernedRabbitConcernedRabbit Registered User Posts: 341 Member
    Not trying to appear racist, but are you asian? If you are chinese in specific, I would encourage you to stay away from piano, or if you do it, to not list it as an EC. You have to try to avoid becoming a stereotype, and theatre would actually really help you.

    If you are not asian, ignore the above. You're doing fine.
  • TTGTTG Registered User Posts: 480 Member
    I admire your dedication, hard work, and ambition. Maybe you will be attending an Ivy League school in a few years. That would be great.

    I would just like to suggest a couple of things:

    1) Ivy League schools are terrific. They are also just 8 terrific schools in a sea of terrific schools. We are really fortunate to have so many wonderful schools (even though the high costs of a university education are unfortunate). Students who work hard can get wonderful educations at many, many schools. Not that money is a great measure of "success," but probably the four wealthiest people I know--and they are extremely wealthy by any measure--attended a state flagship and three second- or third-tier public universities. None of them had more than middle-class upbringings. Two went on to attend top grad programs. So "success" is not limited to those who attend Ivy League schools.

    2) Yes, challenge yourself and work hard. Those are always good things. But focus on learning who you are, what you like, what's really important to you. Get to know all kinds of people, treat them with dignity and good will, enjoy your friends, climb mountains, plunge into lakes and streams, sleep in the forest, do some things that just feel a little crazy, embrace the world. Those are the things that will help you know yourself and make YOUR LIFE rewarding.

    Good luck in high school!
  • bodanglesbodangles Registered User Posts: 7,636 Senior Member
    If you are chinese in specific, I would encourage you to stay away from piano

    This is such sad advice. Life's too short to not do things that make you happy because "too many" other people do them.
  • SpringbirdSpringbird Registered User Posts: 75 Junior Member
    If you are aspiring to attend a competitive college, and please know there are a lot more colleges than the ivies that fit this description, then you need to take the most rigorous course load your high school offers. Check what some of these colleges suggest. Here is Harvard's: https://college.harvard.edu/admissions/preparing-college/choosing-courses

    Of course, colleges recognize that high schools vary in their course offerings and they will judge you accordingly. Admissions people will look at the description of your high school program that will be sent to them with your transcript, as well as whether your high school counselor rates your course selections as the most challenging offered.

    I'm not positive, but I believe that AP Geography and AP Psychology, while they may be interesting and worthwhile, do not necessarily count as the strongest options. By all means, take them if you are interested in them. But I would be careful about substituting World History (which your school offers) with Geography, for example. You need to have a solid foundation of the basics in each subject.
  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls Registered User Posts: 1,715 Senior Member
    Expect the AP classes to be a LOT more difficult than anything that you have seen up to now.

    Try not to get too hung up about going to an "Ivy League" university. There are a lot of very strong universities in the US, and more elsewhere. When I read @TTG's post above I wondered whether we might know the same people, since the wealthiest people I know are also quite wealthy, and also attended public universities (flagship or otherwise).

    I agree with the post above that suggests that if you like piano then you should play piano. Life is too short to spend you time doing what other people think that you are supposed to do.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 29,759 Senior Member
    Do well, have fun, find things you're interested in.
    If you already speak a world language, it's not a foreign language to you.
    So, for the colleges you want, you'd need that language externally certified (colleges won't just take your word for it that you're bilingual) AND take a foreign language through the highest possible level.
    (The colleges you're aiming for want level 4, I'm not sure how they react to a HS that offers only two years especially if classes are offered online in addition to these two years.)
  • Kay2ajKay2aj Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    edited August 13
    Concerned Rabbit I'm half Filipino and half white. Thanks for the advice!
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