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Advice for a 9th grader trying to get to MIT, Stanford etc..

JokerBotJokerBot Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
edited September 2016 in College Admissions
Hello I'm just entering high-school but I got really big goals. I'm trying to get to a really good engineering school like MIT. I'm gonna divide it up into 3 topics

1. Classes: I'm currently taking honors bio, honors geometry, Ap world history, STEM engineering, eng 9 ( required for 9th graders) and mandarin 1. Advice on what classes to take from here are wanted. I also wanted to know if Ap classes outside of math and science are necessary for engineering schools. Also subject /difficulty level distribution (honors for English, Ap for math etc) are also requested

2. Extra curriculars: I'm really interested in 3 clubs. Frc robotics, science Olympiad, and gas club. From what I'm hearing frc is a time sucker. I want to get above a 4.0 and I'm not sure if I can balance everything when it becomes like meetings every second day for 3+ hours. Any advice on this is appreciated. I'm really interested in it but I don't want it to become to the point where I'm losing too much sleep and can't study as much during the week. I also don't want to be the guy that's working on school stuff during meetings.

3. Parents. My parents didn't give me so much pressure until I started getting into special programs, earning good grades, advanced classes and now they are really disappointed when I get a A- even though I used to get C's. They put a lot of pressure on me and I would like some advice from anyone who experienced this.

4. General advice would be appreciated I don't want to head into this blind. I'm thinking of taking the act/sat this year advice on that would be good and anything else you went through and got where you are.


Preferably I would like people who got into IV league schools so please state if you got into like mit or Stanford or somewhere similar but any answers are appreciated. Thanks and have a nice day.

Replies to: Advice for a 9th grader trying to get to MIT, Stanford etc..

  • psychicphysicspsychicphysics Registered User Posts: 28 Junior Member
    1: Honors and AP in a wide variety of disciplines is the way to go. However, be aware that the classes get much harder very quickly(especially in ap maths and sciences), and your C average is something that you should be aware of. Be sure to include a few classes that you suspect will not have such a large and stressful workload and you will thank yourself.

    2:If FRC is something you really want to do, do it. You're going to be in high school once, and 3+ hours is essentially expected of any varsity sport or intensive club. Just do the assignment as soon as you can, and I can guarantee that you will find a way if it's only every other day.

    3. I constantly experience pressure from my parents, but high school is an endurance race. Know that this race is your own, and that while your parents have valid input, its you doing the work and it's you who will reap the benefits.

    4. Take time to smell the roses and look around for what genuinely interests you besides your intended major. High school is a time for exploration of who you are and what you enjoy. Don't expect to keep your middle school friends, and don't expect your current high school friends to stay with you all 4 years. Keep an open mind, and stay out of drama.


    Not an ivy leaguer yet, but I survived freshman year with a perfect GPA and a social life.
  • snarlatronsnarlatron Registered User Posts: 1,635 Senior Member
    If you want to be an engineer you can really go to any ABET accredited school and have great career prospects; it doesn't have to be MIT. You and your parents don't need to put this pressure on you. It is not healthy any in any case it rarely results in an elite admit. Just enjoy HS and try out different things.
  • JokerBotJokerBot Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    Thanks for the advice. Just to clarify I meant I got C's before when I didn't really care about schools. I get all As now
  • FireflyLightsFireflyLights Registered User Posts: 211 Junior Member
    First of all, relax. Try and enjoy your time in high school. Hang out with your friends. Work hard in your classes, develop the ability to study well and prioritize your assignments. Take classes you find interesting and enjoyable; you will do better in a class you like than a class you hate 100% of the time. You don't need a 4.0 - it's a good goal to have, but don't stress if you get a few B's.

    Does robotics meet all year or just part of the year? Is it something you really want to get involved in? I did theatre in high school, and it had periods where we were spending 4-6 hours in the evening, every evening, doing work, but that only lasted a few weeks a semester, and it was with people I liked, so it was doable. Be careful about overcommitting, but don't be too cautious. If you're excited and enthusiastic, go for it.

    Talk to your parents. Parents aren't mind readers; they might think the pressure is helpful or motivating (my dad sure did). Sit down with them and say something along the lines of, "I'm really working hard, but it's incredibly stressful for me when you're disappointed in me when I get a grade below an A. Understand that sometimes things are tough. I'm doing my best, and it would be really helpful if you would be supportive." Explain that the pressure is unhelpful and ask them to back off a bit.

    Don't take the SAT or ACT yet; it's a waste of time, money, and mental effort this early. Focus on figuring out high school. The earliest you should take either test is June of your sophomore year. Do some practice tests; see which one you do better on. Most people have a preference. Note that if you're aiming for National Merit you have to take the SAT and get an equivalent score to your qualifying PSAT.

    Something else: don't make getting in to "an Ivy League" or Stanford or whatever your whole goal for high school. Realistically, it probably won't happen. I don't want to crush your dreams, but many, many brilliant and wonderful people, with great ECs and great grades and scores and good essays and recommendations apply to tippy top schools every year and get rejected. It's not about you. It's about what the school is looking for that year, for that class. You might fit in to that; you might not. You also might find you flat don't like many of these schools when you start looking more closely. It's like dating; the school is looking for a round, smart student body, with a certain number of oboe players and english majors and people who like student government, and you're looking for a great college with attributes you like. It's finding the school you want that wants you back. Ultimately, you are not looking for "the best school"; you are looking for the best school for you. That might be Stanford, or MIT, or Harvard. It also might not be. Don't be blind to other school possibilities because of the elite dazzle. Also, please don't turn in to a jerk. A lot of people chasing elite school admission see everyone else as a threat, which is not a healthy or productive attitude to have.

    Finally, I recommend you log out of this website, place your login information in your desk drawer, and return in your junior year of high school. Focus on what you're doing now. Don't miss out on high school because you're busy worrying about college.
  • PrimeMeridianPrimeMeridian Registered User Posts: 1,224 Senior Member
    edited September 2016
    Employers don't pay engineers more based on the school they graduated from. So don't overly stress yourself in thinking it's essential to go to a blingy name school.

    And, FYI, ivy is a plant not an abbreviation.


  • moooopmoooop Registered User Posts: 2,034 Senior Member
    Given some of the stuff going on in this country, there are plenty of worse things to get fixated on than getting into a great college. But proceed knowing that no matter how much u prepare, its still unlikely you will get into one of those top few schools.
  • marvin100marvin100 Registered User Posts: 9,796 Senior Member
    edited September 2016
    Employers don't pay engineers more based on the school they graduated from.

    Future salary isn't the only reason to choose a school.
    So don't overly stress yourself in thinking it's essential to go to a blingy name school.

    Agreed.
  • JokerBotJokerBot Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    Thanks for the advice firefly, ill follow what you suggested.
  • ClassicRockerDadClassicRockerDad Registered User Posts: 6,364 Senior Member
    I think it's too early to focus on particular colleges. You have no control about who gets into MIT even if you do things perfectly. I do think that going to a top engineering college is worthwhile, but it doesn't have to be MIT, it could be something like Georgia Tech or Purdue or RPI or some other high quality program that is not so brutal to get into.

    I would focus on
    1) Math - master it, all of it, at the most advanced level you can. It's the most important subject. Not math and science, just MATH! Unlike any other subject in HS except maybe foreign language, math is cumulative. The more you learn, the more you will know. Turn that history paper in late, but don't get behind in math.

    2) Do the best you can without losing sleep. Don't take on more than you can chew if it will force you to lose sleep. Sleep deprivation will make it take longer to do your homework which will lead to further sleep deprivation and it's a vicious cycle.

    3) Enjoy the present. It's easy to focus on your future and make yourself crazy with anxiety. It's not necessary. Your record will be the sum of your daily best. Try to make each day your best, and if it isn't, and there will be those days, move on to the next day. When it comes time to seriously consider looking at colleges in Spring of junior year, your record will be what it will be. Start from that.
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