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High School Advice

lilycrililycri 0 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
edited October 9 in College Admissions
Hi. I’m currently a freshman at my high school taking all available honors classes (I’m not allowed to take ap classes my freshman year).

Classes I’m Taking:
Global History Honors
Biology Honors
Geometry Honors
English Honors
Spanish Honors
Orchestra

I’m also involved in extracurriculars such as volunteering, clubs, and a private orchestra.

I’m not entirely sure if I would like to attend a top Ivy League college, but do you think I should? What classes do you think I should take next year? Should I start a sport? I would like to keep my options open in case I change my mind.

-L.C

edited October 9
5 replies
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Replies to: High School Advice

  • LindagafLindagaf 9229 replies495 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    It won't be a question of "Should you attend an Ivy League" until (if) you have an Ivy League acceptance in your hand in a few years time.

    It's way too early for you to ask this because you just went back to school. We have no idea what your grades are, what your test scores will be, and what your activities will be when you apply to college. And the big question will be, can your family afford the tuition?

    If you don't know already, let me be the first to tell you that your chance of getting into any Ivy League school is, at best, about 10%. That means 1 in 10, and likely even less when you're a senior. So for now, just do your best to get good grades, take hard classes, and keep doing the things you enjoy doing. That does not mean do a sport because you think it will look good on applications.
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  • Techno13Techno13 175 replies7 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Take the hardest courses available and do well in them, pursue ECs that interest you and get really engaged, discover everything you can about yourself (interests, learning style, social preferences). Then you will have more options available to you and know how to choose smartly.
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  • coolguy40coolguy40 2183 replies3 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    For most students, it puts them on a path of burnout, misery and mental illness. There's thousands of colleges to choose from. Keep yourself balanced, get good grades, study for your SAT, and be who you are. Send what you have to a variety of affordable colleges that are a good fit for you.
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  • milee30milee30 2094 replies13 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Most students don't become burned out or mentally ill because they take a rigorous schedule or take on ECs. That's silly and sounds like bitterness. Ignore that kind of talk. If you enjoy your classes, enjoy your activities, want to learn and explore more - than do. You won't go crazy or end up crying in the corner.

    But it is too early to tell where you should or can go to college. Take the most challenging classes that you can take and still succeed; explore all the academics that interest you; do outside activities that you're interested in and that fulfill you; be part of things or start things that make a difference in areas you care about. In the next few years, think about what you'd like to do with the rest of your life. And by the time you're ending your junior year, you'll have some material to work with, to assess, to consider. You'll have an idea what colleges your academics are a fit for; you'll have an idea what you're looking for.
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  • mikemacmikemac 10333 replies150 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited October 10
    At the most selective colleges "involved in ECs" is not enough. They want to see leadership and/or achievement. As Stanford says
    Students often assume our primary concern is the number of activities in which a student participates. In fact, an exceptional depth of experience in one or two activities may demonstrate your passion more than minimal participation in five or six clubs.

    This isn't to say you should do things just to impress an adcom. Frosh year sample a variety of things like you're doing, but think of where you can go with them. Piling up volunteer hours, for example, not impressive. But an area catches your heart and you end up on leadership committees in your community for it, perhaps spearhead a drive, that is.

    "I would like to keep my options open in case I change my mind."

    Unfortunately in the real world you can't. As a HS student you aren't locking yourself onto a fixed path by any means, but there just aren't enough hours in the week for you to excel at a sport, be first chair in the orchestra for your instrument, take part in scientific research at a local college, contribute to open-source computer science projects, play a leading role in student government, be recognized in your community for your volunteer work. Trying to "keep options open" by doing a little bit of everything and you'll end up as the phrase goes "jack of all trades, master of none" meaning you won't have the in-depth experience in any field to stand out against other applicants. Adcoms aren't looking for 16 year old kids that have seen their future and doggedly pursued it; they take a broader view, wanting to see evidence you can commit to *something* even if it isn't your eventual area of focus.
    edited October 10
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