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standing out in humanities

marina_bmarina_b Registered User Posts: 127 Junior Member
edited June 2005 in College Admissions
Hi all :)

My strength (as far as I have one) is humanities, and I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions as to how I could show my interest in this area. Everybody is always saying (and I know its true) that you have to do something to stand out in the admissions process, and obviously science research projects and maths olympiads are not an option for me.

So any help would be much appreciated!
Post edited by marina_b on

Replies to: standing out in humanities

  • kates1422kates1422 Registered User Posts: 194 Junior Member
    Make your application consistant with your love for humanities. Make sure your humanities grades are high, your SAT II and AP (if you take them) humanities classes are high... write am essay regarding some extra work you've done in the humanities, etc. The equivalent to science research project/ math olympiads would be doing history/literature research. Start reading academic journals, if you don't already, and really become an expert on a subject you're interested in. Um, if you're into the fine arts aspect... write something and try to get it published. It doesn't really matter where, just showing your attempt will look good.
  • AnoelAnoel Registered User Posts: 291 Junior Member
    Participate in any humanities related clubs, language clubs, poetry/creative writing clubs, newspaper, anything that relates to your interest. Read and write a lot on your own and try to improve your writing. Try writing poems, short storys, plays, etc and enter them in competitions, try to win recognition in that. You could even use those as samples of your writing ability.
  • zagatzagat - Posts: 2,360 Senior Member
    First choose what area within humanities you want to stand out in. Then take every advance class in that area at your high school and at your local community college or even university. Summers are a good time to do something related. Volunteer to teach what you excel in to younger kids.
  • marina_bmarina_b Registered User Posts: 127 Junior Member
    kates1422, could you give me an example of history/literature research? Thanks everyone, you've given me some ideas.
  • newyorkernewyorker User Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 763 Member
    Participate in Social Science Research; e.g., Psycho/Sociological Studies. Do an Intel Project....
  • epiphanyepiphany Registered User Posts: 8,440 Senior Member
    marina,
    I agree with zagat. What you essentially do, if you want to get noticed, is to specialize, if you can, in 1 or 2 areas. This has worked well for other humanities applicants, & summer definitely helps in those opportunities, either with public programs or private, if the opportunities are unique & your family can afford them. But definitely approach your various humanities teachers & ask for info that they may have access to as professionals, that is harder for you to find: special contests, workshops, essays. Anything that will allow you to show a deep engagement with the subject matter(s).

    Our local public 4-yr college has high school level courses in summer that one has to qualify for to enroll in: they're for more advanced, capable students. Getting into them in the first place is an achievement (& should be noted on a person's app); but more importantly, ours (for example) has specialty courses in interdisciplinary history, comparative literature, ancient languages, etc., that virtually no U.S. high schools do. Ours costs a few hundred dollars for a summer course (rather than thousands for those pre-college private U programs), gives high school credit (!), & is just very impressive on a transcript. We have experienced them to be private education at a public price. (Ours also gives need-based fin. aid!) So if you have a stand-out public U near you, check to see if they have such h.s. courses. Also the comm. college route, as zagat or someone else mentioned.

    Start doing your research, and good luck. I also know that adcoms understand that it takes more effort to carve out a niche in the humanities, so if you make those efforts & succeed in them, that will get you noticed. You also do have to make very sure that those extra efforts & any qualifications necessary to get there are abundantly clear on your college apps. The single biggest overall mistake that students make when applying is to assume that a committee knows what some program or accomplishment means. Take nothing for granted.
  • kates1422kates1422 Registered User Posts: 194 Junior Member
    Find a subject you're interested in and hook up with a teacher either at your school, or say a local college, and see if they'll help you research it. I took an English class at a local college about post-colonial Africa in literature, and I ended up with a final research paper about the sociolinguistics of Afrikaans in post-colonial South Africa that I am currently reworking in the hopes that it will get published in a linguistic journal. That's just an example of a type of research you can do. Think of all of the questions you have that are unanswered about humanities - history, lit, art, etc. - and if you can't find a professional answer your self to it, it is quite probable no one has researched it before, so you can be the first. That's essentially what happened with me. I wanted to know about how using a colonial language affected society in South Africa, but the more I looked for concrete information, the less I found. I ended up compiling a bunch of newspaper articles and primary resources to come up with my own thesis. That's pretty much how the academic process works. It was exciting. Hell, I'm going to be an engineering student, and I still enjoyed it.
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