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Hi I'm new I guess (and very confused)


Replies to: Hi I'm new I guess (and very confused)

  • AroundHereAroundHere Registered User Posts: 2,574 Senior Member
    At a liberal arts college, speaking very roughly: about 1/4 of your classes are required for your major, about 1/4 are required for academic general education, and about 1/2 are electives where you may need a certain number of upper-level classes but otherwise there is a lot of freedom.

    The "major in anything you want" advice needs to be tempered with "but take rhetoric, government, etc. as electives to prepare for law school if these classes are not required for your major."

    My lawyer friend majored in Art History.
  • BohseonBohseon Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member
    edited September 17

    As said before, I do agree many of my peers already have a set dream they want to achieve. For me, I'm still not definitely sure. I do have an interest in politics, but not grounded and rooted in it yet.

    On the topic of regarding ECs, after unfortunately snooping around on many threads that involve chancing and acceptances, I realized what were "good" ECs and "weak" ECs. Although one could argue on their interpretation on good ECs, as that tends to spark a somewhat aggressive argument, one could generally scope the characteristics of the following; Winning a prestigious award, founding some kind of club and becoming the President of it (this I very much despise due to the fact that I genuinely do not like to be a leader of some startup club, with requirements that I must recruit and socialize with new people. I have no problem having leadership skills, but I just do not like recruiting and grabbing other people's attention. Just to clear something up, I do not have stage fright or any type of socialization issues, at least what I know of :).

    This also applies to businesses, where people in my community have minimal interest in businesses started by people my age or charities that aim for a better cause like eliminating world hunger, because thousands of other determined people have done the same exact thing, so I feel like there's no strong point of me doing so. Therefore, that won't be a strong possibility to include in my ECs.

    On the topic of ECs, I recently started to join a new organization around a month ago, The Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program, in which I, myself joined without parental encouragement (just to clear the fact that I want to do this), for the reasons of the following; I truly wish to straighten myself up, both socially and physically, as I feel like I have not been showing enough respect to my peers and authorities, including my parents, and that I'm scrawny acne-ridden skinny Asian kid. I plan to stay there for a long time, which most likely and inevitably, will look good on my college application. (Again, joining CAP was not for the resume, but to fix myself up).

    With that being said, does anyone else know any other good things I could be involved in or do to supplement ECs?
  • BohseonBohseon Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member

    Just as I would "word" it, I do not specifically have a passionate hatred against a subject, but rather, slightly "annoyed" by some. In this case, math, in which I would just describe it as "something that everyone has to do" thing. But yes, four years of math is ahead of me. Freshman will be Alg 2 HN, and then planning to take; Soph will be Pre Calc with Trig HN, Junior will be AP Calc BC, and for Senior, dunno yet, possibly use that slot for something extra, which will be determined in the future.

    As for your basic guidelines,

    All is going as planned, currently taking Latin II, then will take Latin III in Soph, dunno what to do with the remaining next two years, but most likely not going to continue language studies. County requires students seeking any kind of High School diploma to complete personal finance, so that'll take up one of the social studies slots. Currently taking World History HN, taking APUSH soph, AP Macro/Micro Economics (Quick question: Are they the same subject, or treated separately?), and definitely AP Gov for Senior :)

    I'm assuming Driver's ED takes up a spot somewhere, slight possibility I'll be doing 10th grade PE during the summer.

    As for the field of science, taking Bio HN rn, AP Bio sometime during junior, Chemistry HN in soph, and AP Chemistry/Physics depending on the situation during Senior.

    Orch will be a definite constant throughout 4 years. Fortunately, teacher allows select students within the highest orchestra to join the symphonic orchestra, which has a meeting every Thursday afterschool and counts as an extra half credit. This is basically like an "Orchestra HN", so it'll count as 6 credits instead of 4 for HS :)

    There are a few spots remaining here and there, and I'll guess for now, those spots will be directed towards something in the field of social studies. We'll see!

    This is just a plan if things go smoothly (hopefully), calculation of Weighted GPA after all this accumulates up to around a 4.55 ish~, if things don't go catastrophically wrong. Again, don't take that too seriously haha.

  • futurecohort13futurecohort13 Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    I feel you on so many levels right now aha. I have the typical Korean parents, "law school! become a doctor! or there's no point of going to college!" I understand that they want me to be successful and all, but I wished that they would let me study what I'm actually interested in. They believe I can handle and get into the top ivy league schools. They know I can't do 'everything' but close to everything. Since I'm the first Korean in my family from both sides to enter collge in America, I feel so pressured to do my best and get into a well-known school that most Koreans know, aka Princeton, Yale, Stanford, etc, you know what I mean right? Aha anyways, enjoy high school! I'm trying to work my butt off to please my parents but also myself while doing other ec type of things. :)
  • BohseonBohseon Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member

    I wish you the best of luck on your success! Although it's coming from someone far-less experienced than you, one's success can be interpreted through many different factors and different priorities of importance, depending on the person. There could be a less well-known college that has a "hidden gem". Of course, the top colleges do have the most advanced and efficient teachings, it's all about personal fit.
    But what do I know about this yknow lol :)

    I'd also like to clarify my parents aren't Korean parents from hell. As much Korean as they get, they're still very compassionate compared to other Koreans in town. I understand that they're trying to do what's best for me, and I bet your parents do the same, but sometimes, anger and emotion could take control and things could go out of hand. This mainly attributed to fear extreme paranoia that their children might experience the same hardships and could end up like them, going paycheck to paycheck.

    Quick question, what do you wish to study in?
    Also, just wondering, where do you truly wish to go?
  • futurecohort13futurecohort13 Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    Honestly, what I really want to do is be a flight attendant, but it's a very competitive field so I'm going to college as a 'back-up plan' to major in education/teaching. My dream school is USC, but sadly my test scores aren't good enough. And also, I live in Hawaii, so the out-of-state tuition is going to be mad crazy. I want to go out of state, but may end up going to a college in Hawaii because of the money lol.
  • websensationwebsensation Registered User Posts: 985 Member
    edited September 27
    @Bohseon I am a Korean American dad myself. I never said to my kid "study" partly because I myself never studied more than 1 hour in high school or for that matter in colleges. I just didn't like to study and went to college and law school just to get degrees and get work experience. I can identify with kids who get As in classes they like and get C, D and Fs (I got several Fs and Ds at an Ivy college but it never bothered me because I already got some bad grades in high school). I even told my kid he doesn't have to go to college if he doesn't want to, but he better find something to do after high school to make a living and take care of himself. I think like this because my parents never told me to study hard and allowed me to skip at least 30% of my high school. I think because I skipped so many days of high school (with signatures from my parents) my high school changed its rule to require that all students HAVE to attend at least 75% of classes to graduate. lol I always hated listening to my teacher's lectures but liked learning on my own. As a result, I did great in classes where the teachers were very bad and students were forced to study on their own. I might be the only applicant in NYU law school history when it was ranked close to top 7 who got in with 2.9 college GPA.

    I skipped so many classes in college that there were several times when I showed up at classes to take final exams, some students in the class asked me "Are you in my class?" One time I challenged myself whether I could get good grade in a Computer Science class without studying at all for that class and I ended up getting a big fat 0 on the test. Yeah, I found out I was no computer genius and dropped out of Comp Sci major quickly. My biggest accomplishment in college was graduating in 4 years even though I changed my major 5 times.

    I am telling you all this to show you that it's ok if you haven't found an area you are interested in, but just keep trying and do stuff to build your confidence, such as weight lifting, exercising, swimming, working etc. You are still young, and you will be young only once. Don't be so hard on yourself. You got lots of time to make mistakes and learn. But be sincere and build your character. Don't be afraid to test yourself. If you suck in some classes, you suck; that's life and no biggie. The hilarious thing about this world is that you just have to be pretty good in one thing and be responsible and work hard to make a good living and find some happiness. You can pretty much SUCK at everything else and still come out at a high end of happiness scale.

    I think most kids don't have a specific idea of what they want to be when they grow up; I certainly NEVER had an inkling even in college that I would work as a lawyer. I went to law school to make a living and try to combine it with something else. So don't worry if you cannot find a passion. What you eventually have to do is become passionate about whatever profession you are pursuing; that's the key. Even though I was a lazy bum in schools, people who knew me were shocked to see that I was a very good at running a law office and very good at getting clients.
  • BohseonBohseon Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member
    Thank you.


    Coincidentally, as you posted this, another one in thousands of "arguments", or most known as lectures were happening between me and my mother. A month ago, I asked her if she would be against the possibility of Law School, in which she replied to say yes. Today, I had learned that I would only be allowed (although technically, at that time, I would not be a minor) to go to Law School on ONE condition, which was to graduate from Harvard's Law School. Now, if that discussion would happen a few months earlier, I would unknowingly comply, considering I knew barely anything of Law School, especially that it was not an undergraduate school. This, still does not say that I know alot about Law School, even to a smaller percentage, considering I haven't even graduated High School. But with all that being said, I would only hope to assume that the conditional statement was only triggered under anger, thus being exaggerated. But this still worries me considering the colossal amount of costs and student debt any college would cost, especially law school, in which the authority to pay all of this traces back to my parents and grandparents, which as said above, would only pay for college if I majored in computer science.

    Now, I acknowledge that my parents are just worried about my future and salary and is "advising" me in this manner for my own good, but coming from a generation and a very specific geographical location where everything is way too competitive compared to the rest of the world. The unimaginably expensive housing costs of Northern Virginia, the Ivy League hungry 1600/2400 Korean community and it's expectations, and the urging to teenagers like me to lead a successful life, is unfortunately, seeping in inevitable and genuinely frightening pressure.

    I would not describe my mother as malign, as I do not see any evil intention. No sane parent would never want to stress their child to the brink of insanity, but at certain times when things are at an all time rock bottom low, it feels like life and the future is just a dark blur. The Nacarat Jester from Boris' animation best describes my situation as,
    "I just feel like we're living in a society that's constantly telling us to pursue our passion, if you don't live your life to it's fullest, you're squandering it, which makes sense to me but... then you go out to pursue those passions and stuff like the economy and other forces outside of your control control constantly beat you back down so you ultimately have to live your life choosing between choosing making ends meet or self realization and so you're in this place where you're in this constant existential purgatory where you can't win."

    In addition to this melancholy mess, my mother's slowly and steadily growing pressure to stop me from pursuing political science and to make me major in Computer Science is frightening, I predict that during my junior/senior year, I will probably have no choice but to comply with what my parents say, because they're the ones with college money.
    But one might argue to go to community college, but I wouldn't be able to live with the shame that I went to a community college. In certain worst case scenarios like these, my mother said that it would be a 100% chance that she would die from shock if she learned I wasn't up to her college expectations, and I take that as genuine, considering the past things she's done and her capabilities of staying true to her word.

    As dark as this all sounds, to me, life right now is just a black-and-white monochrome setting where one studies, works, and dies. I'm not implying that I'm suicidal nor am I suicidal (please don't report this if this topic is not allowed here, I'm just trying to express this), I'm just confused and want to find my own identity, and purpose in life.

    With all this being said, I question myself. How can I do and question all this, but I'm just a meekly freshman in high school? Just like all other users above me generously assured me, I still have an unprecedented amount of opportunities and time to change my life around, which I do. But the anti-handicapping lifestyle and expectations hold my future hostage. The beginning of Chapter 4 from The Professor best describes this situation:

    "No man likes to acknowledge that he has made a mistake in the choice of his profession, and every man, worthy of the name, will row long against wind and tide before he allows himself to cry out, “I am baffled!” and submits to be floated passively back to land. From the first week of my residence in X—— I felt my occupation irksome. The thing itself—the work of copying and translating business-letters—was a dry and tedious task enough, but had that been all, I should long have borne with the nuisance; I am not of an impatient nature, and influenced by the double desire of getting my living and justifying to myself and others the resolution I had taken to become a tradesman, I should have endured in silence the rust and cramp of my best faculties; I should not have whispered, even inwardly, that I longed for liberty; I should have pent in every sigh by which my heart might have ventured to intimate its distress under the closeness, smoke, monotony and joyless tumult of Bigben Close, and its panting desire for freer and fresher scenes; I should have set up the image of Duty, the fetish of Perseverance, in my small bedroom at Mrs. King’s lodgings, and they two should have been my household gods, from which my darling, my cherished-in-secret, Imagination, the tender and the mighty, should never, either by softness or strength, have severed me. But this was not all; the antipathy which had sprung up between myself and my employer striking deeper root and spreading denser shade daily, excluded me from every glimpse of the sunshine of life; and I began to feel like a plant growing in humid darkness out of the slimy walls of a well."

    The United States of America was powered by "The American Dream", which triggered an influx of immigrants, including my parents. While the dream proved to be right, as my father has a well over self sustaining and stable income, I sometimes doubt my American Dream, considering the circumstances above. Several moderators, veteran members, and parents give the harsh, but true reality to several chance me ivy league hoping individuals. The process isn't that easy, but this shouldn't extinguish a dream.

    Since I'm on the topic of dreams, my dream school sporadically and constantly changes, UPenn to Princeton, to Georgetown, to UVA, and currently Dartmouth. Dartmouth is known only stereotypical as a conservative leaning place. But since it is located in a rural area, it gives me a place to escape. Ever since August, I've decided when I'm going to college, I don't ever want to see anybody from my middle/high school ever again, I want to escape the harshness of the bustling Northern Virginia, and find myself and peace within Dartmouth. But this, is most likely a 2 month temporary dream, sure, things would change, but yea. As mentioned above in the first paragraph, Harvard Law School would be the only law school I can ever get to, in financial terms, but I really want to go to UVA Law School. Employment rates and average salaries do not matter to my mother. To me, it seems like her pride sometimes, but very rarely blinds her from reality. If the name is good, then employment must be easy, is her mindset. I want to find a gem while considering the economic aspect, sure one needs to be employed and have a great income for them to follow their dreams, but only following dreams while being constantly broke also gets you nowhere. So with that being said, I think it's important to accurately gauge reality and dreams.

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