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how can I have a successful sophomore year?

stress4collegestress4college 11 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
Alright so I am an incoming sophomore at a very competitive public school in the bay area. I am looking for advice on how to build on what I have done this past school year / how to start looking at the college admissions process. Here are my stats.
gpa: 4.0 (just having a 4.0 puts you in the top 2% at my school, again, it is a very competitive school)
ECs:
-I conducted an independent research project on the depolymerization of plastic. project had a lot of practical application; if applied in a professional setting, it could solve plastic pollution. won 1st place at my regional fair, was selected to attend the California state science fair. I was awarded the excellence in geoscience award by the association for women in geoscience as well
-selected for a leadership position in my school's parliamentary debate club. won a number of tournaments, including winning jv for the national parliamentary debate invitational. i am attending a very cool debate camp at uc berkeley in a few weeks after winning a scholarship
-participated in science bowl
-semifinalist in technovation, a competition for coding. this app will be put on the app store soon, and focused on preventing deaths in hot cars
-selected for school's honor choir. i have a huge passion for choir so I am looking for competitive choirs in the bay area, please comment any that you are aware of. i also participated in the musical but i don't plan on continuing so its not exactly worthy of note

The thing is, I have decent extracurriculars, but nothing stellar. I want to attend Dartmouth, and so far, nothing that I've done is particularly eye-popping, and I kind of lack a spike. If you read this I would truly appreciate advice on how to build a competitive resume over these next few years. Responses are greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Replies to: how can I have a successful sophomore year?

  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6566 replies54 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Best advice out there comes from an MIT Dean:
    https://mitadmissions.org/blogs/entry/applying_sideways/
    https://mitadmissions.org/blogs/entry/there_is_no_formula/

    I know: a tick list would be so much easier! but that's really not how it works.

    ps, I am taking your post at face value, but there are more cynical people around who might wonder if your post isn't really a humble brag and suspect you of looking for affirmation posts along the lines of 'wow! you are amazing'.
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  • stress4collegestress4college 11 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thanks for your response! This is not meant to come across as a humble brag, I am genuinely seeking advice and guidance. If I was looking for affirmation I definitely wouldn't come to college confidential haha., as people tend to be very cutthroat in their responses here.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6566 replies54 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    There are indeed a lot of very competitive people on CC- but there are also a lot of people who genuinely want to be helpful :-)

    I just looked at your other 2 threads. It sounds as if you have found more balance, which is great. You only get one HS experience- and there is more to it than just college admissions! You don't have to have done something 'eye-popping' to get into a great college- but the more you figure out who you are the better able you will be to identify what will be a great college for you. This really is one of those things where the journey is important in and of itself.

    Keep that Applying Sideways piece handy and pull it out every time you start to get anxious. And- trust yourself. You sound as if you have a lot of ambition and determination, and a willingness to work hard. Trust those parts of yourself to keep you on track while you follow your interests.
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  • rickle1rickle1 1863 replies16 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    You're doing a lot of great work. I would suggest two things:
    1. Do what you really enjoy doing for the sake of doing it, not college admissions (you'll be fine).
    2. Enjoy your HS life. You have three more years. It's OK to be aware of the college admissions process but not to the extent where it takes the fun out of being a HS kid.

    This doesn't make you a slacker. May actually make you a more interesting candidate if you develop your passions.
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  • stress4collegestress4college 11 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thank you to everyone who responded. The article was a great read, and I will be sure to keep its message in mind in the future. Truly, your responses all mean a lot!
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  • mango57mango57 5 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Ok, so right off the bat I notice that your EC are extremely rigorous for a sophomore and that's good! You still have a lot of time to develop your resume. What are you truly interested in/ passionate about? What would you continue to do even after you get accepted into college? From your EC, it seems to be science. Think outside the box. As a fellow science research student myself, I have some advice. Try to get a paper published in a scientific journal- this will be very impressive to colleges. In order to do this, you will need a mentor at your local college.
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  • stress4collegestress4college 11 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited July 16
    Thanks mango57! How do I go about finding a mentor? I live very close to uc berkeley so would you recommend emailing professors there? I don't think professors tenured at berkeley would be especially eager to help out a 15 year old but it's worth a shot.
    edited July 16
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  • squ1rrelsqu1rrel 364 replies25 threadsRegistered User Member
    https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/high-school-life/2075370-high-school-class-of-2022.html#latest

    Bookmark the Class of 2022 thread! It's not very active right now, because not many upcoming sophomores have CC accounts like we do. It's gonna blow up soon enough, tho.
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  • stress4collegestress4college 11 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited July 16
    this is super helpful. i was actually looking for a thread like this. also i looked at your posts and umm what you're a literal genius
    edited July 16
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  • stress4collegestress4college 11 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thanks mango57! How do I go about finding a mentor? I live very close to uc berkeley so would you recommend emailing professors there? I don't think professors tenured at berkeley would be especially eager to help out a 15 year old but it's worth a shot.
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