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I (the IDIOT) is in MAJOR TROUBLE. (Help. Please.)

AlwaysNeverStopAlwaysNeverStop Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
edited May 2009 in Prep School Admissions
I'm an idiot.

Not only am I an idiot, I was an idiot at the -+-worst possible time-+- for this sort of idiocy. I won't mention the details, because I did read the "Please read before posting" topic, but, long story short, I felt unchallenged at my school because I was "learning" stuff I've studies years previously. True to my evolutionary instinct to use as little energy as possible to accomplish a certain goal, I procrastinated like crazy. I failed to hand in some projects, and my Average (which before that year of horror, was near-perfect) suffered, big time.

Thanks to whichever higher deity you all may believe in, I snapped out of it pretty recently, which still leaves me some time before admissions. I don't have enough time to save my average, I'm barely going to get all a's this time around, and that's if I ace (as in 94+) my exams, but I do have enough time to ensure my SSAT's good, and possibly to get accepted into CTY. I'm looking at my glass half-full, which, on further inspection, looks more like a quarter-full. Darn it.


And get this: I want to go to a HADES school. Seriously. You read that right.
Harkness tables (drools) and all.
An added bonus? I think I have a chance.

To be overly optimistic, I'm charismatic (read: crazy), play the violin (terribly), and I do have a ridiculously high IQ, like the rest of you undoubtedly do. My EQ's a failure, I avoid thinking about my teacher recommendations because I'll pee my pants/kill myself, not necessarily in that order and I don't have a lot of time. I really don't.

On the plus side, I'm an interesting person to be around. My curiosities range from ESP Research, "Stargate", the bloop, PUAing (AM, the Blueprint, DavDeAng, Myery, ect), OEC's, ect. Or perhaps that just gives me an more irritating persona. Touche.

I wanted whatever scraps of advice you guys/gals/could give me. It'd be sincerely appreciated, but I think you could have guessed that by my tone of fevered desperation.
I REALLY, REALLY want to go into a HADES School. When I found about the Harkness tables, I honestly considered that, maybe I teleported back into time to make this for me.
I've never been academically challenged in my life, and I'm dying inside because of it.

So please my fellow humans, please save my life. Or at least help.

I apologize in advance if I sounded like an idiot. I have a cold with accompanying fever, and my allergies are acting up. I also ask that you please avoid the "Kill yourself" or the "Hahaha you suck" comments. I know already. I got past the self-loating and self-pity, and now I need to get up and act. I'm going for the gold, the tip of The Citadel, et cetera.

AlwaysNeverStopping, my first post out.
Post edited by AlwaysNeverStop on
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Replies to: I (the IDIOT) is in MAJOR TROUBLE. (Help. Please.)

  • PA-CPA-C Registered User Posts: 960 Member
    Maybe you could try and get into the Exeter summer session this year? Then if you impress the teachers there you may be able to use them as a reference for regular admissions?

    Talk to your current teachers truthfully about how you know you have made mistakes but you are trying very hard to improve. They will appreciate your honesty- plus if you get As for finals they will be more likely to give you a good rec next year knowing you have changed.

    Do some volunteer work this summer if you haven't already- non sibi and all that...
  • italianboarderitalianboarder Registered User Posts: 762 Member
    I would make up for it this summer... Be anti-social if it means you get into the schools. IF you are an athlete try going to camps, working out and pushing yourself. Maybe study for an hour a day? Put in time with a tutor? IF you completely kill next years academics(I mean like 95+ if you can) it won't matter that you slipped a little.
  • AlwaysNeverStopAlwaysNeverStop Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    Thanks you guys/gals. You both are a lifesaver.
    The application is done in the first couple of months of 8th grade, right? B/c I'm applying for prep. I was thinking that you would have to apply before the 1st semester grades for the school came out, correct me if I'm wrong...
    @italianborder: The only athletics I can do are some martial arts, and I don't think that's a bonus. I'm not worried about my ability to get good grades, though, but the time (or lack thereof) I have to make up for it.
    @PA-C: I thought teacher recommendations were given by the 8th grade teachers when applying for prep. Are they? Instead of the Exeter summer sessions, I was thinking more along the lines of going ooc to do some volunteering, or trying to get into CTY next year ( I'm young enough to have a chance at CTY SET, which I think might help.) .

    Thanks again guys*.

    *From now on, if I say guys and I'm addressing a female, I mean no offense, and I apologize in advance.
  • seikuuseikuu Registered User Posts: 237 Junior Member
    If your teachers like you and think you contribute well to discussions/the class, then they will write that in their recommendation. Schools look for students who, by attending, will benefit the school/other students.

    You mention that you are extremely in the Harkness table; I take that to mean that you are genuinely interested in sharing your thoughts with others, which, incidentally, is what good schools look for in their students.

    Grades are important... to a certain extent. A high SSAT score may 'cancel' out the negative effect of bad grades, though it may make the admissions officer think you were being lazy.

    I think the best option at this point is to bring up the subject when you're doing the interview/in your essays. Andover has an essay that asks you to explain something you knew, but are no longer sure of, if I remember correctly. I think if you stress the fact that you being lazy and have realized that you were at fault, as well as the fact that you wish to try hard in the future, the admission officers will overlook the low grades, in favor of the attitude of doing well in school.
  • AlwaysNeverStopAlwaysNeverStop Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    @seikuu: Huh. I never knew that. Do you have to hand in an essay that was graded at your current school, or can you just write your own? And that was partly the reason for my bout of laziness, there weren't exactly a lot of discussions. It was the classic system of when the teacher talks and talks and you just have to memorize what he/she said. I wanted to share info about the topic, but if I did it would be shot down as irrelevant or something like that. Thank you for your help.
    @all: I have a {name removed} computer, and I was worried about whether I should get a new one. In the event that I do get accepted, I need to swap/buy computers now or in the near future. I have a {name removed}, with some questionable files* that I'm pretty sure won't be appreciated in HADES, and the processor is on the slow side. I don't think I can use GIMP on it without worrying that it'll crash. The cd burner isn't working, and I still paid a ridiculously high price for this. It's not even really thin, either.
    Do you think I should just buy a new (cheap) laptop like the old macbook to take to HADES if I do get accepted?

    *The questionable files are not pornographic in nature, but rather includes highly questionable knowledge, like leaked info on fighter jets, tactical info ebooks, ect.

    On a separate, and irrelevant note, ooh, symbols. ∆¨¥†®´ß∫˚
  • MomalotMomalot Registered User Posts: 41 Junior Member
    Your application will be due by January but will not be complete until the school sends its report, which will include a transcript of your first semester grades next year. Depending on your school's schedule and the strength of your third-quarter grades, you could even have your school send those before the decisions are made in the winter.

    The suggestion about summer session is a good one if you're in the neighborhood: the Access Exeter program (for upcoming 8th & 9th graders) does indeed use the Harkness method, and will both give you an excellent feel for the school and give it a sense of how well you may fit. Yes, there will be required recommendations from your 8th grade English and Math teachers, but there will also be a place on your applications where you indicate if you've been a PEA student in any capacity before, and no doubt it will be helpful if Access Exeter teachers give you additional raves.

    My last suggestion would be not to spend too much time worrying about CTY/SET. To date, PEA application directions specifically discourage Prep applicants from sending SAT scores in addition to the SSATs (which they do want from everyone): unless you get 800s (or nearly that), keep in mind the enormous proportion of PEA applicants who do CTY/JHU. On the other hand, I'd encourage you to send raving course instructor summaries if you enroll in any of the CTY summer programs. In my opinion, it's not the score numbers that would set an applicant apart, but knowing that an applicant placed in a more intensive academic setting really blossoms as a student in the CTY context. That sounds like it might especially be helpful in your situation.
  • PA-CPA-C Registered User Posts: 960 Member
    You mention going out of country for volunteer work. I can't remember where but I read somewhere that some adcoms are tired of hearing about paid volunteer trips to other countries. They would rather see a teen committed to a local cause over the long term (food pantry, tutoring, big brother/sister) vs a paid vacation/volunteer trip for 1-3 weeks in another country. Now take this with a grain of salt because I can't remember the source.
  • AlwaysNeverStopAlwaysNeverStop Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    @Momalot: I can't afford the $6000 price tag for the summer, unfortunately.
    Do you think I should go for CTY if I'm fairly certain I'll get close to an 800?
    @PA-C: I didn't actually go yet, but I was considering it. Thanks for the advice, you might have saved me quite a bit of cash there. Well, at least there are a ton of problems where I am. Some of the rivers near my location are almost as bad as the Passaic River, all the way in the Tri-State zone, was. I wonder if you could set it on fire.
  • italianboarderitalianboarder Registered User Posts: 762 Member
    Spend an hour a day studying if you want. If you can, I would try to enter a few contests over the summer? Like Math/Writing comps.
  • starz27starz27 Registered User Posts: 384 Member
    well your essays will probably be great, even from this post I can tell you have a really good writing style (I don't know if you tried) but I really liked your post.
  • mpiczmpicz Registered User Posts: 2,365 Senior Member
    Well essays are more about having something to say than writing style..
  • MomalotMomalot Registered User Posts: 41 Junior Member
    Hello again. I'm not sure I know any kids who've paid full price on Access Exeter (mine certainly didn't! There's usually significant scholarship money available). But the same point applies to anything else you undertake that gets you in touch with a teacher who can say something personal and meaningful about you in a classroom (as it sounds like you may not necessarily get the kinds of teacher references you would like to have if you and your teachers are stuck with a curriculum that is not letting you be the kind of student you'd like to be). You will have to produce the English & math references, and those are very important in the application process. If you don't think they will be great references, then by all means have another teacher add something, and I agree with the person who said it's a good idea for you to be proactive and explain to the schools (in writing or in one of your application essays) why those teachers aren't necessarily getting the real you.

    If you can knock the SAT1 out of the park, by all means go for it. The result will be yours to do what you want to with it, and there may well be schools/programs I don't know about in which it would be a big plus. What I'd caution about (and again this is just my two cents based on my kids' and their friends' experiences) is being too focused on any score in the application process at a school like PEA. There are going to be twelve parts of your application (interview, teacher recs, transcripts, school report, essays, etc.), and I'd rate test scores as the twelfth in importance. A really low score will likely get noticed (though isn't usually a deal breaker), but even perfect scores aren't nearly as important as the other components. I highly recommend CTY for anyone remotely interested in doing the summer programs (for which scholarships also are available) in subjects they love.
  • AlwaysNeverStopAlwaysNeverStop Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    @Momalot: Hmm. I didn't know AE gave out that much scholarships. Unfortunately, I wouldn't qualify, even if the deadline hadn't passed, and I'll avoid saying why because it would help identify me. Sorry if I sound paranoid. Onto the subject of CTY, I actually managed to lay my hands on a copy of the catalog for CTY '09, and I wholeheartedly agree with your recommendation, but none of the programs really popped out at me, unfortunately.
    @starz27: Thank you! I had no idea people appreciated my writing style! It's probably a habit left over from when I would post regularly on several forums which discussed some topics I were interested in. I would always try to avoid grammatical errors, because I noticed people tended to ignore, not take as seriously, or even "flame" posts with subpar grammatical quality.
    @mpicz: You're absolutely right, which is why I should spend this summer vacation doing something interesting, that combines the thrill of skydiving, the mental exercise of political debate, and something athletic. I'm all ears if you can think of something that may involve any of those qualities, even if they wouldn't help on the essay.
    @italianboarder: Like I told mpicz, I would really appreciate it if you could recommend a few, preferably from your own personal experience. I'd probably have a chance in essay contests, competitions involving writing similar literature, and contests involving mathematics, science, mathematics, and the rest of the so-called "nerd subjects". Any recommendations on any extracurricular sports-related challenged would be appreciated, too. I'm mainly good with running around, throwing things, and anything that involves martial arts. (Looking back at this, the previous was rather amusing :P)
    @all: Is HADES really need-blind, or will a check on the box next to FA instead of going full pay lower your chances?
  • DiveAliveDiveAlive Registered User Posts: 1,734 Senior Member
    Andover is the only HADES that's needblind, I believe.
  • karenasauruskarenasaurus Registered User Posts: 214 Junior Member
    AlwaysNeverStop:

    Your post made me laugh. That was very very verryyy well-written x]

    And yeah, Andover is the the only HADES school that's needblind.

    I think that if you start working very hard this next year, and I would suggest getting involved with the community or something, the admissions officers will see that you've tried and put sincere effort into your applications process.
    Also, grades aren't EVERYTHING, and even though they play a significant part in the admissions process, there are other things that will override your grades if you're outstanding in those other things. Maybe participate in something that involves your many interests over the summer, or try to use your interests to your ability.
    Essays and the interview are pretty much equally important, and most of us on CC believe that those are one of the top 2 deciding factors in getting in, along with ECs and such.
    Your writing style is really unique, and as long as you don't write about something cliche, I think your essays should turn out fine.
    And if you have a great personality, you should also be fine at the interviews.

    Good luckk!
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