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Stanford Sophomore, Ask Me Anything!

mohavemohave 19 replies1 threads Junior Member
Hi everyone! I'm currently a sophomore at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. I'm a pre-med studying political science. I graduated from high school in 2018, and was admitted to Stanford, Duke, Cornell, Vanderbilt, Emory, WUSTL (among others). I was active on College Confidential while applying to colleges, and want to give back. Please feel free to ask me anything about college admissions or collegiate life!
edited May 5
13 replies
Post edited by CCEdit_Suraj on
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Replies to: Stanford Sophomore, Ask Me Anything!

  • ivyskyivysky 92 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Are you a first-year admit or are you a transfer student?
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  • alwaysconfused02alwaysconfused02 5 replies7 threads New Member
    Hi! What were your main extracurrics in high school?
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  • penguin2penguin2 204 replies5 threads Junior Member
    How do you think you got into Stanford?
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  • Kaylee2002Kaylee2002 9 replies3 threads New Member
    Hello! I would appreciate it if you could look over my stats and let me know if I am an eligible candidate for Stanford, or a school of the like. I’m excluding SAT/ACT scores from this, because I have not yet taken them due to COVID-19. My school doesn’t provide AP courses- just an honors and dual credit program with SLU. Thank you so much for your time!

    College List

    *5.6 GPA/4.0 GPA.
    *Haven’t taken SAT or ACT yet due to COVID-19.

    Overall interests: Medical Science/STEM, and public speaking and argumentation. I’m on track to become a surgeon. :)

    Debate all 4 years. Captain of Debate team junior and senior year. Won awards at local, regional, and state freshman through junior year. JV State first place speaking award as sophomore. (Opportunity to judge at JV state my junior year was cancelled due to COVID-19, as well as Varsity state being cancelled.)

    Speech sophomore and junior year. Competed in extemporaneous speaking, won 10 awards in total. Averaged 2nd place as junior varsity sophomore year, and averaged 3rd place as varsity my junior year— in regional tournaments.

    Merit and honors sophomore year, chosen as state candidate for National World Schools debate in the summer of 2019. (Club wasn’t funded to go summer of 2020 due to COVID-19 conflicts and jurisdictions.)

    Math Olympiad all four years. Won multiple regional ribbons. As well as placed 3rd in Chemistry at our regional Academic Challenge competition as a junior.

    Start up GCHS Robotics team sophomore year, been a captain sophomore, junior, and senior year. (Won 1st place in our 2nd meet of our rookie year feat 20 varsity teams.) —Learned Java and Blocks programming, CAD, creative building, working with others.

    Secretary of County Youth Board. Brought issues to the table, startup “Escape The Vape” Campaign (anti-vaping video campaign to demonstrate student arts in video creation, as well as spreading awareness about the negative affects of vaping). (Project postponed to Fall of 2020 due to COVID-19.)
    —Making website for future preparation over the COVID-19 affected months.

    NHS Secretary as a late junior and senior. (At our school, we enroll spring semester of Junior year and start events at the end of Junior year.— Postponed due to COVID-19.)

    Secretary of Science Club Junior year. (Science Club all four years.)

    School District’s Class of 2021 student representative. Brought key issues to the table from student perspectives, and signed off on new course availabilities.

    Competing in a home bound national Drone Team from March 2020 to August 2020 (May or may not be postponed due to COVID-10.)

    Was going to shadow a physician at WASHU/Barnes Jewish Hospital in the summer of 2020. (Postponed due to COVID-19.)

    Worked on making caps and masks for St Louis University during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Volunteered 200+ hours freshman and sophomore years for local hospital: Gateway Medical Center. (Was to continue summer after junior year, but COVID-19 cancelled volunteer opportunities.)

    *Working to develop an HOSA club, or a Future Healthcare Workers club with our Dual enrollment Bio teacher for my senior year. Nothing is confirmed yet because of interruptions due to COVID-19.

    *Currently working on developing a website for “Future Preparation,” to help students with futures in college, trades, and the military.

    Several honors including: district attendee for Girl’s State (soon to be cancelled due to COVID-19), district attendee for Illinois’ Student Advisory Committee, school representative and attendee to the Supreme Court Hearings showcase in southern Illinois, first selected “Student of the Month” for Rotary award, first selected “Student of the Month” for Elk Award, etc.

    Other clubs include: Secondary Honors program all four years, Saturday Scholars program freshman year, Renaissance program all four years, Foreign language club sophomore year, ALPHA program to teach freshmen health students my junior year, recently enrolled in RHO KAPPA, etc.
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  • quantumgravquantumgrav 9 replies0 threads New Member
    Just got admitted as a transfer, can't wait to get to the farm! What is your favorite thing about the campus atmosphere?
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  • mohavemohave 19 replies1 threads Junior Member
    @ivysky I am neither a first year student, nor a transfer. I'm in the middle of my second year. But I do have friends who are transfers, if you have any questions about that!

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  • mohavemohave 19 replies1 threads Junior Member
    @alwaysconfused02 I was involved in Model United Nations, Youth in Government, CONA (Conference on National Affairs), played trumpet in my school's band, and played a varsity sport. I downplayed these extracurriculars on my application, because I wanted to emphasize a nonprofit/program I had started that grew to involved 10 or so schools and a few hundred students. I spent nearly 1000 hours volunteering for this initiative, and this was something I cared about far more than the other extracurriculars (which I also enjoyed doing, but more because of friends)
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  • mohavemohave 19 replies1 threads Junior Member
    @quantumgrav HUGE congratulations!! Stanford will be lucky to have you! The only answer to your question for me is the STUDENTS. For the next 3 or 4 years you will be surrounded by people your age who are truly passionate, talented, driven, and caring-- ultimately, people who will inspire you. Stanford, at least for me, remains a haven of intellectual curiosity. Everyone around you will be asking life's biggest why questions-- and more than that they will be actively seeking to answer the questions, through research, service, conversation, start-ups, and more. It's a unique place, because of the students more than anything else. And yes, there will be days you feel like you don't live up to the standard, but every other student feels that way at times too and people aren't shy about sharing that feeling. I would rather be here (figurately speaking because I'm at home b/c of COVID-19) than anywhere else in the world, and I hope you'll feel the same way too :)
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  • mohavemohave 19 replies1 threads Junior Member
    @penguin2 That's a really good question for me, because I actually filed to see my admissions documents, so thanks! I was really involved with poverty and racial inequality in high school-- I started a nonprofit in this area, received two national awards for this nonprofit, and one very well-known regional award. When applying to Stanford, in the Why Stanford essay, I wrote about how I wanted to study poverty and inequality at a higher level, and Stanford is one of very few institutions that has an entire center dedicated to this research. The two people who read my application both centered their statements around this-- in essence "she's very qualified in this area, and this leads to a clear reason why she specifically wants to attend Stanford, and we think she will be a very good fit for Stanford" .
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  • onaireonaire 1 replies0 threads New Member
    Hello, I am currently a freshman in high school, and I'm still working to find out what I want to do with my major and career in the future! How did you decide and/or find out what you truly wanted to do?

    Thank you so much for your help!
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  • fettaalfredofettaalfredo 8 replies0 threads New Member
    hello thank you for doing this! Do you know any international students? Ive reached a dilemma. Stanford has always been my dream school but Stanford admits barely any Canadian International students, so to have a chance I would probably need to apply REA and ask for no financial aid (since stanford is need aware for international ppl). The problem with this is that I don't want to put the burden of that much money on my parents since many banks or gov probably wont provide that large of a loan to an education outside of canada (Even if I were to be able to take out that loan I would be in debt for like decades).

    I am unsure whether I should apply to Harvard REA (or other schools that are need blind to international students) because I would rather be at Stanford for almost every reason.

    Ultimately my decision on which school I should apply REA /ED to is crucial since most schools admit the majority of international students then and i heard a rumour that it is much harder to get in RD. For me, this processes is highly stressful and I am not sure if I want to chose my dream school (stanford) and have a larger chance to get in (by asking for no financial aid) or another "elite school" that i will be more indifferent abt and probably less happy at.

    I dont think that my ECs or test scores are good enough to get into Stanford with that much financial aid (my family income is basically to the point of free tuition).

    Do you have any suggestions how I could approach this?


    (btw for schools like Harvard, there's a lot more Canadian students . tbh im not sure why but its probably due to loan policy)
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  • mohavemohave 19 replies1 threads Junior Member
    edited May 26
    @onaire Hi! I think nearly everyone at every stage of life feels similarly, that there are so many different futures to be explored, and only one that you will ultimately live. Though I do have my major, I can't say that I've found out what I want to do with my life-- and I this idea is less of a destination and more of a journey. We don't suddenly find what we will devote our lives to, instead we keep journeying and find what we love on the way. The best advice I can offer is to explore. If you believe you love medicine, shadow a physician and ask thoughtful questions, read books by physicians, practice patience with your family and friends because you'll certainly need it as a doctor. If you are interested in teaching, spend a day in a different school as your own, offer to tutor others, be observant when you are in class. Hope this helps!
    edited May 26
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  • mohavemohave 19 replies1 threads Junior Member
    @fettaalfredo I'm so sorry to hear about this predicament. I wish Stanford offered more accessible financial resources for international students. I have a wonderful friend who is also a Canadian international student, so rest assured, Stanford does admit from this demographic! I would strongly recommend against applying to Stanford without asking for financial aid. If you would have to take out enormous student loans to attend Stanford you should go ahead and let the university know up front, even if this is to the slight detriment of your application. But I don't actually believe this is the case. If Stanford wants a prospective student enough, a matter of financial aid will not keep them from admitting said student.

    I myself applied to Harvard SCEA, was deferred (then waitlisted). I applied to Stanford RD and was accepted-- This to say that we cannot predict how such selective institutions take their students based on statistics-- Stanford RD is statistically much more selective than Harvard RD. I'm interested to know why you would prefer Stanford "for almost every reason". Though I know where my heart is, I can think of a few advantages that Harvard has over Stanford. Both are incredible institutions and I am sure you could easily find yourself at home at either (as well as several other academic institutions in Canada and America).
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