advice from a veteran

<p>after finishing up the college application process this year, i have done a little bit of reflection on the matter</p>

<p>3 main points i came up with for getting started:</p>

<li><p>know your strengths and weaknesses - i’m a good test taker, i have a good gpa, i do a lot of activities. however, i’m an asian, middle class male from a noncompetitive school, i don’t like writing essays, i’m lazy (meaning my apps/essays could have been better), and i’m better in person than on paper, but only did interviews for 2 schools. take everthing into consideration.</p></li>
<li><p>do your research - look at all kinds of schools from all over. the whole rule of thumb about safety/match/reach schools is pretty good. too bad i didn’t follow the ratio. i picked 10 schools, 6 reach and 4 safety… got into all my safeties, and into 1 reach. unless you know exactly what you want to do, look for schools with solid all around programs. i knew i wanted to be an engineer, so i looked for strong overall engineering programs, not specific disciplines.</p></li>
<li><p>sell yourself - all that stuff about “being yourself” is great, if you stand out somehow. for the rest of us, you need to play it up somehow. mention anything and everything. for example, i founded a couple of clubs at my school, but on my apps i only listed that i was a part of them. who knows, perhaps that would have given me an edge.</p></li>

<p>not to scare anyone, but honestly, most of you don’t have any idea of what you want</p>

<p>i thought i did. i didn’t.</p>

<p>looking back now, i should have applied to several certain schools, but at the time i dismissed them for whatever random reason.</p>

<p>funny story actually. the end of my junior year, i started looking at schools. rice university caught my eye. as i looked at it more and more, i pretty much fell in love. i worked on that application my senior year and turned it in. however, i had also been looking at other schools. rice slowly fell down my list, below mit, below, princeton, below stanford. </p>

<p>well, i was rejected from all those schools, and accepted at rice. don’t get me wrong, i’m excited to go there, and can’t wait for it to start. ultimately, things work out, eh?</p>


<p>if you have any questions, comments, concerns, criticisms, feel free to send me a message or something. i promise an honest, straightforward answer.</p>