COSMOS Dilemma

<p>Hello</p>

<p>Is it better to apply to the least competitive courses than to aim for the competitive courses you are most interested in( and consequently gamble with the possibility of being rejected)?</p>

<p>In short, should an applicant simply play it safe or go for the cluster you want the most regardless of how difficult the competition is?</p>

<p>Thank you for your help</p>

<p>Definitely apply for the courses in which you are the most interested. You won't have much fun if you are doing something that does not interest you and the whole point of the program is to provide an enjoyable experience that furthers your interest in science and mathematics. Even if you get rejected from your top-choice cluster, your application will get sent to the people from your second-choice cluster and you can still get in. You will only get rejected from the program if all your choices don't accept you. Your safety cluster can be your second-choice cluster and you could still get into the program if you are that concerned about the issue.</p>

<p>@cosmonogy
Thank you for your prompt response :)
The thing is, the top-choice cluster I am most interested in getting into (because its topic directly relates to a science competition project I had been working on throughout the first semester) is an entirely new cluster in the UCSD program, meaning there are no past stats/history that can give me numbers on how competitive it will be this year.</p>

<p>Another sad part of my situation is that I am not even sure if my safety clusters are all that safe...
It will be tragic if I mistakenly believe a cluster is a safety and then have it turn out to be as risky as my top-choice. More researching I guess (hm...I think most threads are on UCD, not UCSD)</p>

<p>Are these two clusters safe enough to be, well, "safeties" when the top-choice is Cluster 8 Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine?</p>

<p>--Bioengineering/Mechanical Engineering: The Amazing Red Blood Cell
--Cluster 3 - Living Oceans and Global Climate Change</p>

<p>maybe safeties are subjective because it depends on the applicant's stats. If some other person has amazing achievements and awards, there is no need to bother with listing safer clusters, is there?
-__- sigh</p>

<p>You're going about this the wrong way, though I'm sure some will dispute my opinion.</p>

<p>I have never subscribed to the practice of choosing the "least competitive" field in an application, whether for a summer program or even a college major. Some topics are inevitably more popular but IMO, one should always choose what he/she is more interested in. Trying to game the system often works, but is risky and not always fair.</p>

<p>
[quote]

because its topic directly relates to a science competition project I had been working on throughout the first semester

[/quote]
</p>

<p>I feel like if they see this in your app, they may wonder why you did not apply to that class/cluster. Plus, this should give you a leg up and show your interest and background in that particular subject. I say go for your top choice although I definitely see how one might just want to get in.</p>

<p>I am extremely interested in the Regenerative Medicine cluster and would love to get in, but other than the science competition project I did this year, I do not qualify for it at all. I am too below average with a 4.0uw (according to the cosmos site just like the majority of their applicants), some negligible leadership positions, and no other science awards/achievements/summer program experience whatsoever.</p>

<p>Wouldn't it be a big mistake to blindly spend my top-cluster choice on something I will never get in, no matter how interested I am in the subject?
When I asked one of my teachers for a rec today, he implied how pointless such an attempt to be...and basically hinted that I will get rejected.</p>

<p>I do not know what to do.
@chaseholl, can you give me some advice on how to deal with this situation? </p>

<p>Thank you for your help</p>

<p>As I said before, if you are truly interested in something, you should go for it and don't doubt yourself. Since you get three choices, it's not a waste of a cluster choice even if you don't get in. You can still get into your other choices, but you should always try for whatever you enjoy the most. You're wasting your time if you don't truly enjoy yourself. Have some self-confidence! :)</p>

<p>I was originally going to apply to just non-prestigious clusters, but what's the point? Haha. I agree with cosmogony^ :)</p>

<p>
[quote]
Wouldn't it be a big mistake to blindly spend my top-cluster choice on something I will never get in, no matter how interested I am in the subject?

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Oh please. The only thing holding you back at this point is your attitude. If you don't apply for that cluster at all, you're NOT going to get in. If you do apply, you have a chance, however small you may consider it.</p>

<p>Every year, there are seemingly brilliant applicants who get rejected, and seemingly average ones who get accepted. You can't try to predict the application reviewers' decisions in your application.</p>

<p>And as mentioned above, you get other cluster choices, too. Picking a different cluster - one in which you are less interested - would be blindly spending your top choice.</p>

<p>
[quote]
When I asked one of my teachers for a rec today, he implied how pointless such an attempt to be...and basically hinted that I will get rejected.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Find another teacher to write your rec. He may be right, for the record, but that doesn't mean you should be complacent and not even bother applying to that cluster.</p>