Does this look like a good list?

<p>I'm in the final stages of deciding which colleges to apply to, and I was wondering if anyone could take a look at my list to determine if it looks reasonable. I'm a white female nonathlete nonlegacy Swedish citizen attending a private international high school in Washington, DC, where I am completing a bilingual IB Diploma in English and French.</p>

IB Chemistry HL
IB English A1 HL
IB French A1 HL
IB Biology SL
IB Mathematics SL
IB History SL
Theory of Knowledge

GPA: 6.3 out of 7 where 6=A- and 7=A+
PSAT: 232
SAT I: 2270 (800CR, 760M, 710W)
SAT IIs: 800 (French), 750 (Literature), 700 (Math II), 680 (Biology-M, retaking), 650 (Chemistry, retaking)</p>

*School newspaper (9-12): News & Features Editor, Photography Editor; the newspaper has received the Columbia Scholastic Press Association gold medal every year during this time
*Photography (10-12): Taking courses at a local darkroom 3.5 hours/week, featured in a local exhibition of student photographers two years in a row, lots of independent work, sending a portfolio
*Equestrian (1-12): 10+ years but not competitively (horse shows are expensive!), worked 40 hours/week as an instructor at riding camp for a month this summer
*Volunteering at a local hospital (12): 15 hours/week for a month this summer (while I was working), 4 hours/week during the year
*Amnesty International (12): Head of corporate accountability campaign (one of three issues that we are working on this year)
*Model UN (12)
*Chemistry tutor (paid) (11-12)
*Yearbook (9-10)
*Self-studying Spanish
*misc. art, writing, crafts, cooking, etc that does not serve any purpose or fit on a resumé but that I am including anyway because what the hell</p>

<p>Note: I know that it looks bad to join clubs and activities senior year, and I'm sure that that will work against me in admissions, but rest assured that I am in no way doing it to boost my resumé. I was painfully shy for most of high school and it's only now that I've become confident and outgoing enough to try things I've wanted to do since freshman or sophomore year but didn't because I was too self-conscious, mostly due to my hideously dysfunctional mess of a family and the fact since I was eight or nine I've more or less had to fend for myself without any outside guidance or encouragement (something you'd never guess from my private school education and comfortable middle-class background). Should I write something about overcoming my insecurities (so as not to look like a resumé whore) or am I better off holding my breath and hoping for the best?</p>

*Fluent in Swedish, French, and English (chronological order)
*Lived in Stockholm (1989-1990, 1998-2001), Moscow (1990-1994), and Brussels (1994-1998) before moving to DC in 2001
*Academic interests include but are not limited to biology, chemistry, economics, English, environmental science, French, languages in general, international relations, neuroscience, and sociology, in alphabetical order because I am still undecided. Intellectual curiosity could be my proverbial middle name. ;)
*I'm very uncertain about career goals, but when I think about what would be my ideal job right now, I picture myself at an international organization working with issues like education, public health, or the environment. That would tie together my international background and language skills, issues that I'm passionate about, and my ever-so-idealistic wish to Help People and Make A Difference.
*The teachers writing my recommendations are my English teacher (grades 9, 11, 12) and my Chemistry teacher (grades 8, 10, 11, 12). I may submit a supplementary rec from my TOK teacher and newspaper advisor.
*I'm supposedly a good writer when I try, so hopefully my essays will be decent.</p>

<p>The list</p>


<p>University of Chicago

<p>Bryn Mawr

<p>The division into reaches, matches, and safeties was done by my university counselor at school (I would personally consider Wellesley to be a match and not a safety). It's not that I don't trust her judgment, but she has given me misleading information in the past (like that I should apply to state schools even though I'm out of state everywhere and can't afford full tuition but don't qualify for aid because I'm not a US citizen, and that the only colleges that don't offer merit scholarships are the Ivies--yes, she actually said this) and I would appreciate a second opinion. My school limits the number of applications to 10, so take that into consideration. Also, I've taken to heart the advice to "love thy safety", and I would be more than happy to attend any of the schools I listed... if I even get into one of them, I will consider that a success. As an "international" applicant with a messy backstory, I'm really not taking any acceptances for granted.</p>

<p>Sorry for my (as usual) incredibly long-winded post...</p>

<p>Thanks in advance :)</p>

I'm not asking for chances... just some reassurance that I'm not setting myself up for disaster (or a reality check if I am).</p>

<p>camelias, I HATE schools that set limits on the number of applications: it leads to so much additional and in my opinion totally unnecessary angst! Especially for kids that are aiming for reaches, need aid and have special circumstances -- in your case international standing. Okay, that's my rant. . .now back to you.</p>

<p>I think you're feeling like you could use a super safe safety too. I'd say Bryn Mawr is the safest on your list but so as long as it's a school that you really want to go to then you're all set. If you're not sure add another safety (maybe Smith) even if you have to knock out a reach. </p>

<p>[Or go back to your counselor and plead for an exception. You've done your homework and then some; the reasons for the limit just don't apply.]</p>

<p>Thanks, momrath. My ultimate last-resort safety is a school in Sweden that accepts applications until mid-April. I'm hoping it won't come to that, but at least I know I have somewhere to go if none of the US colleges work out. I think I'm mostly worrying because throughout this process my GC has been alternately very optimistic and very pessimistic about my chances, and I'm not sure which attitude is the right one.</p>

<p>I think one of the defining moments in my college search was when she covered up the reaches on my list and asked, "If you don't get into any of these, how would you feel?" I think she wanted to expose me as the prestige whore that she seems convinced I am, but instead I looked straight at her and said, without hesitation, "That would be fine. I'd be happy to attend any of them." That's one thing that I'm certain of, and it makes this a lot less stressful.</p>

<p>I've visited Bryn Mawr and really liked it; I felt as if I could fit in there. I wasn't sure about the women's college part but at least Haverford and Swarthmore are nearby, as is Philadelphia, as an extension of the social scene. My younger sister has spent the past two years at an all girls school (she is currently a high school freshman) so I've had the opportunity to see some of the academic and extracurricular benefits first-hand. Bryn Mawr is probably the school that I've "courted" the most; I'm attending the fall preview weekend in October, and I'm hoping that demonstrated interest will count for something in admissions.</p>

<p>Again, thanks for your perspective. :)</p>

<p>You have amazing credentials, so you'll surely get into a lot of the colleges on your list. Smith is an interesting option because it's a LOT bigger than some of the other colleges on your list, and is surprisingly easy to get into, yet still has a great reputation. And since you're obvoiusly not aftraid of cold weather or geographic isolation, how about Carlton College?</p>

<p>I actually visited Smith and was in many ways impressed, but for some reason it didn't feel like the right place for me... I guess it didn't feel like a good fit. Carleton was on my original list but I ended up having to cut it to accommodate my limit of 10 schools. I'm not really looking to add any more colleges right now unless I need another "safety"/likely type of school.</p>

<p>My girlfriend lives right next to Bryn Mawr. It's in a very nice area :)</p>