<p>I just got out of freshman year in high school, and I really want to get into a top college. I live in an overly-populated cowtown, and I've noticed that almost EVERYBODY lives in-state their whole lives. It's a vicious cycle:
Most high school kids want to get out of our city, but either our grades are too poor, our schools suck too much, or we just can't afford it. So we always flock to our (crappy) in-state colleges, regardless of how good their grades are; get crappy jobs; and live the rest of their life here. I need to get out, and I want to be one of the few people who can prove themselves to be someone amazing while still coming from here.</p>
<p>My mom is extremely poor, and divorced. She won't give me the income she makes, but I'd guess it's around $15,000 right now and we're living off food stamps and welfare. Hopefully when she finds a decent job the income will go to somewhere around $35,000-$40,000.</p>
<p>As for me, freshman year I was tied for first in class amongst 575 students. 4.0 unweighted, took as much honors courses as I could, etc. I became extremely involved in theatre second semester, even though I want to be an astrophysicist. Next year I intend to be even more heavily involved in theatre, create an astronomy club, join National English Honors Society and French Club, etc. Maybe in the future get leadership positions. I don't volunteer that much, though I do have a small volunteer position at my library right now. All these things alone make me a bundle of sleep deprivation and anxiety during the school year (our theatre department needs dedication--during plays we stay after school up to 7:30 pm, and later during the performances). Coffee is the only way I can stay awake.
Most people say that I'm doing great, and I was confident that I could continue at my pace and get into some place like Harvard, Stanford, or general Ivy League schools. But then I discovered CC, and now I'm horribly worried. People ask for their chances and post AMAZING grades and test scores. And their extracurriculars are out of this world and go on forever. They list themselves as being president of three clubs, VP of two, national athlete, nationally recognized academic achievements, many essay awards. And volunteer hours through the roof! Lists that I feel are far beyond my capabilities. And then people say that they have a "slim" chance, or that it's a "far reach."
I'm nowhere near those peoples' statuses. There's no chance in hell I could be president or even vice president of more than one club, I can't even begin to think that I could ever win a national competition, or rack up hundreds of volunteer hours. I'll be lucky to have 20 volunteer hours by the end of this summer!
I feel so mediocre. I'm trying almost as hard as I can, but these expectations of top colleges seem impossible to me. And I feel so pressured to do good. And it makes it harder that I absolutely need a full scholarship if I ever want to go to college out-of-state.
Can anyone give advice, or help me in any way? Thanks.</p>