is national recognition neccessary?

<p>In order to get into an Ivy League University do I have to be nationally recognized in something? </p>

<p>Which of the following on a scale of 1 to 10 would help me the most (and would they be considered to be enough recognition)?</p>

<p>-being a varsity tennis player at my high school (my high school has won the award for having the best athletics program in Texas, but our tennis team happens to be not so stellar)
-being one of the US chess federations top 100 chess players in my age group
-founding a successful chess club
-being the president of Student council at my school
-placing in some prestigeous math or science tournement such as the Harvard-MIT mathematics tournement</p>

<p>I am in the 9th grade and am quite unsure about what to do. I think I could do one or two or maybe three with effort of the things I mentioned. </p>

<p>Sorry for all the questions, but I really need some guidance.</p>

<p>Can you do them all?</p>

<p>If you can, go ahead.</p>

<p>You do not need to be nationally recognized in anything to go to a top school. I go to Stanford and know plenty of people here who are just all-around solid students.</p>

<p>Any of those things you listed would help. However, just because they would help your application in 3 years is not reason enough to do them. If you enjoy chess, found a chess club or work on your rating. If you enjoy math, practice hard and shoot for placing at HMMT or similar.</p>

<p>IMHO, 9th grade is way to early to be worrying about this stuff. You should focus now on enjoying your high school years. Do what you love, and do it well; fulfull your full potential. Worry about getting into a top school later.</p>

<p>Why is it always the 9th graders that ask these stupid questions? Before you ask some dumb questions that will buy some unwanted antagonism, look around the site and read the questions already asked by many before you. In just a week you will realize that:</p>

<li><p>National recognization is not a pre-req. to an Ivy League college </p></li>
<li><p>The Ivies are not the glowing pillar of education that feeds the United States</p></li>
<li><p>And that you are stressing out much too early(college related stress can kill, literally)</p></li>

<p>nvg281 - I thought this stress leading to illness thing was crap, but last year I became empirical evidence that I was wrong. I got back from a varsity soccer game late, and I had to study for a history test for the next day. Lo and behold, at 3:30 in the morning, I got TERRIBLE (most pain I have ever experienced in my life) stomach cramps, I was in the ER at 6 AM. I stayed in the hospital for 3 days. The funny thing was, though, was that there were three other kids my age suffering from the same thing! Don't stress yourself out too much, otherwise you'll be in the ER.</p>

<p>Eventually, you'll find that participating in something - presiding over a chess club, for example - becomes very boring, very quickly, unless you're actually interested in it. So, heed people's advice when they say 'only do stuff you're interested in' not only because it's the "right" thing to do, but because you'll be more productive/effective since you actually enjoy it.</p>


<p>By all means, explore different activities, but commit to something that you're passionate about, can contribute to, and can learn from. Don't do tons of things just to bulk up your resume... colleges will know if you're sincere or not.</p>

<p>You're young, so please do explore. It's great that you understand you'll need to be active in order to get into a top-tier school, but don't overplan; there are no "right" or "wrong" activities to get into an Ivy. Do what YOU want, and do it well.</p>

<p>P.S. I got into both Ivies that I applied to (Harvard, Princeton) and now attend Stanford; I had no national recognition. My marching band was the top in the state, I did well in SoCal academic competitions, and I had several leadership positions. Nothing national.</p>