Parents- please help if you can

<p>After lurking around, I am writing here for the first time because I am really stressed out and just need some guidance, a supportive nudge, or maybe a reality check. I've always wanted to go to Harvard, but was rejected last year. Fortunately in high school I had straight A's, and did a lot of things, and so I managed to get into most all the other colleges I applied to. I'm a freshman at Yale right now. I never really wanted to go to Yale because it was never my dream. I liked a lot of LAC's I was accepted to, but decided that I should enroll in Yale because it would give me the best chance to transfer to Harvard. This semester I don't know what happened. I put in just as much work as I did in high school (I went to a top prep school so I thought I knew what it takes to do well) and I certainly didn't slack off at all this semester. But, I just found out that I am going to end up with a B and a B+ in two of my classes (A's in the other 3). Usually things go right for me academicaly, and I put the most work into the two classes I did the worst in, but for whatever reasons, things just didn't as planned. </p>

<p>I simply don't know what to do. I've already written the main transfer essay and was planning on finishing the rest of the application in the next two months, and I am just freaked out. I've spent some time getting involved in school, making sure I have 2 people to write me recomendations, and have been thinking about the transfer constantly. It's really emotional for me. </p>

<p>I'm not asking for a pity party, but I am realistic in the fact that I barely got into Yale, and there is always killer competition for transfer admission. I hear stories of Harvard taking kids who "peaked" in junior college or a state university, and it just seems like I shot myself in the foot. I don't know what I want to hear from anyone, but I just need some words of wisdom- now more than ever.</p>

<p>I think your focus is simply wrong.. I would have forgot harvard the second they "forgot" me... no place makes you better.. You make you better.. redirect your efforts to being the best where you are at. But this is just me, I always figure it is their loss not mine... a different mindset.</p>

<p>What is wrong with 3 A's and two B's? Looks pretty good to me--what major? If it is engineering, that's pretty darn good! If you really want Harvard, I'd say go for it. You have nothing to lose! But, I have to agree with previous poster about forgetting Harvard the second they "forgot" me! Good Luck!</p>

<p>I think even applying to H. is just a distraction. The schools aren't dissimilar enough to warrant even a second thought. The student bodies look the same, the programs are not all that different, and unless you have a potential major that exists at one school but not the other, I just don't see the point. </p>

<p>I think you need some good counseling more than you need advice on your potential transfer application. (And why you think transferring from Yale to Harvard would be easier than from some LAC is beyond me.)</p>

<p>If you are getting all "A"s, more likely than not you are not selecting classes that are challenging enough, or cause you to go outside your comfort zone. In my book, a "4.0" is rarely a badge of honor.</p>

<p>Now that you're at Yale, why do you want to transfer? Do you have any reasons besides the fact that it's not the school you initially dreamed of? </p>

<p>Unless you don't like Yale, for legitimate reasons, I don't see why you shouldn't just try to make the best out of being at Yale. If in the future you go on like this and are only happy or satisfied if you get what you initially dreamed of, I think you are going to be continually disappointed. Plans don't work out, and dreams should change. You have to be able to embrace the unexpected and work with surprises. If you are always daydreaming about what could have been, you're going to miss countless opportunities to really live in the world you're actually in.</p>

<p>So, you can still send out transfer applications, but if you don't have other reasons for wanting to transfer, I suggest you seriously consider being happy where you are.</p>

<p>Now, onto your other concerns... You sound as if you expect As and expect that if you put in enough work you deserve to get those As. I hate to break it to you, but that's not the way it works (or at least not the way it should work). You need to re-adjust your attitude. Even with the hardest work you feel you're capable of, you may not get an A. Maybe the professor almost never gives As. Maybe you just didn't produce the level of work that gets an A for that class/professor--maybe you didn't put in the necessary hours or maybe you're simply not capable of A work for that class. Put in as much work as you want to, and then deal with the grades you get. (And as other posters will undoubtedly tell you, there's certainly nothing wrong with a B...). </p>

<p>Anyway, you may get into Harvard, but you may not. Why do you think you "shot yourself in the foot," though? What do you think you did wrong? You said you worked hard in your classes and didn't slack off, so, what else would you have wanted to do?</p>

<p>What if you don't get into Harvard? Are you going to live your life thinking every pitfall is caused by the fact that you didn't get into Harvard? It is understandable that you might not like Yale, as you say you have tried to get involved in campus life, and New Haven is pretty gross...but you have to stop obsessing over what might have been. Talk to a counselor at Yale; maybe he or she can help you figure out ways to move on.</p>

<p>Thanks for the comments so far. Growing up in Boston, I've sort of become attached to Harvard. I know I don't need it to be succesful, frankly I would probably do more for the school than it would do for me, but I've invested so much into it already, I feel conflicted as to what I do next. I'm generally not one to stay stuck in the past, but this situation has obviously been different, which makes me think that maybe Harvard is something I shouldn't be giving up on, atleast not now. I just don't want my heart broken again. wow, I am a train wreck, but thanks for listening.</p>

<p>what I have tried to teach my kids is living better is the best revenge. Harvard turned you down and you accepted it as if it were your fault. Why? what's wrong with you? Maybe you should feel sorry for harvard because they just lost out on a future big dollar donor (you). stop your pity party, keep working, do your best and make them regret their decision by having a healthy happy life...</p>

<p>Also, remember every kid at Yale is used to straight A's in high school. They can't give every kid at Yale an A in every class, no matter how hard they work. Only the top 10% of kids are at Yale - that means if you graduated hs between the top 5% and top 10%, you can expect to be in the bottom half of your class at Yale. </p>

<p>I'd say your college grades sound pretty darned good - be proud of them. </p>

<p>As for Harvard, it's hard to let go of a lifelong dream, but I don't know of an employer or grad school on the planet who wouldn't be very impressed with Yale on a resume. You need to decide if WHY you're so stuck on Harvard. If it's for the bragging rights.... you already have them at Yale. </p>

<p>I agree with previous posters. Unless there's something about Yale you truly dislike (hello, New Haven), I'd shake the Harvard dust from my feet and move on.</p>

<p>Bloom where you are planted [and thousands of students would be green with envy at your getting into Yale!!!] Count your blessngs kid.</p>

<p>wow you won't ever like the school you are in if you don't stop thinking about harvard. just calm down...and enjoy the idiosyncracies of the school u are in right now :) WHY would you want to go thru HS all over again?!?!?</p>

It's really emotional for me.


I've invested so much into it already.


<p>What are your feelings for, your investment in, Harvard?</p>

<p>Has it occurred to you that Yale is a "dream school for thousands of other kids? Doesn't this realization perhaps show you the limitations of the whole "dream school" concept? It's based on many factors, some more legitimate than others, but in every case, once a student begins school either at the dream school or somewhere else, dreams have to be replaced by day-to-day reality. No school is perfect. You have good and bad days, good and bad classes, everywhere.
What in the world did you mean when you said you would probably "do more" for Harvard than Harvard would do for you? There are some sort of issues going on for you here that I don't completely understand.</p>


<p>Parent of a Harvard student here. I can see that for someone from the Boston area, Harvard may be the dream school and it certainly has a lot to offer. But it is not a perfect school (and my S could tell you many stories on that score). Nor is it very different from Yale, when all is said and done (I happen to like Yale's architecture a lot more). </p>

<p>The first semester of freshman year is a period of adjustment, so it is not surprising that you have had some surprises. But make an effort to think of yourself as a fully invested Yalie rather than a Harvard student wannabe. If, however, you still feel unhappy about Yale, consider applying for a transfer for your junior year rather than for your sophomore year. But give Yale a chance to capture your heart. My S has friends from the Boston area like yourself who are very happy at Yale.</p>

<p>I'm a Harvard grad and I go with reality check. Really Yale is a great school. If you are from Boston - all the more reason to get to know a new city. Some things are better at Yale - find them. (In my day, for my major, I would have been far better off attending Yale, but I was too stupid to even apply.) Take advantage of the fact that you are an hour and a half train ride from New York City.</p>

<p>S&P,a survey a few years ago found that student satisfaction at Harvard was quite low compared to its peer institutions. I do know that Harvard made changes to correst that shortcoming but like an oiltanker, it takes some time to make a course correction at a huge institution like Harvard.</p>

<p>Also one aspect of maturity is understanding and dealing with the fact that we seldom get exactly what we want and that happiness is being able to accept that, plow ahead and stop looking back. If your attitude about H vs Y seeps into other areas of your life you will not be as happy an individual as you could be.</p>

Only the top 10% of kids are at Yale - that means if you graduated hs between the top 5% and top 10%, you can expect to be in the bottom half of your class at Yale.

Off topic, but I just wanted to quickly say that this isn't true. There may be students applying to Yale and similar schools reading this thread, and I don't want them to get the wrong idea. First of all, Yale does not only accept students who are in the top 10% of their class. A large percentage of applicants' rank is "no rank," remember, and there are students who are below the top 10%. I also highly doubt such a direct correlation between high school rank and college rank, particularly if the high school rank was weighted or involved weighted GPAs. There are many factors involved--it doesn't necessarily translate.</p>

<p>Corranged, you're right. But my point is that students who are used to all A's in high school should not expect all A's at a place like Yale, where - lets face it - the overwhelming majority of students were A students in high school.</p>

<p>If you were accepted to Yale, you are in the top percentage of students in the country. Sometimes, it is an adjustment to no longer be the big fish in the little pond. You are among all the big fish at Yale. </p>

<p>Secondly, if you feel you will never know if you could have attained a Harvard degree unless you at least didn't try with a last chance as a transfer, then go for it. But realize, that no school is perfect, not even Harvard. I actually hear that undergraduates at Princeton and Yale get more preferential treatment. Harvard is more concerned with their graduate programs.</p>

And if you can't be with the one you love
It's alright
Go ahead and love the one, love the one, love the one your with
Love the one, love the one, love the one your with


<p>Wise words from Crosby, Sills, and Nash</p>