Please comment on my risky essay for Harvard

<p>Is it way too risky?</p>

<p>The realist George E. Allen once said, “People of mediocre ability sometimes achieve outstanding success because they don't know when to quit. Most men succeed because they are determined to.” Looking back on my high school experience, I can honestly say that I have been one of those mediocre but determined people. I haven’t always had the highest marks in all of my classes nor have I been the most phenomenal athlete, but I will give myself some credit: when I set a goal for myself, I will work to the highest of my potential to achieve that goal. In the classroom, I have sought to challenge myself, even if it meant sacrificing an easy A and having to work five times harder for a B-. In my extracurricular activities I have tried to break away from familiarity and excel in new things, such as tennis and the Latin Club, and when deciding where to do community service, I definitely took the road less traveled by choosing the infirmary at a local convent. </p>

<p>Given the opportunity to do it all over again, I don’t think I would change a thing. My eclectic interests have really helped me define myself as an individual. I have been afforded a huge breadth of knowledge, learned the meaning of camaraderie, and allow me to be the first to tell you, listening to life’s subtleties from the vantage point of aging nuns does wonders for the soul.</p>

<p>The way I look at it, in order to be truly successful in this world, you don’t necessarily need to be the best or the brightest, you just need to know how to deal with situations at hand with insight, a wisdom that is gained from learning how to deal with adversity. </p>

<p>f life’s success was measured on a 4- point scale, then I guess I wouldn’t be considered very successful, but personally, I would like to think a person’s potential is much less black and white. I believe that Harvard is just the type of college that would be willing to put their prestige at stake, and accept a girl from Kentucky with a 2.9 GPA, because they realize that sometimes, mediocre people really do have the capability to achieve outstanding success.</p>

<p>ehh. what's the prompt?</p>

<p>Topic of your choice.</p>

<p>I wonder if there is a better word than "mediocre" ... that is not a very positive word to use, especially when describing yourself. :)</p>

<p>I like it. I think it works pretty well.</p>

<p>I thought it was pretty good. "and allow me to be the first to tell you,"</p>

<p>maybe change that to a semi-colon instead of a comma? :]</p>

<p>good overall though, I liked it and I thought it was a clever way of tackling your low GPA problem at such a prestigious college.</p>

<p>would ordinary be a better word to use?</p>

<p>mediocre kinda has a negative connotation to it. like bcwannabe said maybe change it to ordinary or so</p>

<p>i think this is a very good essay and it is not risky at all. it shows that you have determination - the most important trait for a student. you wont slack off in college and whatnot. good topic</p>

<p>i'm not sure that harvard jumps at the chance to accept self-proclaimed mediocre students...</p>

<p>maybe change the angle a bit? oh, and if your gpa is low, it's a very bad idea to apply early because your app will get blown out of the water. early is for students who are strong enough that schools are sure they would accept them in the regular round.</p>

<p>It's a good and honest introspective essay. The problem is, schools like Harvard are looking for the hard working determent students AMONG the best and the brightest, and usually get enough of them applying to fill more then one freshmen class. If you judge your talents and abilities correctly in this essay, I am sure you will be very successful at whichever college you end up attending, but you have to realize, that it probably will not be Harvard, and plan accordingly. Best of luck to you.</p>

<p>I agree with Nmgmm. </p>

<p>The essay is very well written. However, I don't think it will get you into Harvard. 85% of Harvard's applicants are extremely well qualified for admission. These include students who have taken very challenging courses, and/or had personal challenges (major disabilities, major family crises such as moving to countries where they didn't speak the language, being homeless, etc.) and still have managed to get sky high grades and scores. Do realize that the majority of valedictorians are rejected, and only half of students who score 1600 SATs get in.</p>

<p>I am an alumni interviewer and have heard from adcoms that chances are next to none that a student will get in with anything below a 3.0, 1200 SAT. The students who get in with scores/grades that low are truly remarkable. This would mean students who have made a major, unusual national accomplishment such as starring in a motion picture. These are students who are nationally ranked athletes or who have parents who could donate millions. These are not students who are very nice people who tried hard adn challenged themselves, but weren't capable of getting top grades.</p>

<p>There are, though, plenty of colleges who would be happy to accept a student like you. Some even would give merit aid. </p>

<p>Certainly apply to Harvard if you wish, but realize that you are far more of a longshot than is the case for most applicants. Since the odds of anyone getting in are only 10 to 1, being an extreme longshot means you should pin your dreams elsewhere.</p>

<p>Thanks everyone, and I do realize that is Harvard is definitely a longshot. Can anyone recommend some other good colleges that might really like this essay and accept me even though my credentials are a little less than stellar?</p>

<p>These are the colleges I am planning on applying to:</p>

<p>Boston College<br>
Boston University
Harvard College
Holy Cross, College of
Miami University (Ohio)
Providence College
Stonehill College<br>
Trinity College (Connecticut)
Vanderbilt University
Xavier University </p>

<p>Could you please tell me if you think I have a shot at these?
my extracurriculars are good and so are teacher recs/27 ACT
Thanks!</p>

<p>To me, the most interesting thing in your essay is your work in the infirmary of a convent. Assuming that this was a major EC, not just a one-time short event, this could be something to highlight. It's very unusual, and I think would take a lot of dedication.</p>

<p>Why did you decide to do this? What did you contribute to and get out of the experience? Has it lead to your considering a certain major or vocation? Did you feel you touched any individual's life or that your life was touched by a person whom you helped or worked with? Really expand on these things. This would be what to highlight in your essay.</p>

<p>I think that colleges that consider strongly service and character would be particularly impresessed by this. This could include Catholic colleges as well as colleges of other faiths. If what you did was a significant EC, your actions might also lead to merit aid.</p>

<p>Also check out Rhodes College and the University of the South, both of which look at character and offer merit aid.</p>

<p>hmmmm, i think its a good essay in terms of how its written, but I dont think Harvard would like it. While I was reading it, it kinda just came across as if you were trying to justify low grades. Also, are tennis and latin really that different activities? I think that for Harvard this essay may be a little weak in terms of content. Also, a college essay is supposed to reveal somehting about you, not try and explain why your grades might be low (even though you say how you are a determind individual).</p>

<p>I enjoyed this essay, but I don't consider it a college essay. I would emphasize the covenant work, I felt like that got me a bit excited, but then you just sweep right past it, so maybe if you talked more about that work. Also, you have a very limited chance at Harvard and Miami of Ohio. I can't speak for the other schools on your list, but Miami is probably the 2nd or 3rd best public in the state, and a 2.9 just won't cut it.</p>

<p>Northstarmom-
Do you recommend I incorporate the service project into this essay or expound upon it in the activities essay?</p>

<p>I think that your service project would be a far better essay than is your current one, which, while well written, is basically an apology for not having higher grades. Far better to emphasize your strengths than to apologize for your weaknesses. I also think that the convent infirmary experience deserves to be in an essay.</p>

<p>If you insist on going ahead with your current essay, put more emphasis on how you take risks to try out difficult things that you're interested in. Talk about exactly what you've done to achieve your best when taking on these kind of challenges. If others discouraged you from taking some tough courses, etc., also mention what they said to you and why you decided to forge ahead. Also include info about what you feel you got out of taking on such challenges.</p>

<p>To me, this underscores why they should not take you. You really do need some area you are outstanding in. If it is perserverence or determination or risk-taking then show it. </p>

<p>This one "Harvard is just the type of college that would be willing to put their prestige at stake" is cringe inducing and you should eliminate it.</p>

<p>I find it extremely hard to think that they would take a 2.9 GPA. This just does not show the level of preparedness, accomplishment and ability to be sucessful AT HARVARD (not life.) In your essay, you can't even promise some potential.</p>

<p>wow i am so confused right now! at first people told me they really liked it, but now e1 is just saying I'm trying to make excuses-which is exactly how i DIDNT want it to come across. The whole point of it is: harvard gets so amazing canidates that it seems like once in awhile theyd just want some average kids...Should I just scratch it and start over?</p>

<p>Well, I'll clarify my opinion.</p>

<p>Will Harvard except you? Very unlikely</p>

<p>Is it a good essay and does it work? Yes</p>