Seeking guidance.

<p>'Ello there and good day. Recently, I've become heavily engrossed in thinking about my future, my career and of course college. I am in grade 10, in a specialized high school in NYC. All through my academic career, I've had either average or above average grades without the need of studying (as long as I paid attention during class). I'm going to start working hard and whatnot in order to get into a good college(community service, extracurricular things, etc.) I've been thinking alot on which college/university I should apply to, and here is what my list is. </p>

<p>Harvard-(Depending on my grades by the end of junior year+SAT scores)
Yale-(Ditto.)
Columbia University
Trent University (Peterborough, Ontario)</p>

<p>Now, it seems like a short list, and that's because I've been considering immigration into Canada to get away from the American/New York life. What I'm thinking is if I can not achieve the calibur to get into Harvard or Yale, I'd go into Trent U. Trent U supposedly is the best undergrad school in Ontario, and ranked high in Canada. </p>

<p>What are your thoughts?</p>

<p>Sorry to do this, but bump.</p>

<p>Jack, it never hurts to apply to a few top-level schools, including a few Ivies. But remember that even great applicants get turned away all the time from such schools. So, if you're interested in applying to top American schools, also consider a few well-regarded non-Ivies like JHU, NYU, or Vanderbilt.</p>

<p>Also, I'm curious as to your claim on Trent. From what I know, Western Ontario, Toronto, Queen's, and York are the all around best schools in Ontario, and alongside a few others (UBC, McGill, McMasters, Montreal), the best in the nation. So in terms of Canadian options, you might want to look more towards those options.</p>

<p>And, if you're comfortable moving overseas, why not look at the UK schools? There are some great options beyond the big 3 (Cambridge, Oxford, LSE), such as Bath, Warkwick, Imperial, and the so-called Scottish Ivies.</p>

<p>If you don't like the NY area, that's not a reason to reject the whole US! There are lots of great schools that AREN'T in the Ivy League or the Northeast. Maybe you can take a few family trips to figure out what area of the country you'd like the best. If you end up picking Canada, fine - but with thousands of US colleges and millions of nice, interesting Americans you've never met, you have plenty of other choices!</p>

<p>The American way of life is most definitely not equivalent to the NYC way of life. If you don't like NYC, there are a ton of great non-urban schools in the U.S.</p>

<p>Thanks for the response guys. This is Trent's website, <a href="http://www.trentu.ca%5B/url%5D"&gt;www.trentu.ca&lt;/a> I was considering this school because the information I've seen about it has been very appealing. Quiet neighborhood, natural environment, good looking dorms, and rather cheap for international. Also, if I ever got sick of the rural-ness of it, I could just hop on a bus to Toronto and experience the bustling city life again. Yeah, I know UofT is well known, but I think the class sizes are too big, whereas Trent has a lot smaller classes. </p>

<p>I'll apply to the some NY schools as well, such as Cornell and Columbia, just for the heck of it. And I'm not willing to go THAT far to EU, nor will my family like that. Also, for Canada, I can become a dual citizen, whereas maybe in some European countries I cannot (therefore lacking citizen benefits). </p>

<p>Anyways, I appreciate your responses.</p>

<p>If you don't like the New York life, it doesn't make sense to me that you'd want to apply to NY schools. Seriously, look around the US! If you think you'll get sick of a rural area, check out some of the great urban schools in the South, Midwest, and on the West Coast.</p>

<p>Consider Midwestern schools: U of C, Northwestern! :)</p>

<p>I guess I'll have to see what I like. Not a great fan of the urban area, but my folks would like me to stay in NYC (Which is why I'm applying for Columbia+Cornell). I don't know if I can stand the rural areas (Maybe I might contradict myself entirely and miss the city life) so this is quite confusing. Anyways, what are your thoughts on Trent U? I really really like it, and it seems like a good choice.</p>

<p>And another reason I wanna move to Canada is that they have rather well standard of living for a lower price. Also, Canada is rather neutral in things, unlike the US who is more internationally involved. Politically, I believe Canada is better.</p>

<p>Trent is one of the worst schools in Canada, or at least that's most people's perceptions. Only U of T and McGill are in anyway close to a top 25 American school, and any Ivy is way better. Trent is below any top 200 American school.</p>

<p>I'm at McGill, and when people talk smack about McGill, it's always someone from U of T or Queens. Nobody even pretends Trent is close to these.</p>

<p>Really? Hmm, that's really odd. It says they have been ranked #1 for being Ontario's best undergrad school. I know their gradschool is rather bad, but is the undergrad bad too? And by worst, do you mean the teaching is bad? Or the student body? Or the faculty?</p>

<p>
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Which is why I'm applying for Columbia+Cornell). I don't know if I can stand the rural areas

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</p>

<p>Cornell is not in NYC. It's 4.5 hours away, in Ithaca, a very rural area. Consider this.</p>

<p>Isn't there a Weill Cornell in NYC?</p>

<p>I've decided to keep Trent as my safety and keep looking for good undergrad schools.</p>

<p>Jack, I don't like to comment on people's personal values, but I will just say this: there are many schools, both universities and LAC's, that equal or nearly equal the quality of Harvard and Yale. There is nothing wrong with wanting to attend these schools and trying hard to get in. But they accept an incredibly small portion of their applicants--nothing, NOTHING that you do will assure you acceptance. Minority status, athletic interest, legacy status--plenty of kids (including moi) with these special cases and strong stats are not admitted. There are a small number of spots and many times that number of perfectly qualified, perfectly intelligent applicants. Personally, I think that to say "I'm either getting into Harvard or going to my safety" really cheats you out of the great education that you could get at any number of schools. </p>

<p>Others have given you good advice (other Canadian schools, UChicago, Northwestern, JHU, etc, etc.), but beyond throwing names out there, it would really help if you could tell us what you are looking for in a school. Big? Small? What about LAC's--the top ones are very highly regarded and are mostly less insanely difficult to gain entrance into than the Ivies.</p>

<p>Cornell has a hospital in NYC, and I think the graduate med school? but the main campus is not there.</p>

<p>I've talked to many people and I don't really care on which undergrad I'm going to as long as it's decent. I'd rather do the "Big fish in a small pond" scenario, and keep my gpa high. My folks wants the "brand" of Harvard and whatnot, but I won't listen to them anyways. Undergrad name , in my opinion, doesn't matter, whereas the gradschool name would effect an employer's vision of me. </p>

<p>Advantagious, I want to thank you so much for being willing to help me out. I'm really confused at the moment, and I can't decide on my future career or college. I'd like a small school, where the professors will know you and be more close knit. However (A bit picky but) I don't want it to be that small, where it'll get to the point of boring. I've considered being a doctor, but medschool stories have horrified me. Maybe it's a ploy to get less applicants, but from the ones I read, med school seems like survival school to me. "If you're absent, you'll lag behind.." "...stressful..." "...huge workload, followed by long nights of studying.." Maybe they're false? Anyways, I might want a liberal arts school, since I have no idea which path to take yet. I've considered being a forensic science technician, but the low pay for such an important job just turned me off. Also considered being a lawyer, but being a noble lawyer is hard, whereas being a shark in a suit is easier. As you see, I'm rather puzzled right now, and my compass has drifted away.</p>

<p>Hey, I like to help if I can :). It's early in the college process for you, and you are very undecided about a lot of stuff, which is absolutely, 100% fine. I am a very focused, plan-happy person, but I did not compile even a tentative college list until late November of my junior year. I understand your concerns about LAC's...I live in the Chicago Metropolitan area, which is like 9 million people living next to each other in a solid block of suburbs + the city, and my HS has 3600 kids and is constantly growing. I definitely was/am worried about smallness. My best advice would be to find schools that sound good to you--read up on schools in the Fiske Guide--and then go to visit. You might discover that you just can't stomach the small size of LAC's, and that's fine--it's what you want, not what I or anyone else says you should want. BUT, you might start to visit colleges and discover that even though X College doesn't have very many students, it still doesn't feel too small. </p>

<p>Remember, you can find a liberal art experience at the right university as well, although it will be a little tougher. Plus, in some ways you are right--undergrad name is not as important long run as grad school. Hopefully, though, you can still have a good undergrad academic experience and enjoy yourself in college. </p>

<p>I'm also PMing you with some extra info.</p>

<p>If you're looking at smaller universities, you should definitely consider schools like University of Chicago, Rice, and Vanderbilt. If you want a liberal arts education, consider Amherst, Swarthmore, Williams, Bowdoin, Vassar, etc. These are all schools that might serve you well.</p>

<p>My advice is to enjoy HS. Do lots of extracurricular activities. Read. Do whatever you can to ignite that passion that still lies latent beneath the surface. Once you fuel that flame, your life will take its course.</p>