Small Fish in Big Pond at HYPS?

<p>Hi there everyone,</p>

<p>I am new here to the forum, and I just wanted to say first that I am excited to be a part of this community!</p>

<p>The reason I write here today is because I am considering applying to HYPS. Not to get too specific, I feel/know that I have the GPA, Test scores, Recs, ECs, ect that would make me at least a decently competitive applicant at these schools.</p>

<p>At my high school, I am pretty used to being a standout, and I like being admired and respected. Perhaps a little bit of it is that I have an ego, I'm sure, but in any case, I do enjoy being a model student, as well as a leader in my school.</p>

<p>While I am very interested in attending a HYPS school, and would be honored to be accepted (as anyone would), I know that at any one of these schools, I will be just another outstanding student, and that I won't be anything special compared to the rest of the class. </p>

<p>For this reason, I am also interested in applying to smaller, still selective yet not as prestigious, liberal arts colleges or small universities. Here, while I will still be surrounded by very smart and very outgoing peers, I feel like I will have a better chance at being able to stand out as a talented individual and student.</p>

<p>Has anyone else applying to HYPS thought about this? I am very interested to hear others' opinions on this topic.</p>

<p>Thanks, and once again, I am so happy to be a part of College Confidential! </p>


<p>My feeling is this: I want to go to the best possible school with the best possible people. I know that I’m smart, but I also know that most people around me are smart and are better than me in something. I don’t go to a private school; instead, I go to a large public school in a poorer area in suburbia. I don’t care about standing out because I don’t need the recognition to feel special. If I am lucky enough to be accepted to the schools I am applying to, then I will be extremely grateful.</p>

<p>You might be in for a shock how difficult it will be to stand out at “smaller, still selective yet not as prestigious, liberal arts colleges or small universities”. Some of the people that go to those do so even though they could go to Ivies as they prefer the smaller class sizes and closer relationships with the faculty - sort of liker you. To truly have a chance at standing out, you’re going to have to move way down the list - and even then you’re going to find someone who’s better than you, in all likelihood.</p>

<p>The reality is that you will be surrounded by very smart, very accomplished students at ANY top notch university, not just HYPS. Remember how low these schools’ acceptance rates are; even students they reject are usually fantastic students. This means that you will be surrounded by very smart people to be competing with at pretty much any competitive school (LAC or large university).</p>

<p>In my experience, as well, there are different things that will make you stand out in high school vs. college. And a lot of it depends on the environment, I think. Some students may feel really motivated by a highly competitive HYPS environment and excel in that. Some students may excel in a large state research university because of research opportunities they have a chance to get involved in. I don’t think it’s entirely clear cut. In my mind, it seems to all come down to fit, again.</p>