The Importance of Dedication and Love?

<p>I don't mean to sound hippie or anything, truly loving the subject you want to study at a school which you believe will best accommodate you with your studies... is it more important than being precociously successful (like winning awards and founding things)? </p>

<p>I <em>love</em> biology and chemistry (and biochemistry, which is implied). I like to learn about the subject and I do research projects for fun.
I manage a decent overall average 97% with all honors classes (sans the non-applicable classes... like study hall).
I also manage to drive my biology teacher slightly insane with questions.
I also do some other things for fun.
I'm a classically trained pianist of 9 years, and I founded my school's badminton's club. I also web design/dev. for kicks occasionally.
My weakest subject is English (analyzing books is not my strong suit). I have around a 93% in the class.
My strongest is Biology (99.46%.. oh so close to getting the round-up).</p>

<p>*So my overall question is, do people who are really, really enthusiastic in one area (and more oval in others; not exactly well rounded) get accepted by Harvard (or other elite schools strong in sciences)?</p>

<p>Really, truly loving your subject can of course only help.</p>

<p>However it’s still probably not going to get you anywhere if your deep and true love only manifests in a high % grade in the class without affecting your resume outside of class–if you find this stuff so interesting, go do more of it outside of school. Find research. Compete in science fairs. Volunteer in a lab. Etc. (What year are you?)</p>

<p>During a vist to Harvard admissions presentation on the campus, the presenting adm officer said successful applicants are typically well rounded or well “lopsided”. May be you fit in the latter.</p>

<p>[Guidance</a> Office: Answers From Harvard’s Dean, Part 1 -](<a href=“]Guidance”>Guidance Office: Answers From Harvard's Dean, Part 1 - The New York Times)</p>

<p>Personal qualities and character provide the foundation upon which each admission rests. Harvard alumni/ae often report that the education they received from fellow classmates was a critically important component of their college experience. The education that takes place between roommates, in dining halls, classrooms, research groups, extracurricular activities, and in Harvard’s residential houses depends on selecting students who will reach out to others.</p>

<p>The admissions committee, therefore, takes great care to attempt to identify students who will be outstanding “educators,” students who will inspire fellow classmates and professors.</p>

<p>While there are students at Harvard who might present unusual excellence in a single academic or extracurricular area, most admitted students are unusually strong across the board and are by any definition well-rounded. The energy, commitment, and dedication it takes to achieve various kinds and degrees of excellence serve students well during their college years and throughout their lives.</p>

<p>[Guidance</a> Office: Answers From Harvard’s Dean, Part 3 -](<a href=“]Guidance”>Guidance Office: Answers From Harvard's Dean, Part 3 - The New York Times)</p>

<p>The term “extracurricular activities” covers an enormous amount of ground. We are interested in whatever a student does: in addition to school extracurricular activities and athletics, students can tell us of significant community, employment, or family commitments. There are many who spend a great deal of time helping to run their household, preparing meals and caring for siblings or making money with a part-time job to help the household meet expenses.</p>

<p>Unfortunately many schools have had to curtail or eliminate extracurricular activities and athletics, or they charge fees for participation. In addition, many students cannot afford expensive musical instruments or athletic equipment — or have families without the resources to pay for lessons, summer programs and the transportation networks necessary to support such activities.</p>

<p>Admissions Committees keep these factors in mind as they review applications, and are concerned most of all to know how well students used the resources available to them. Extracurricular activities need not be exotic — most are not — and substance is far more important. A student who has made the most of opportunities day-to-day during secondary school is much more likely to do so during college and beyond. This applies to academic life as well as extracurricular activities.</p>

<p>The truth is that there is substantial overlap among the three categories — potential scholars, extracurricular stars, and the substantial majority who are most easily seen analytically as “all-arounders.” The attributes that led them to pursue their interests in secondary school will lead them to seek others in the same kind of context in college. Extracurricular activities and research opportunities in the lab or the library provide settings that allow students from many different backgrounds to educate one another in ways that make the college experience transformative.</p>

<p>The entire 5-part blog can be found here: [William</a> R. Fitzsimmons - The Choice Blog -](<a href=“]William”>William R. Fitzsimmons - The Choice Blog - The New York Times)</p>