What should I show and what do I need to hide?

<p>In a couple of weeks I'll be a rising senior. I already have a list of colleges mostly ironed out and I know what my top choices are. However, I have two issues. </p>

<p>First, I'm lesbian, and not all colleges are going to see that as a good thing.</p>

<p>Second, I was depressed for the larger part of my first two years of high school. I was outed to my family by my girlfriend's parents, went through a very messy breakup several months later, and remained in a rut for some time after that. Because of this, I have only one club that I will have been in for all four years. All the rest of my extracurriculars were started at the beginning of this school year. My academics are very good, but I am a little deficient in terms of ECs. Unfortunately for me- or maybe fortunately, because after trying to look into it online, I really have no idea about any of this anymore- I never sought help and was never clinically diagnosed.</p>

<p>I was hoping that I could make up a little for the lacking in ECs by explaining what happened, and possibly use part of one of these for an essay, but I know some colleges- though maybe not the ones I'm thinking of applying to- may reject me for the first one, and others probably will reject me for the second.</p>

<p>So which of these do I need to hide when applying where?</p>

<p>(Colleges I'm looking at are: Stanford, Princeton, Yale, Brown, Tufts, Berkeley, UVA, UNC, UMD, Penn State, Pomona, Claremont McKenna, Reed, Swarthmore, University of Washington, Duke, University of Chicago, WUStL, Northwestern.)</p>

<p>Firstly, how is your academic performance? I'm an alum recruiter/interviewer for an HYP college. At info sessions, I ask students and families this question: "Do your teachers and administrators consider you to be one of the top (handful) academics in the school this year? If so, then you're a viable candidate."</p>

<p>The implication is that if one isn't widely held by the staff and faculty to be one of those tippy top students, then admission to my alma mater is nigh impossible. Can you shed some light on the rigor of your schedule, GPA and test scores?</p>

<p>As far as hiding your sexual orientation, only very conservative colleges would anyone even bat an eye. I'd say at every single one of your listed schools, they welcome LGBT applicants.</p>

<p>I don't want to shed too much light on my academics, to maintain my privacy, but I think it's safe to say that I'm at least competitive at all the schools I listed. I'm not asking for chancing, I just want to know where I need to hide these two things.</p>

<p>Thanks so much for answering the first one, though! :D</p>

<p>kqn: I respect your situation and understand your caution. As I stated, all the schools you've listed are very welcoming for LGBT students. </p>

<p>As a matter of fact, UPenn rec'd some notoriety because I believe their student LGBT organizations rec'd notification of any admitted students that had somehow self-identified themselves as LGBT. These organizations then reached out to these admits to try to convince them to attend UPenn. It's all about marketing! LOL</p>

<p>My alma mater, Yale, has the monicker "the gay Ivy" as it has a reputation for being the most gay-friendly Ivy.</p>

<p>Good luck to you.</p>

<p>Why would you want to spend the next four years at a school where you have to hide your lifestyle in order to get in?</p>

<p>T26: Thanks for letting me know- I thought most of the Ivies were safe, but I wasn't sure about Duke in particular...</p>

<p>vinceh: For one thing, I think there's often a disconnect between the views of a school administration and that school's students. This is the case with my high school. Also, if one of these schools turned out to be really unfriendly and I hadn't known that before, then I'd like to know whether I'd have to hide being lesbian before applying so that I wouldn't feel the need to apply. And I think it's always best to check these things, instead of just assuming.</p>

<p>But I still can't figure out whether I should be hiding the depression or not... :-/</p>

<p>just wondering, if the administration/environment of a certain college was not at all receptive/accepting/welcoming towards LGBTQ folk (enough so that it would be a NEGATIVE factor in admissions) why would you still want to consider attending? you shouldn't worry about disclosing that on any of your apps IMO.</p>

<p>
[quote]
For one thing, I think there's often a disconnect between the views of a school administration and that school's students. This is the case with my high school. Also, if one of these schools turned out to be really unfriendly and I hadn't known that before, then I'd like to know whether I'd have to hide being lesbian before applying so that I wouldn't feel the need to apply. And I think it's always best to check these things, instead of just assuming.

[/quote]
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<p>There you are, then... the administration isn't the student body, chances are I wouldn't even want to bother applying, and I'd like to be sure anyway.</p>

<p>Colleges are liberal in general with LGBT students.</p>

<p>However, it might be tough to get in without good ECs though...</p>

<p>It also might be to late to "create" ECs.</p>

<p>It's not that my ECs are bad. It's that I don't think I've been in them long enough...</p>

<p>So now I know that colleges are fine with LGBT-ity. Can anybody shed some light on the depression thing?</p>

<p>Do a search on "depression" on CC. I know it's been previously discussed. Good luck to you</p>

<p>kqn00016, it's hard to say whether describing your depression will help or hurt you. I sit on an admissions committee for a graduate program and when we have an applicant who discloses a history of some mental health difficulties, we're most interested in whether the mental health issue seems likely to be an ongoing problem that may compromise the student's ability to be successful in our program or whether the applicant has coped well with the difficulty and has grown through the experience. So if you choose to disclose it, I'd encourage you to focus on what you've learned and how you have grown as a result of your experience. Good luck whichever way you decide to go!</p>