Hey you guys... I'm starting to fill out college apps and writing essays (I was supposed to do all this over the summer and send them off by Sept but being the Queen of Procrastination, I'm starting now ) I was just wondering if any of you have any tidbits of advice or things you think I should know.
I used to have dreams of going to some notable private universities but they have long gone. I screwed up really bad in my junior, unbelieveably bad. I look back and think of how stupid I was. I know I'm a smart chick but so many things were going on last year that school wasn't important at all. Now I'm hoping that the University of Florida will accept me but they probably won't.
I took all the required classes for graduation in my soph and freshman year and I've taken almost all AP/IB classes (except for spanish- I hate spanish) for my junior and senior years... but when you fail AP calc and spanish 3 and 4, and the rest of your grades don't look that pretty either, I don't think any college cares about how difficult your schedule is or how well you used to do. I'm repeating those classes now and I'm just hoping that they see that I'm really trying and that I'm not a really idiot, I just had a screwy year.
Thanks for reading my little rant... all this college crap really depresses me. With my IB diploma, I could have entered college as a soph but now it seems like I'll be lucky if I get accepted anywhere.
I recently decided I wanted to do a transfer (yes, I know, I'm in my first semester of college, but I am miserable like you wouldn't believe) - and so now I'm trying to do all my application stuff - including getting all those dumb test scores sent - from my dorm room... bleh.
it's not any better the second time around.
and from what I've heard, grad school (if you decide to go) is even more of a pain.
Well, I've survived the application rounds for both college and graduate school. Now it's just the job market that awaits me! (Such joy.)
Specific: be honest about your good and bad qualities. I really think that if you explain to a school that yes, you did fail *hard* classes, and that you're retaking them, and that you've learned your lesson, they'll take that into consideration. You're asking them to take you as a person, not as just a collection of statistics. Show them how you are and how you could be at their school.
For example, when the interviewier for a particular school I was at whipped out the chart of SAT scores and pointed out that my math score was on their low end, I pointed out to her that I didn't feel that the test was an accurate predicter of my abilities, that my performance in high school math indicated an aptitude that the test wasn't showing, and that I felt they shouldn't base their evaluation of me on that one moment. I got in (I didn't go there, but I did get in.)
A friend of mine who has had a decidedly lousy academic career finally got into the school of his choice by writing a very careful essay explaining why his past failures had occurred, what was goign on in his life, and how things could be different and how this education fit into his future plans. So it can happen.
Customize your applications. yes, there will be bricks of text that you can apply to each school, but really think about what each school is asking. Get opinions on thee essays and responses from people you trust. Proofread carefully.
My advice is pretty much what everyone else has already said. Except I'd like to add that it might be a good idea to apply for "early decision" if the college you want to go to has that. Usually the admissions standards are not quite as stringent if you do that. It's what I did...I go to Vanderbilt University, and when I graduated high school, my gpa was about .2 lower than they really wanted, and my SAT math score was at the low end of the spectrum that they accept, but by taking early decision, I got right in! It's also really nice to know by mid-December exactly where you're going. It means that you don't have to stress like everyone else will be doing, and you can, for the most part, enjoy your senior year without worrying about if you're going to get in anywhere.
------------------ "If it is your time, love will track you down like a cruise missile." ~Lynda Barry
i remember how it was. i remember the forms. the essays. the grades. everything. ouch ouch ouch!
as far as i can recommend: be sincere in your essay, and be witty. keep your grades up, and if you are an honors student, take the B, don't drop down to a lower level class for the A. AP tests are important, but if you are heading for a Univ. of CA school, make sure you kick arse on your AP Calc (preferably BC) and English -- those will be your most important scores. have a backup school there's nothing wrong with doing some units at CC before transferring to a bigger uni.
i got in 4 out of 4, no rejections (UCSB, UCSD, UCLA, and *Cal*). but the waaaaaaiting is the hardest part (tom petty reference, for all of you who did not get that). I got my app in early (early Nov) and had to wait until april before they sent out acceptances. when i got mine, though, i immediately ran out the door, did a few flips and was jumping up and down in the streets.
------------------ Maurice! Bring in the albinos! muwahahahahaha!!!
Posts: 12677 | From: Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10 | Registered: Jul 2000
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