Nerdy essay: Okay for Harvard?

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Discus: Ivy League Schools: Harvard University: 2004 Archive: Nerdy essay: Okay for Harvard?
By Residentevil (Residentevil) on Tuesday, December 23, 2003 - 07:32 pm: Edit

Would an essay I wrote about my experiences at an internet cafe in Lebanon be unsuitable or not to the liking of the Harvard admissions committee? My friend says that it would only work for someplace like MIT. What do you say?

And if any details regarding the contents of the essay are needed, tell me and I'd be glad to tell you more about it.

By Coureur (Coureur) on Tuesday, December 23, 2003 - 07:51 pm: Edit

It would depend on what sorts of experiences you had at the cafe and what you made of them. If they were mundane experiences that reveal little or nothing about you, then don't write about them for any college. If they are interesting experiences that you can talk about in a way that reveals what sort of a person you are, then they might have the makings of a good essay.

By May_1 (May_1) on Tuesday, December 23, 2003 - 08:40 pm: Edit

However, some of the most mundane experiences, at the hands of a good writer, make for the most interesting essays.

By Residentevil (Residentevil) on Tuesday, December 23, 2003 - 09:50 pm: Edit

It was about my introduction to hacking, and how I used to sit in on the discussions the hacker elite used to have at the cafe. I then relate how this experience trasformed into a desire to understand the computer world. What do you say? Potentially dull?

By Coureur (Coureur) on Tuesday, December 23, 2003 - 10:41 pm: Edit

It has as much potential as anything else. However, I'd be very cautious about endorsing or admitting to participating in hacking. Besides being lawbreakers, hackers create enormous headaches and expense for colleges. So informing the college that you are one of their headaches could be a mistake.

By Residentevil (Residentevil) on Tuesday, December 23, 2003 - 10:59 pm: Edit

Thanks for the advice, Coureur. I'll keep that in mind.
Btw, with the insane stories I read here about unfair deferrals, I was wondering:
Is it possible to ask why you got rejected and/or initially deferred? It would help a great many students and dispel much of the mystery surrounding the Admissions process.

By Drfunk (Drfunk) on Tuesday, December 23, 2003 - 11:39 pm: Edit

then again, hacking might get you into college... LITERALLY! *wink*

By Memememe (Memememe) on Wednesday, December 24, 2003 - 11:11 am: Edit

Hacking isn't cracking. People hack all the time in good fun and don't do any damage. Just be careful what kind of hacking you endorse... breaking into college admissions offices and changing it to ACCEPTED isn't exactly desirable.

I wrote a nerdy essay about numbers and how great they are. It was originally for the question, "Why Caltech?" so it was really, really quite nerdy, but I found it described me so well that I submitted it (with Caltech changed to Harvard) as an optional essay. What it did for me, I do not know, but I was admitted.

By Memememe (Memememe) on Wednesday, December 24, 2003 - 11:12 am: Edit

BTW, Lebanon kicks @$$. It's got the best women on the planet, period.

By Coureur (Coureur) on Wednesday, December 24, 2003 - 04:44 pm: Edit

Colleges, governments, and companies all take a very dim view of hacking of any kind, whether any damage was done or not. They spend millions on security systems and hiring computer security specialists just to prevent this. The fact that you didn't do any damage is small conmfort to them, because you *could* have done damage. In their opinion there is no such thing as hacking "in good fun". It's kind of like smuggling a gun on a plane, all in good fun, and then saying that it's okay because you didn't actually shoot anybody or even highjack the plane.

You don't want to identify yourself as one of the guys who is forcing the university to spend all those millions.

By Memememe (Memememe) on Thursday, December 25, 2003 - 01:32 pm: Edit

Harvard gets MIT hacks all the time... hehe

By Residentevil (Residentevil) on Friday, December 26, 2003 - 05:34 pm: Edit

Well, like Memememe said, there is a difference between what hacking really is, and what it's perceived as. What hacking is today perceived as by the public, is in fact cracking: the harmful exploit of security flaws in systems. Hacking, which should not only be reserved to the computer world, refers to the playful study or analysis of something difficult. I hope the admissions committe at Harvard isn't shortsighted enough to take that critical a veiw of my essay... I hope.

And again, just as Memememe said, Lebanese women are truly the best on this planet. :)

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