Harvard-inclined, Crimson-crazy Freshman

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Discus: Ivy League Schools: Harvard University: 2004 Archive: Harvard-inclined, Crimson-crazy Freshman
By Jimster0489 (Jimster0489) on Friday, December 26, 2003 - 11:15 pm: Edit

Hi, I'm a freshman in high school. I was wondering if I'm on the right track and am also anticipating some of the advice you all can give!

I took 5 honors HS classes during middle school - which I did semi-poorly in (B average). I am currently at the state's number 2 school. All my classes are honors level, except for of course PE and Chorus. I have a B average. My counselor said that by the time I graduate, I would have had 9 APs under my belt.

- Freshman Class President
- Student Council Executive Board
- Director of Public Relations and co-founder, Desi Club
- Defenseman for the JV lacrosse team
- Junior reporter for the school newspaper
- Captain and founder of the debate team
- Student Director, Peer Listeners program

I would love to play lacrosse during college, does an *Ivy recruit* need more than 4 years at a sport? By senior year, I know I will be phenomenal if I go at the pace I'm going at now.

I am a member of the Midwest Talent Search/Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University. In 6th grade I scored a 1010 and they say that by the time I am a senior I will estimatedly be able to increase my points by 225 on each part meaning I will possibly get a 1460. I know that my class (2007) will be the second class to take the new and revamped SAT so that estimate probably means nothing.

Don't get me wrong - I totally want to spend high school having a blast and not just *buliding a Harvard portfolio*. But many of my senior friends advised me to start with the college exploration.. they wish they were aware of how difficult it was to get into their dream schools, freshman year. So I am just trying to take their advice and hopefully receive some feedback and advice from you as well!


By Jimster0489 (Jimster0489) on Saturday, December 27, 2003 - 08:57 pm: Edit

Any feedback would be great


By Mzhang23 (Mzhang23) on Saturday, December 27, 2003 - 09:53 pm: Edit

In regards to sports, you'll get recruited if you're good enought. Nowadays, recruitment is not a guaranteed admissions unless you are a super-duper (e.g. nationally-recognized) athlete. Otherwise, it's just a nice hook to get you in.

Keep your average up. Don't overload yourself with AP's and everything - take a healthy and intensive schedule, but don't suicide yourself with all the work if you can't handle it.

I have no idea why you want to go to Harvard so badly. You've most likely never stayed there overnight with other students, as you're too young. Make sure you know the school is socially right for you, because we all know it has great academics. Also, you may be more inclined towards undergrad focused AWS or Y or P by senior year.

honestly, all a freshman needs to do is to explore his/her interests with a passion, and remeber to take SATII's in conjunction with your finals so that you do well on them. I took the Bio in 9th grade in june, 2 days before I had my final. With two impending tests, I was both motivated and forced to study hard. Same thing with Chem and US Hist in 10th grade.

Get those SATII's out of the way so that come senior year, apps and maybe an SAT I retake are all that's on your mind.

By Jimster0489 (Jimster0489) on Sunday, December 28, 2003 - 02:57 am: Edit

Thanks a lot!

Anyone else?

By Yb12 (Yb12) on Sunday, December 28, 2003 - 04:14 pm: Edit

Keep an open mind. I thought I wanted to go to Harvard when I was about a sophomore, Harvard or Stanford when I was a junior, but I'm going to Yale next year. That said, it's great that you're this ambitious and keeping the bar raised high.

I can't really help you with lacrosse advice, but as far as academics go...Take the hardest/most advanced courses you can take, and do your best in all of them (obvious advice, but nevertheless true). Don't let yourself get blindsided, though, take courses you want to take as well as advanced ones--and don't take courses just because you feel like you should, because you'll just end up doing worse in them.

As Mzhang said, too, take SAT IIs early, especially now that there's no score choice, so that you can retake if necessary. I took the Latin SAT II in 9th grade and Math IIC, Writing and French in 10th grade and ended up submitting those without taking any more junior or senior year--that was a relief and really made it easier for me to concentrate on APs and on the SAT I (which I only took once, but spent time preparing for). If you have any more questions, definitely ask and I'll try to help out. good luck!

By Thenamek (Thenamek) on Sunday, December 28, 2003 - 05:55 pm: Edit

You must answer this question:

Why are you so bent on attending Harvard?

By Thenamek (Thenamek) on Monday, December 29, 2003 - 05:48 pm: Edit

Huh. Not receiving a response. Maybe this says something.

By Jimster0489 (Jimster0489) on Monday, December 29, 2003 - 07:42 pm: Edit

Sorry about that

I don't mean to sound specifically *I LOVE HARVARD* like, which I do. But I'm speaking in the sense of any highly selective college.

I remember when Harvard came to my HS.. I was squealing and so psyched for absolutely no reason. I've wanted to go there since fifth grade, my cousin went there and absolutely loved it. My friend's parents' went there and continously rant about the "good ole' Harvard days". I want to taste that goodness.

By Scarletgirl (Scarletgirl) on Monday, December 29, 2003 - 09:32 pm: Edit

Stop stressing jimster. I'm a senior and I assure you the whole process is HELL on earth. Just make sure you visit everywhere junior year and start your apps in summer and maybe you'll keep your sanity. Do your best and if you don't get in, at least you'll know you tried.

By Scarletgirl (Scarletgirl) on Monday, December 29, 2003 - 09:33 pm: Edit

Another thing, jimster: i really don't think colleges care about the ranking of your school. They look for people who did the best with what they got. Being at a top school just means you have to do more to get their attention.

By Thenamek (Thenamek) on Tuesday, December 30, 2003 - 12:25 pm: Edit

Here's some advice - I highly recommend you take it.

1) Listen to what Scarletgirl has to say.

2) Why do you want to go to a "highly selective college?" How do you define a "highly selective college?" Why do you think a "highly selective college" would enrich your college experience more than a "not-very-selective college?" Given that the term "highly selective" is based on a school's admission rate, do you believe that the quality of a school should be determined based on this statistic? If not, you need to seriously rethink and revise your post.

3) So, you want to go to Harvard based on what a few relatives have to say about it? Or, even worse, based on a college visit? Think about it for a moment. Of course admission representatives are going to paint a very glossy picture of their respective schools at these transparently phony visits. After all, their paychecks depend on getting lots and lots of kids - easily influenced, much like yourself, from what I can see - to throw their application fees into the fray. Furthermore, have you talked to other students at Harvard? Visited the campus? Read the Crimson? Can you tell me what "Ve Ri Tas" means? What "goodness" do you want to taste? The thrill of intellectual progress? The exhilaration of a genuine exchange of ideas? If so - and those should be the MOST IMPORTANT reasons anybody picks ANY college - you aren't indicating those passions in your posts.

Here's a suggestion. You're a freshman in high school, and already it seems that you are salivating for prestige. Don't construe that as an insult: it happens to many - it's how this business/game works. And maybe you're still too young and too immature to appreciate the value of education - that's education, not prestige or honor or glory. That attitude - one of curiosity and intellectual passion - is what Harvard seeks, not "Crimson-crazy because a few people I know went there." If you really want to go, focus on the NOW and on YOURSELF as a person and as a scholar. It's great to be ambitious - but more important than AMBITION are those factors that MOTIVATE your ambition. Tell me: what are YOUR factors?

If, after taking this advice, you still want to attend Harvard - for the right reasons - then I hope to see you in Cambridge in, let's see, the fall of 2007? (My senior year - good God.) That's a long time from now, boss. Enjoy what you have now, and the benefits you reap will be great.

By Jimster0489 (Jimster0489) on Wednesday, December 31, 2003 - 03:17 am: Edit

Thank you. I think you are true. My enthusiasm to attend Harvard was based originally on prestige.

Answering your q's: I've talked to kids who went to Harvard from my HS, I've never been to Boston, I try and read the online Crimson when I'm free, and veritas means truth.

I don't know what I meant by that "goodness". I think it was just the whole Harvard name.

I will definitely take your advice man.. those were really some great bits of suggestions I should definitely try to adhere to! Thanks once again!

By Warriorlax22 (Warriorlax22) on Thursday, January 01, 2004 - 12:44 am: Edit

not reading most posts, but i'll say this. harvard does not give a rat's ass about middle school. so don't even mention it here.

"By senior year, I know I will be phenomenal if I go at the pace I'm going at now."

a bit cocky there, aren't you? trust me, you won't be "phenomenal." i play lacrosse and once you reach a certain level, there's very little room for improvement. this pace that you speak of is only a one time thing. you never learn as much as you did in your first year.

By Bigblue04 (Bigblue04) on Thursday, January 01, 2004 - 02:24 am: Edit

My friend who was part of his dorm cleaning staff at Harvard had a shirt that said SANITAS.

Hehe. Thought that was witty.

By Bern700 (Bern700) on Monday, January 05, 2004 - 07:20 pm: Edit

One thing that I would recommend is to be more open-minded. When I was a freshman I was totally obsessed with Harvard I would have done anything to go,etc.

Another thing: When you are looking for a college don't just follow USNews Ranking. Specifically look at the programs you're interested that different schools offer. Also visit the campus, see if you like the city, check out the social life. Basically check if the school is for you.

Once I began to do this I realized that Harvard didn't even offer the program that I wanted to study. Eventually I found schools that offered what I liked and now I'm very happy with my decisions.

By Ambitiousyokel (Ambitiousyokel) on Friday, January 30, 2004 - 09:07 pm: Edit

Planning your life around an acceptance from Harvard is a great way to wreck your teenage years and end in crushing disappointment. You Type A kids kinda freak me out...I didn't really consider H until late my junior year because I didn't think I stood a shot at acceptance.

Enjoy yourself. Do what you love. If you wake up in Cambridge one September, it was right.

By L_Wonder (L_Wonder) on Saturday, January 31, 2004 - 01:21 pm: Edit

I ran into a grad school applicant during open house and asked her what other schools she was thinking about applying to. Her response was "This is the only school I applied to. Harvard is the only school I am interested in and it is the only place I want to be at." I was shocked not just by the fact that a 30 year old person had this prestige complex, but also because she openly stated that to a group of current students. The fact that a person would pin their hopes on a single school was extremely disturbing. It was really, REALLY sad.

By Thenamek (Thenamek) on Saturday, January 31, 2004 - 07:10 pm: Edit

Well said, both of the last two posters.

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