What makes you stand out?





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Discus: Ivy League Schools: Harvard University: 2004 Archive: What makes you stand out?
By Papucutta (Papucutta) on Saturday, March 06, 2004 - 05:08 pm: Edit

I keep hearing all over the place that i need stuff to make me stand out. Please give some examples that would get me in. Thanks.

By Amylase (Amylase) on Saturday, March 06, 2004 - 07:04 pm: Edit

Get you in at Harvard?

I don't think Harvard is possible for anyone

By Papucutta (Papucutta) on Saturday, March 06, 2004 - 07:43 pm: Edit

......oh.......i guess that helps. Does anyone have any intelligent comments?

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Saturday, March 06, 2004 - 08:26 pm: Edit

What would make you stand out would be having a clear intellectual passion and taking full advantage of opportunities, and creating opportunities to pursue it.

There is no particular EC or academic that guarantees Harvard admission. Students who try to find and follow a formula to give adcoms what the students assume adcoms want are probably students who will be very surprised when they aren't admitted.

By Thenamek (Thenamek) on Sunday, March 07, 2004 - 11:03 pm: Edit

Amen, Northstarmom. Your words bear particular importance (and pertinence) on these CC boards.

By Wo4567 (Wo4567) on Monday, March 08, 2004 - 04:10 pm: Edit

just quick question northstarmom:
would being the sole violinist in my high school for three years, the sole representor of my high school in All-State Orchestra all four years, the concertmaster of three different musical groups, and the volunteer teacher of violin/viola students after school (i used this as my outstanding EC essay for the common) qualify? its the only "hook" i've got... if you can even call it that...

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Monday, March 08, 2004 - 09:31 pm: Edit

If you are doing all of those things because you are passionate about the violin, yes, that would be something that would make you stand out. If you were doing those things to pad your resume or because your parents forced you to, then it wouldn't make you stand out. Believe it or not, it really is possible to differentiate between students doing things to impress adcoms and students doing things to satisfy their own passions.

By Ivybound01 (Ivybound01) on Monday, March 08, 2004 - 11:58 pm: Edit

Ha, I did all those things because of the drive within me. My passions apparently did not come across in my app b/c I got deferred. Oh, and my parents never made me do anything. In fact, one of them specifically tried to undermine everything I do/did. The only thing that has gotten me here and made me what I am is my drive inside. Yes, sometimes it's scary to be so damn motivated, b/c I get so overworked it's crazy....but I still can't understand why Harvard didn't see ME?! I just hope that they can somehow see me come April. So you see, sometimes you can do everything "right," more than right even, and still not get in (at least in the EA round). Harvard is just really tough to get into and there's the whole luck factor. I think they may not always enroll the 'best' class, sometimes they may just enroll people that they need to fill their openings. But I hold hopes that everything will work out in the end and I'm not bitter. THere's always grad school (med school for me) and other great schools, in my case Duke will treat you like royalty, so there's nothing to worry about. Enjoy this once in a lifetime experience........

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Tuesday, March 09, 2004 - 12:21 am: Edit

Ivybound,
No one -- even those with stellar grades, scores, class rank, awards -- and intellectual passion -- is guaranteed admission.

And those who get in EA are the ones that are so extraordinary that adcoms are certain the students would still be accepted once the entire application pool is in. Being deferred is not the same as being rejected. Some deferred people get in.

Harvard may have seen you, and thought you were wonderful, but if there happen to be lots of other driven violinists who applied, unless you are world class, you may not get in. Remember that when it comes to things like classical musical instruments, you're competing with people who are at the professional level. For all you know, a violinists whose talents are then equivalent of Yo Yo Ma's on the cello may be applying, too.

Just to show what the competition is like, a few years ago, a Harvard student was Joe Lin (sp?), a violinist who was a child prodigy, had played solo concerts at Carnegie Hall, was accepted to Julliard, and who, I think, majored in biochem at Harvard while continuing his professional music career.

Unfortunately, lots of applicants now play classical music, so it can be very hard to stand out if one's passion is in that area.

By Wo4567 (Wo4567) on Tuesday, March 09, 2004 - 07:39 pm: Edit

i was not planning on applying to any school other than my state university up until the end of my junior year... to answer your question about "padding my resume"... no. i did them for genuine self-fulfillment. and i ask only because my guidance counselor seemed to dismiss them quickly...
ivybound:
i find you presumptuous and rude. you assume because I asked a simple question without explanation that i did those things for the purpose of having a large resume. could it be possible that there are in fact others in this world who are share your passions? is it possible that I legitimately enjoy teaching and playing in my all-state orchestra? in addition, my parents have never pushed me to do anything. they bought me a violin, lessons, and sheet music... i do the rest.
i tend not to let the things i read on this board get personal but I feel insulted. ("Ha, I do those things because of the drive within me.") Perhaps it is your arrogance which caused your deferral from Harvard; perhaps it overshadowed your passions as detailed in essays/statements etc. I apologize for my anger but I did not appreciate your tone. Nevertheless, good luck with RD. i'm not gonna get in anyway.

By Wo4567 (Wo4567) on Tuesday, March 09, 2004 - 07:46 pm: Edit

i was not planning on applying to any school other than my state university up until the end of my junior year... to answer your question about "padding my resume"... no. i did them for genuine self-fulfillment. and i ask only because my guidance counselor seemed to dismiss them quickly...
ivybound:
i find you presumptuous and rude. you assume because I asked a simple question without explanation that i did those things for the purpose of having a large resume. could it be possible that there are in fact others in this world who are share your passions? is it possible that I legitimately enjoy teaching and playing in my all-state orchestra? in addition, my parents have never pushed me to do anything. they bought me a violin, lessons, and sheet music... i do the rest.
i tend not to let the things i read on this board get personal but I feel insulted. ("Ha, I do those things because of the drive within me.") Perhaps it is your arrogance which caused your deferral from Harvard; perhaps it overshadowed your passions as detailed in essays/statements etc. I apologize for my anger but I did not appreciate your tone. Nevertheless, good luck with RD. i'm not gonna get in anyway.

(apologize if a double post)

By Shahab (Shahab) on Thursday, March 11, 2004 - 07:00 pm: Edit

i guess chess is my hook. placed 3rd in the US Amateur Team Championships 5 years ago, devoted a lot of time and even an essay in the common app to chess.

By Daintyponygal (Daintyponygal) on Thursday, March 11, 2004 - 11:27 pm: Edit

all this talk of "hooks" makes me think of the murphy lee song "what da hook gone be"

imagine the remix of that song with all of us free-styling our stats. haha.

By Tipdrillin4eva (Tipdrillin4eva) on Thursday, March 11, 2004 - 11:48 pm: Edit

what da hook gon be?
uh-oh, i aint need no 1600 SAT
all i did was just be myself
and i've been Harvard bound
since the EA round
i was accepted

By Daintyponygal (Daintyponygal) on Friday, March 12, 2004 - 04:50 pm: Edit

GENIUS! that made my day :-)

By Ivybound01 (Ivybound01) on Friday, March 12, 2004 - 06:51 pm: Edit

Whoa, wo

I was replying to this line from Northstarmom's message

"Believe it or not, it really is possible to differentiate between students doing things to impress adcoms and students doing things to satisfy their own passions. "

and I was not assuming anything about you. relax, it's all good.....

By Emperoriv (Emperoriv) on Sunday, March 14, 2004 - 10:16 am: Edit

hook? i got a hook in the place where my right hand used to be


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