Should I bother?

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Discus: Ivy League Schools: Harvard University: 2004 Archive: Should I bother?
By Hyderakbar (Hyderakbar) on Tuesday, April 27, 2004 - 02:48 am: Edit

I posted this under a different conversation, but I felt that it might not be appropriate or on topic for that discussion.

This is my first time posting on here, so if I do some annoying newbie stuff, please forgive.

Anyway, I wish all of you the best of luck -- but I wanted to ask some of you who have already applied about how I stack up as a transfer applicant. Please be brutally honest, I will not be offended.

I currently attend a community college in California and I have a 4.0 GPA, so far. My extra-curricular activities are where I really shine: I have made two one hour award winning (prestigious) documentaries for NPR about my past two summers in Afghanistan and I'm the first person to have had two hours on the Peabody-winning This American Life; I'm currently working on a memoir about my journeys in Afghanistan, the book will be published in Sept/05 by Bloomsbury (Harry Potter)and the advance was six figures (not bragging, shows their level of interest); I have been profiled in some of the nation's top newspapers: New York Times, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, International Herald Tribune (London); I have started an NGO in Afghanistan of which I'm the director, we have already worked on several projects and are in the bidding to recieve the largest reconstruction project given to Afghans themselves; I have been through numerous harrowing experiences that could be great essay topics, which include being ambushed for 20 minutes (and still recording)by Taliban fighters without any protective equipment and being one of very few civilians to have witnessed the interrogation of a suspected terrorist and translating for him, smuggling my way across the porous border of Afghanistan/Pakistan to follow the trails of Al Qaeda; I'm fluent in four languages; I come from an underrepresented minority background.

Now, for my weaknesses: I have a very mediocre high-school record (2.8 GPA) because of several injuries and sicknesses that caused me to miss months of school at a time; my SAT score is only 1300 (but to be fair, I took my SAT's after finding out the night before that my father had almost been assassinated by a bomb placed in his governor's compound); I don't have the classic academic pedigree that most other students at Harvard have had. I know that Harvard places a lot of emphasis on the SATs so I might take them again. Some people have said that such a sudden change in my academic career might actually work in my favor as a transfer student.

I'm 19 years old and will be transferring next year. What do you think are my chances? Should I not bother because of my weaknesses?

Anyway, I hope all of you the best of luck!

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