Tons of APs or Internship?

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Discus: Ivy League Schools: Harvard University: 2004 Archive: Tons of APs or Internship?
By Maud (Maud) on Saturday, May 22, 2004 - 11:33 am: Edit

Hey guys I really need your advice. I'm confused over what to choose for my schedule next year, and Im planning to apply EA to harvard.
I was accepted into this county wide internship program that would allow me to work at any institution of my choosing. I am already working at NIH this summer, so I was kinda hoping to continue working there throughout senior year for the internship. I am really excited about the program but the only problem is that I would be able to take only 4 classes at school. I have had a rigorous schedule in high school, and i would continue to take AP classes for the 4 I am allowed to have, but my college counselor at school keeps saying that schools with such caliber as Harvard like one of those traditional AP schedules better than something new, like an internship. I've tried talking to the admissions department at Harvard, but they just tell me the generic "do what is best for you" which doesn't help at all! I know the internship will be something unique, but I'm just stressed over the competing with kids who have racked up their senior year with 7 APs!

Thanks for reading this long post! Any advice/thoughts would be great!

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Saturday, May 22, 2004 - 11:49 am: Edit

Harvard is telling you the truth. Put your time and effort into either the internship or APs, whatever YOU are most interested in.

Either could give you excellent experience that could help you get into schools like Harvard. Schools like Harvard don't have rigid formulas. What they like to see, and too rarely see, are students who follow their own intellectual passions instead of amassing a resume put together solely to impress adcoms.

Too many people also erroneously think that admissions to Harvard is some kind of prize that goes only to students who take the toughtest load of APs while passing up things that they're interested in.

While Harvard and other elite colleges want students to take a challenging curriculum, that doesn't mean taking 7 AP courses when you really would like to take an internship.

If you devote your time and energy into a good internship that interests you, you could be even more competitive with that internship and 4 APs than someone who has gritted their teeth while doing 7 APs only for Harvard, not themselves.

Keep in mind, too, that no matter what you do, you will not be guaranteed an admission to Harvard, so you may as well do that activity which would make you most happy.

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