Sunday, June 27, 2010

Important information and Tips From Josh!

It’s sometimes hard to get advice and tips about college from a college student but I got the chance to talk to my Residential Advisor about college:

Ø  Why did you choose Brown? Josh stated that he chose Brown because of the working environment here. In other places, there is a lot of competition and this produces a bad learning experience. Instead, Brown gives a unique environment; one that allows a student to not feel pressured and more relaxed.

What did I learn: I learned that people have their own unique working environment and that Brown’s environment is unique.

Ø  How did you feel about college in high school? He said that in his freshman year, he didn’t really think about college. It wasn’t until the end of his sophomore year in which he decided to seriously think about college. Josh started visiting colleges throughout the Northeast and immediately distinguished the learning environment at Brown.

What did I learn: Early planning is necessary to get into any type of college so start early.

Ø  What were your grades in high school? Josh told us that grades don’t really matter because he received a 3.6 in his senior year (not applying AP course scale). He was, though, president of the Amnesty and International Affairs at his school which was important to distinguish him from the rest of his pupils.

What did I learn: Grades don’t really matter as long as if you are notable in extra-curricular or any sort.

Ø  What is “research” and did you apply to one? Josh explained that research is taking a semester off from your schedule to go do research or work towards a proposition you made in another country. He did apply to one research opportunity and will establish a medical unit helping people with injuries and diseases.

What did I learn: Brown offers many different summer research programs where you can apply your knowledge to real life.

After listening to the Q & A’s, I learned more and more about college and how to apply for one. Now I feel as if I’m ready to go off to college tomorrow and actually start my college life as a real student. I suggest that you as a student take an opportunity to talk to a college student about his/her experiences. It will prove fruitful and helpful for you in college.

1 comment:

  1. William,

    It's good to reach out as you did. You can often get insights from current students and alums that your counselors and admissions officers might not tell you.

    I would advise, though, making sure that you don't draw inaccurate conclusions from these discussions. If you take this advice from Josh and find yourself with only Contra Costa College as an option, I wouldn't count on Josh being there to take up the slack.

    For instance, there are definitely schools where extra curricular activities play a larger role than at other schools but to state that grades don't matter will, at best, get you a job flipping burgers and keep you out of college. And Josh's one extra curricular activity surely wasn't all he had going for him.

    Getting into college these days requires a broad approach wherein your grades, test scores, application essays, letters of recommendation and outside activities ALL play a part in the acceptance process. And that's not the full extent of it, either.

    I would advise, WIlliam, to do as you've suggested and speak with students and alums that got in to the schools of your choice but listen to the admissions officers; listen to your guidance counselors; listen to your college admissions guidance counselor and take heed of what you read in books and articles about the process.

    Something that Josh told you about the timing, though, is critical. Keep in mind that your application will be turned in before Christmas of your senior year. Your classes and grades in your senior year will play a part in your acceptance but the bulk of the information the admissions officers will be seeing is from who and what you are BEFORE Thanksgiving. You need to get in those necessary courses well in advance; you need to get good SAT's starting in your sophomore year and you need to build that history of social activism at an early age so it doesn't come across as just a ploy to look good on your resume.

    You've already started the process, William, but you need to redouble your efforts even while you're at Brown. Those trips to the different schools aren't site-seeing trips. They're designed so you can gather information that may help you as you consider where to go and how to get admitted there.