Friday, October 24, 2008

College

Sorry for the HUUUUUGGGEEE amount of inactivity. In the last month, college has hit me like a ton of bricks. I (foolishly) decided to apply to Caltech Early Action, so with the deadline looming at November 3, I'm kinda busy right now. The whole beginning of the month was dedicated to writing brag sheets for teacher recommendations. I swear, the school should give out the recommendation packets earlier so we have more time to write them! After writing about myself so many times, I HATE myself!

Now, I'm working on really improving my essays. The first prompt is the personal statement prompt for the Common App which is the incredibly vague:

I just realized that I had to answer that, in addition to the question on the supplement, which is more interesting:
Interest in math, science, or engineering manifests itself in many forms. Caltech professor and Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman(1918-1988) explained, ''I'd make a motor, I'd make a gadget that would go off when something passed a photocell, I'd play around with selenium''; he was exploring his interest in science, as he put it, by ''piddling around all the time.'' In a page, more or less, tell the Admissions Committee how you express your interest, curiosity, or excitement about math, science or engineering.
Of course, one reason I'm really kicking myself is that I never got myself involved in an actual lab. I never actually did science at CENS, and I got rejected from some of the science programs I applied to. So... that's a gaping hole in my application. However, I'm hoping that the recommendations will come to save me and also that I can convince them that lectures are good!

The two colleges I'm really considering are Caltech and University of Arizona; both of which have alumni teaching at my school, apparently. To me, Caltech is the ideal place to be. I love how Caltech students interact because they're all interested in the same things: science. And they're all really really smart. So, really cool stuff happens when they get together. And the living arrangements at Caltech foster that. You have the house system (which they tell me is like Harry Potter, except without a sorting hat). And in the houses, you have students of all years living together, and working together. One of the things I kinda really long for is to be able to easily work with others. In high school, this is immensely difficult since everyone lives with their parents (or legal guardians). However, with everyone else in the same dorm, or on the same campus, it'll be easy! So I REALLY REALLY hope I can be a part of that. I'm sure I can make a lot of good friends.

Of course, University of Arizona isn't that bad. It's a school that I don't think will be too difficult to get into, but I'd still like to go. While it's not as prestigious as Caltech, it has an excellent astronomy program. If you read Space.com articles for a week, you're bound to see it mentioned. They're the ones operating the Phoenix lander at the moment. And plus, since its public, it won't be as expensive as Caltech would be. And according to the teacher that graduated from there, it's a great school. So, while I still will be disappointed if I don't get into Caltech, I won't be crushed. However, two schools isn't enough for the college counselor at my school to feel good about, so I'll probably apply to about four other schools JUST to be safe, though I can't imagine what would be safer that UA, to be honest.

Anyway, this was just to give you an update on what's happening in my life right now. Right now, I don't really want to disclose the essay itself, but if you send me an e-mail, I could probably let you proofread it on Google Docs. So, keep-it-on, and I'll probably be busy at least until the 3rd.

8 comments:

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