Greetings from New York!
We got hit with a ton of snow here this weekend, so I'm staying in and completely focused on creating resources for you guys.
📫The Savvy Applicant is a biweekly email where I share important news and actionable guidance on the selective college admissions process—And I never pull any punches!
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📅Time In - Key Words
🎓👶Class of 2023 and Underclassman - Choosing courses for next year is one of the key decisions on the horizon. When AOs review your transcript they're quickly judging your potential to be successful academically and elements of your character.
❌Common Mistake: Dropping your foreign language. Every rule has exceptions, but this is a core subject area for good reason and dropping will raise serious concerns.
Think of it this way: imagine you want to be a physician in US. You need to know the science, but equally important is empathy for the patient. How much better does it feel to be cared for by someone who speaks your native language?
⚡Admissions Insight: View fluency in a foreign language as a desire rather than a requirement, and, in addition to the richness it brings to your life, colleges (and grad schools) will appreciate your perspective. If it's true, let colleges know your plan to continue your language study while on campus.
🔥Bold Moves: 1) Immersion is by far the best way to become fluent in a language. Look for opportunities (they don't necessarily have to be far away or expensive) to have immersive learning experiences. 2) Learn a second foreign language. Especially interesting would be choosing one western and one eastern or one Modern and one Ancient.
AOs will be impressed AND jealous!
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🧠Psychology of Admissions
For those of you who read the introduction to "The Genius Zone" in the previous Savvy Applicant, you may remember that while your Genius Zone gets expressed in a single sentence, it's also an overarching strategy for standing out in the college admissions process.
It's both a desired reputation and an action plan. Importantly, however, neither the desired reputation nor the action plan is static. The Genius Zone creates a virtuous cycle that exponentially propels students forward.
"The Genius Zone" is rooted in modern psychology and entrepreneurship.
Humans are the storytelling animal and psychologically, we are the stories we tell ourselves. Over the course of our lives, we use our thoughts, feelings, and experiences to construct our stories— our sense of self.
Yet, our story doesn’t just follow after the fact of experience, it also precedes and helps create our experience. This thinking, “being in our heads”, works back and forth as art reflects life and life reflects art.
Intuitively, we understand that some stories are more inspiring to us and compelling and memorable to others. And it seems that part of being human is that we have a tendency to forge stories that are less than ideal or downright counterproductive.
Psychotherapy is about gaining self-knowledge, then developing and telling ourselves a more empowering story. Renowned psychologist (and Holocaust survivor) Victor Frankl is more specific.
📚In his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Frankl illuminates the virtue of developing lives with a deep sense of purpose.
This concept is a key tenet of The Genius Zone; College applicants will stand out by determining, pursuing, and telling the story of what gives their, albeit young, life meaning and purpose.
Combine this with a few entrepreneurial tactics and you'll have the foundation for your Genius Zone. Stay tuned....
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The College Board is working hard to keep the SAT relevant in a post Covid world. This past week they announced their intent to make the test digital, adaptive and significantly shorter.
📅Changes will start in 2023 to the PSAT and international SAT. Nothing will happen on the SAT in the US until 2024, so these changes will primarily effect those of you in grade 9 and a little younger. The move may keep the test popular for a few more years, but I predict the end is near.
📺For one best contemplations of all the issues surrounding standardized testing, I recommend checking out the documentary The Test and The Art of Thinking.
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A few more things...
🗣️Quote: "Don't believe me, just watch"- Bruno Mars
📸Photo: Snapped a pic of the bookshelf right behind my desk. It's probably the part of my college admissions library that matters most.