Arts, Hebrew, Volleyball, and More

Arts, Hebrew, Volleyball, and More

By Tasha

A Sparkler asks: can I get into any of the schools that interest me?

I am a student an private Jewish day school in Brookline, MA. I study Hebrew on the same level that I do english and I find it very aggressive and interesting in my schooling.

My grades are high B's and low A's. I have played on my school varsity volleyball team for two years now, and will be the captain in my upcoming senior year.


I am very nervous about applying to school since I do not know which ones I can get into. I volunteer weekly and have been doing this for two years. I enjoy drawing and fashion design, and have been accepted into the Rhode Island School of Design's art program fro this summer. Working with special needs children is my goal in life since I help them weekly and see the joy they receive out of little company.

How do I pick a school? My top choices so far are- Binghamton, NYU, Syracuse, BU, Michigan, UPitt, UConn, Maryland and Indiana. Do I honestly have any chance of making these schools?

-The Ultimate Team Player

Dear Ultimate Team Player,

I really like the variety of schools you're planning to apply to, and I think you stand an excellent chance of getting accepted into one or more of them. It sounds like you already know what you want to do career-wise, but I wouldn’t close the door on your interest in the arts just yet. Take advantage of your time at the Rhode Island School of Design and see what comes of it. As you prepare your applications, I would encourage you to focus on your passion for the Hebrew language and your work with special needs children. These interests of yours really made your email stand out and made me want to learn more about you. I am certain they would make for a compelling and unique college admissions essay.

Since you already have strong ideas about where you want to apply, the next step will be narrowing your choices. Applying to nine schools seems a little exhausting. I would winnow your list down to about five, making sure the ones you choose vary in their competitiveness. Once you have done this, you want to pay careful attention to several factors. Here is what I would suggest:

  1. Plan a visit.Several of the schools you mention are located in the Northeastern part of the country. Therefore, planning some visits shouldn’t be too hard, especially since you live in Brookline. When you visit, take a campus tour, try to sit in on a class, meet with a faculty member in a field that interests you, and plan an interview if at all possible.
  2. Speak to current students. It’s important to see what current students say about the professors, campus culture, and the academic rigor of the classes. Be sure to check university websites for current student blogs, which are another great source of information.
  3. Make sure there are courses that interest you. This may seem like a no-brainer, but make sure that the schools you are seriously considering offer the major you are thinking of pursuing. If you want to continue studying Hebrew, for example, check the language department’s website to make sure the school offers Hebrew. Some schools now offer a self-designed major, which would allow you to combine your interests in the arts with your interest in special needs children if you were interested in doing so. Look at each school's course bulletin online to make sure all the classes that interest you are offered.

Good luck!

Tasha

To contact Tasha, email advice@sparknotes.com.

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