How to Catch a College's Eye: The Southern Edition
Nicole_Lyn has some great tips for all you countrified college-bound boys and girls!—Sparkitors
We’ve all been there. And by "we," I of course mean the incredibly large percentage of Sparklers who live in small, small towns with names that sound like food preservatives. This is the type of town I live in, and, while there is a certain charm to it, there’s one huge downside that hits aspiring Nobel Prize winners like myself particularly hard: the educational system. Especially during the later years of high school when you realize that your dream college doesn’t oft accept down-home country bumpkins who can’t speak anything besides English and rudimentary Spanish.
But don’t fear, my fellow small-towners and simple country boys and girls; I can tell you how to look good to college people even if you commonly use the words ya'll and ain't. Follow my tips, and you’ll seem like a true-blue southern fried genius (which is about 18% better than a normal genius). All you yanks can use this advice too, but I can’t guarantee success unless you can fake an authentic Southern accent.
Read classical literature (that isn’t required for school) and talk about it. You know what colleges like? Smart people. And you know what smart people do? They read. So, quite obviously, one of the best ways to prove that your reading and vocabulary levels are infinitely expanding past the horizons of perceived rural illiteracy is to talk about how Anna Karenina (or War and Peace for you boys) changed your life. Quoting Hemingway and using the term "antitrancendentalism" correctly gets you bonus points. If teachers love one thing, it’s when students willingly discuss literature.
Develop unexpected passions. Human beings have the rather disheartening tendency to adhere to stereotypes, but there is a bright side to this: if they meet someone who happens to be part of a certain demographic that isn’t totally stereotypical, they are doubly impressed with said someone. And that someone could be you. I’m not saying you should stop liking barbeque and rodeos (anyone who DOESN’T like those things is obviously a bodysnatcher), but mixing it up with a knack for gourmet French cooking or an inspiring passion for playing classical music on a variety of stringed and woodwind instruments is a good way to get noticed.
Use your country charm. Your roots are nothing to be ashamed of, dear Sparklers. And all the foreign doorstopper novels and classical musical selections in the world will never change the fact that you’re from the south. But guess what—that’s what makes you awesome! Embrace it! You’re from Middle O’ Nowhere, [insert southern state here], and you’re still good enough to get into Ivy League yankie schools. And that’s just the way it is.
Are you from a small town? Are you worried about standing out to colleges?