As members of the 90% of the population, we need to break free from the harmful cycle of excessive competition. While we can still applaud the success of the top 1%, we must refuse to participate in the endless rat race alongside them. Instead, we must focus on our own goals and aspirations, and work hard towards achieving the life we truly desire.
After US college admissions decisions are released, parents are eager to understand what set the selected students apart.
Many people believe in the “Ivy formula” which emphasizes SAT scores of 1550+, all A’s, participation in Olympiads, attendance at top summer programs, and research paper publications as the key to admission to elite universities.
However, this formula has not only turned international college admissions into a “arms race,” it is also becoming less effective. There are countless cases where students with perfect resumes are rejected by undergraduate programs.
All the hard work and stress is ultimately for nothing!
Mr. Lin Jie is someone who has thoroughly researched US high schools and undergraduate programs. He completed 9 years of compulsory education in China, attended a US high school, and was accepted into both undergraduate and graduate programs at Ivy League universities. After graduating, he worked as a teacher at a prestigious US boarding school for several years before joining the founding team of a well-known bilingual school in Beijing where he has excelled.
Last week, Mr. Lin Jie appeared on a Blue Oak Tree live broadcast and shared his experiences to answer parents’ most pressing questions about studying abroad. He discussed whether there is a formula for getting accepted to top undergraduate programs in the US, whether it is necessary to send children to US high schools, and how to pursue studying abroad without getting caught up in excessive competition.
This article summarizes the live broadcast content and is presented in the first person.
If there is a formula for climbing a cane
The only formula is "The human edge."
What is the underlying logic of American college admissions?
From the school’s point of view, it will form a new class of students, just like the 108 Liangshan Heroes, each with its own characteristics.Diversity is the underlying logic of college admissions in the United States.
So from the perspective of the applicant, it is necessary to do four words:strong, but different.
They have overcome difficulties in life that ordinary people cannot overcome, and have experienced some experiences that are different from others. Such edges and corners are the international prize of “hard core” for geniuses, and they are the first authors of papers in academic journals. For Puwa, tapping her potential and doing what she is good at to the extreme, there is still the possibility of becoming “strong and different.”
For example, I had a student this year who was admitted to both MIT and Princeton. He has no competitions, no papers, no top summer school, and he has artistic skills but can not reach the professional level. But he has a characteristic that has been excavated – his personality is loved by everyone, and his popularity is very good. The students all like him very much, and they are eager to invite him to spend the long and short vacation together.
Taking advantage of his character, the boy took up a management position in the student dormitory while he was studying at Meigao. He loved skiing and became captain of the school ski team. During his time as captain, he completed the renovation of the school ski team equipment room. Arguably,he maximized his impact and contribution to the community.
As we all know, the top 10 universities in the United States are not short of excellent transcripts. If it is only academically strong, but not “different,” then you may only be “considered,” not necessarily accepted.Of course, excellent performance is important, people’s edges and corners are the key to stand out.
The competition is endless
The way to break is to define your own rules
In the traditional admissions process, the counselor will make a dream school and a guaranteed school according to the ranking of the school according to the student’s situation. For example, dream of “Hayeps,” secure a few ranked around 40 schools.
In today’s era of extreme involution, no school can be truly guaranteed.There are a lot of people who are admitted to Ivy League, but rejected by UCLA or even Northeastern University.
Under the impact of the “theatrical effect,” some parents are eager to see their children’s TOEFL and SAT scores brush to full marks, and participate in every competition they can. But with a perfect resume, you may not get into the school you want to go to.
The media is full of stories of “Hayes Sma”. These students are not even 1% of high achiever, but 0.1% of the gods of study in the head. Their stories have little to refer to, and if they see too much, they can only add to their troubles.
Normally we say that 1% of students go for the Ivy League; 10% of the students go to the top 30, and the remaining 90% of the students are the mainstream of the US application population.Well, the majority of students, rather than focusing on the 1%, would rather maximize the value of their study abroad.
To put it simply, let’s not get involved in this game, with the inside of “School ranking on Heroes.” Let me put it another way,we need to break down the serious prejudice that Ivy League schools are simply better than other schools.
Many parents may not accept it at once, let me give you an example.
I have a girl from a bilingual school in Beijing this year. Her grades are above average, but she loves skating, community, and children. She imagined her ideal life state, is to be able to live all over the world, with different children. Imagine that when this student goes to the Geneva International School to live with children from 100 + countries around the world, who cares if she graduated from Ivy School?
And this desire is not impossible. She doesn’t have to go to Ivy League as an undergraduate. Instead, she can go to a liberal arts school, apply to Harvard or Columbia, and work in America for two years.
Therefore,parents should ask themselves: do we want our children to have a happy life, or cold elite halo?
For example, if your child is interested in wine, you can go to the University of California, Davis, to study for a planting major. NAPA County, Calif., is one of the six largest wine producers in the world. You have a major in wine, and you are still in the place of origin. It’s no problem getting 100% employment after graduation.
As 90% Puva, to completely break the involution, we can applaud the 1% while refusing to run with them.Be sure to focus on what you really want in life, and be clear about your path and work towards it.
Two Key considerations
when selecting a US high school
There is also a problem that many parents are concerned about: whether to go to Meigao, and how to choose Meigao.
Everyone knows that a match is the best, but what is a match? Simply put, you can do some method of exclusion.No matter where you go to school, make sure your child is getting 10%, even 5%.
The “strong but different” we mentioned earlier must first ensure that we are “strong”. If this is not possible, what is the difference?. Based on this, I don’t really advise parents to go to the top of American high schools, such as Andofoe. Once in this kind of school, regardless of the outside world or the student heart, the expectation of oneself will be different, the pressure will also be greater.
How to determine the level of the child’s performance is actually very simple. Each high school has its own school file, which is public information, including the average ACT and SAT scores, and the percentage of students who received A grades, which is shown to college admissions officers. Of course, you can also ask the students during the school visit to determine whether your child is in the top of the list.
The second aspect of matching is whether the school is friendly to international students and what is the status of international students in the school. The critical years of a child’s adolescence, the process is important; School life is not satisfactory, there are no true friends, there is no sense of self-worth.
How to judge? When you visit the school, you can observe whether the international students are involved in the student management, the football captain, the dormitory management, and whether there is a place for international students in the orchestra, etc.
Matching Meigao is not only a science (such as studying the school’s admission rate, SAT average, number of AP classes, etc.) but also an art (the temperament of the students, the friendliness of the international students, the humanistic care, etc.).Students can gain a more intuitive experience by attending summer school, visiting the school and attending open days.
Utility VS Non-utility,
Two roads to take what you need
The problem of planning for studying abroad at a young age is also a rising tide in recent years. How to do a good job of long-term preparation into the United States elite, there is a road is very utilitarian, but also effective, that is sports and art special.
If the child is still in elementary school and has talent,ice hockey, golf, water polo, tennis, squash, fencing, boating –these sports are more suitable for Asian physical fits.Of course, American universities also have basketball and American football, but not suitable for 99% of Chinese families.
If the child learned the piano from an early age, and achieved a near-professional level, can go to the professional music group, Shanghai, Beijing orchestra performance level, then it is also possible to take the artistic special route.
From a utilitarian point of view, if you want your child to enter a top school, then cultivate sports or art expertise, and then keep learning well, the probability of success will be very high. The Ivy League admission rate for sports specials may be 10 times higher than the rest of the population, and the dust has settled in the second half of Year 11.
From the non-utilitarian point of view,if you want to get into the famous school, you have to abandon the obsession.Just like when you pursue a person, you should let go of the obsession. If you knock on the door every day, she will definitely not fall in love with you; you should be strong enough, confident enough, have their own life connotation, then love will come to you.
To take a step back, even if the girl you like doesn’t come to you, when you become great, other girls will come to you. When you become very good, even if the rattan school does not look down on you, other famous schools will like you.
Do your own thing, don’t try to figure out what Harvard wants and what Princeton wants every day, trying to build children according to each other’s preferences; What if the school’s tastes change in 10 years?
Therefore, cultivate the child’s bottom ability, let the child like reading, love social, character sunshine, helpful, empathic ability, he can become a very good person. If you love Harvard to death, even if you can’t get into Harvard at the age of 18, as long as you continue to do yourself, to the extreme, I believe that at the age of 38 or 48, Harvard will open its door to ask you to be a professor.
I have always believed that the process is greater than the result and the process drives the result.Because there are too many uncontrollable factors, the result can not be guaranteed, but we can do the process carefully.Early planning, not spend time packaging to improve the probability of admission, but to give children time to explore, trial and error, digestion, absorption and transformation.
Like the boy I’ve been with for years, who was admitted to both MIT and Princeton this year, Even if there is no admission to a famous school, his experience in high school, from an ignorant boy, transformed into a capable, thoughtful young man, this is our initial heart to cultivate children, is not it?