Getting into the Ivy League: Some Unpopular Opinions
Background: I am an “unhooked” (i.e., upper-middle class Asian-American) Princeton SCEA admit, and these are some of my thoughts on the college admissions process.
Disclaimer: Everything I write below is solely a high schooler’s opinion—I’m by no means in the know, so take everything with a grain of salt.
Overrated elements of a college application:
Leadership-Leadership is seen by many as a mark of success in extracurriculars. While it can be immensely valuable, having extensive leadership positions is not necessary: I’m President of exactly one club and one of many officers at my HS literary magazine—and not even Editor-in-Chief at that.
Well-roundedness-My extracurriculars are extremely narrow in scope. They can be divided into exactly two categories: Classics-related activities and writing-related activities. In my opinion, depth of accomplishment (pointiness) is more important than breadth (well-roundedness); above all, passion is more important than objective stats and awards.
Teacher recommendations-If you’re an introvert like me, don’t fret. I didn’t click with any of my teachers, and I honestly don’t think it hurt me. That said, there are some ways to get to know them even if you don’t participate/contribute actively in class. Approach them after class; show that you care. For example, I asked my English teacher to provide feedback on my submissions to various writing contests. Also, make sure to supply your recommenders with a “brag sheet” outlining not just your accomplishments but also your goals for the future.
Affirmative Action-Being an under-represented minority or first-generation student isn’t as much of a boost as you think it is. Conversely, being Asian or Caucasian isn’t a drawback unless you make it a drawback. I’m privileged to pretty much be the antithesis of a typical “hooked” applicant, and yet I got into some pretty decent schools. Just don’t be a test-taking robot. Set yourself apart. And I don’t mean cultivating uncommon extracurriculars: if you’ve played piano or violin your entire life, that’s great. Show your passion and—this is the important part—try to connect it to something bigger than yourself. Why does it matter in the greater scheme of things? Again, nothing deep. Be genuine, humanize yourself, and you’re good to go.
Underrated elements of a college application:
Packaging-Packaging yourself well is paramount. By packaging, I don’t mean planning out your extracurriculars in middle school and doing things that look good on a resume. I’m talking about communicating a cohesive narrative through your application—what do you care about? how will you make an impact to the college community and the world at large? Essays are really helpful vehicles to convey your passions and best qualities.
Scores-For most unhooked applicants, there’s a baseline—2100+ and 3.8 GPA—under which it’s very hard to get into a school with a sub-10% acceptance rate. That said, scores only prevent your app from being tossed out; they won’t get you through the door.
PS4 Exclusive NiOh PSX 2015 Trailer; Western Release Confirmed
Koei Tecmo and Sony Computer Entertainment America Announce Western Release of Nioh Exclusively on PlayStation 4
At the recent PlayStation Experience event in San Francisco, CA, Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) and Koei Tecmo announced that Nioh, a dark, samurai-centric action RPG, will be coming to the west exclusively for the PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system. Nioh has been in development under the direction of Kou Shibusawa, Hisashi Koinuma, and Team Ninja.
In Nioh, players will traverse war-torn Japan as William, a blonde-haired swordsman whose background as a fierce warrior and seasoned knowledge of the blade allows him to survive in the demon-plagued land of the samurai. Known as Yokai, these demons inhabit a number of dangerous locations and lie in wait in the shadows to ambush unsuspecting victims. Players will also face off with other samurai in supernatural sword battles and intense, multi-target engagements offering a level of difficulty that will truly test even the most hardened samurais skills, patience, and strategy.
Offering a deep and original storyline that takes place during the Warring States Period of Japanese history alongside strategic sword-fighting action, Nioh will challenge players in a way that makes every mission and accomplishment feel earned and worthwhile. More information on this comprehensive, action-packed RPG experience will be released in the coming months.
PlayStation 4 Price Reduced To $349.99 In The U.S.
Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) today announced that the PlayStation 4 (PS4) system, which is currently available for $399.99 USD (MSRP), will be available in the U.S. starting at $349.99 USD (MSRP) on October 9. In Canada, the price of the PS4 system also will be reduced from $449.99 CAD to $429.99 CAD (MSRP).
“Our goal at PlayStation has always been to offer the best place to play at a compelling value to gamers,” said Shawn Layden, president and CEO of SCEA. “We’re continuing to deliver on that commitment with this new price for PS4, making the console even more accessible to a broader audience this holiday. With highly anticipated games like Call of Duty: Black Ops III and Star Wars Battlefront launching soon and blockbuster exclusives like Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End on the horizon, there has never been a better time to join the PS4 community.”
The following outlines the new prices for the current PS4 lineup, including the limited-edition and standard-edition bundles that feature some of the biggest games coming to PS4 this holiday season:
• Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection PS4 Bundle (500GB HDD) – $349.99 USD / $429.99 CAD (MSRP); October 9, 2015
• Limited Edition Call of Duty: Black Ops III PS4 Bundle (1TB HDD) – $429.99 USD / $499.99 CAD (MSRP); November 6, 2015
• Limited Edition Disney Infinity 3.0: Star Wars PS4 Bundle (500GB HDD) – $399.99 USD / $469.99 CAD (MSRP); November 13, 2015
• Limited Edition Star Wars Battlefront PS4 Bundle (500GB HDD) – $399.99 USD / $469.99 CAD (MSRP); November 17, 2015
• Star Wars Battlefront PS4 Bundle (500GB HDD) – $349.99 USD / $429.99 CAD (MSRP); November 17, 2015
• NHL 16 PS4 Bundle (500GB HDD) - $429.99 CAD (MSRP); Available now in Canada only
PlayStation Vita - PSVITA - A lot of hard work goes into creating such a powerful device. We wanted to you to hear first-hand about PS Vita’s development process and the many minds behind the product. Check out the video for a look at the movers and shakers behind PS Vita and the types of experiences you can anticipate come February.