So I’m pretty much set on Pomona!
:) :) :)
Reasons including: supportive, caring environment; individual attention and focus; family feel; abundance of resources and opportunities; stellar English department; small classes; opportunity to take classes in the consortium, including Harvey Mudd; social versatility — option of small school feel or medium school feel; location — 1 hr plane ride, perfect distance from home, LA an hour away; students are so friendly, kind, interesting, and interested.
I’ll let you know if anything changes! Chirp chirp!
But at least I’ve finalized that I’ll go to either Pomona or Stanford, and admit days are coming up. Game plan: lots of pictures, lots of notes, high attention.
Aasdfadk; I just want to know where I’m going so I can be all relaxed and happy like everyone else! Once I pick I’m going to buy T-shirts and sweatshirts, go all out researching programs and departments, fill out my housing survey, and get super excited…. Until then, I have some critical decision-making to do. :/
Anonymous asked: Hi Val! Just a question out of curiosity, why are you leaning towards Ponoma right now? Out of my limited knowledge, Stanford seems like the better school in terms of prestige (by far), ranking, and job placement. Of course I'm assuming it depends on what career you want to pursue, though!
Hi! Well, prestige, rankings etc. are all things I’m grappling with right now. In terms of name recognition, Stanford is the clear winner. When I tell people I got into Stanford, they’re impressed; when I mention Pomona, they’re mostly confused. However, this is not where prestige matters (except to the ego!). Name branding is important for jobs and grad schools, and in that respect, Pomona and Stanford are equals. Pomona is recognized by grad schools, etc. as a top undergraduate institution - the colleges are ranked #1 and #2 by Forbes this year!
Beyond the issue of prestige is the undergraduate experience. This should be the most important factor in selecting a college. Not what other people think of it, but how your actual experience will be. Could I be happy at Stanford? I’m worried I wouldn’t be. It’s large, impersonal, pre-professional. I would be surrounded by competitive, driven, overachiever types, all trying to impress professors and stand out. Stanford is also a graduate institution, with about 17K students total (7K undergrads) if I’m not mistaken. The campus is sprawling and disconnected. (Not to mention I’ve grown up with it in my backyard and am aching to go somewhere new!)
Meanwhile, Pomona is a tight-knit community, purely undergraduate focused. Where Stanford is the perfect environment for someone who is already set on a field of study and ready to achieve as much as they can — a pre-professional — Pomona is great for the student who wants to study everything. I love learning, and am not tied down to any one discipline. Pomona lets you dabble and discover. It’s flexible. In a school of 1500-1600, class sizes are tiny. I wouldn’t be another head in the sea of lecture-attenders like I would be at Stanford. Pomona students interact with their professors frequently and even become close to many of them; this is simply not possible at Stanford.
This is all about me, of course — for many kids, Stanford is perfect! I’m trying to look beyond name recognition right now and think about where I’ll be most content. The educations at both schools are stellar; I can’t go wrong there. It’s really down to the environment I’ll like best.
Hopefully with admit days coming up my decision will become more clear. Sorry for such a long-winded answer. I am certainly not close to being decided yet, just wanted to provide my thinking right now!
Over the past few days I’ve been changing my mind constantly and confusing myself over where I want to go. I’m really leaning towards Pomona right now… I guess I’ll have to wait for Admit days and decide from there.
A tough, but very fortunate, spot to be in! Happy stress :)
Anonymous asked: i'm on team pomona personally but valerie wow you have so many great options. uc's! amherst! stanford!!! you are an inspiration, haha. i hope you have a great time wherever you go bb
:)))) thank you so much, this is so sweet. Yeah, it’s gonna be a tough decision…. Ahhhhh! Stressed out just thinking about it. Thanks again <3
This is quite a personal one, but I hope it can be of some help to you guys. :) It’s about writing and being introverted. Like any admissions person will tell you, the best essays aren’t on unusual or unique topics—you’d be hard-pressed to find one, anyway. They’re on common things, the stuff of high school—activities, family, personal development. What’s most important is that you choose a topic that best represents you and write honestly. Without further ado, here’s my take! (650 words exactly, I’ve never been too concise…)
Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?
It’s anything but quiet here. Within my own mind, I run an inner dialogue, sharing all my quips and observations with an imaginary audience. This has always been where I am most comfortable.
Limiting my self-expression to the thick boundary of my cranium made for a quiet, anxiety-ridden childhood. I rarely spoke in class, desiring invisibility wherever I went. Instead of joining in games and conversation, I tended to act as an observer to phenomena - like a nervous Jane Goodall.
However, my introspection also made for a wonderfully thoughtful and creative childhood essential to my character today.
I read avidly, idolizing the bravery and goodness of my favorite characters. This fostered in me a strong sense of idealism. I aspired to be just as kind, compassionate, and clever; I expected everyone - from peers to politicians - to meet the same pillars of goodness.
Closely following my love of reading came the pursuit of writing. I rewrote chapters of my favorite novels in my own voice, which helped me appreciate different styles of writing and, most important, my own. I began to appreciate that my voice was not gentle and empathetic like JK Rowling’s or hilarious and irreverent like Roald Dahl’s. As a merging of all my most beloved readings, favorite authors’ styles, and dearest values, my voice could stand alone.
Writing became self-expression with which I was comfortable. I wrote boldly and honestly. Transferring my mental dialogue to paper, I felt relief as my thoughts became external, physical.
Reading the torn-out journal entries, school assignments, and novelas that compose my life’s work, I can track my defining interests of the last decade: if something was important to me, I wrote about it.
In fourth grade, I wrote of dragons, battle wounds, and protecting those closest to me. I fancied myself the brave, outgoing narrator, longing for some real-life character development.
In seventh, I wrote about standing up to bullies who are also your closest friends. I felt strengthened, forceful, through the gentle tap of my fingertips on keys.
In eighth, I wrote my first op-ed-style pieces, about the complete injustice of the pet hedgehog’s illegal status in California. I sent the essay to my district’s state senator, Joe Simitian. Months later I received a kind response detailing how to affect change for my cause. Unfortunately, my hedgehog bill never came to fruition.
In a writing program the summer before junior year, I wrote about falling in love with a friend of the same sex and coping with heartbreak. The writing was raw, my tone bleaker than it had ever been before. In an unplanned moment of blind courage, I shared the piece with my instructor. She said it was outstanding and I should share it with the whole group, if I felt comfortable doing so. I decided not to.
This year, I transformed the concept of same-sex love and loss into an experimentally structured and thematic short story for a local paper’s contest. I won second place and felt a rush of nervousness as the piece was published to the entire area. Responses were encouraging, supportive, and gentle. I felt empowered.
Today, I am still comfortable within the confines of my own mind. But unlike the younger Val, I am most content when I allow myself to escape them. Conversing with friends, winning debates in history, and leading English seminars, I learn that the best conversations are spoken with others, not myself.
Through writing, I can share my thoughts on hedgehogs, dragons, love, and injustice. I can connect and inspire; there is no better feeling. The bravery that I longed for in my childhood is here.
At the short story reception, a woman approached me, confessing that my story brought her to tears and was her favorite of all the entries. Before disappearing into the crowd, she told me never to stop writing.
I doubt I ever will.
Anonymous asked: Sorry about Yale Val, I know you really wanted to go, BUT STANFORD MAKES UP FOR IT OMG!! SO I'M STILL SO HAPPY FOR YOU
Ahhh this is so nice :)))))) THANKS SO MUCH :D :D
I put my stats back in now that I’m (almost) through with the admissions process! Phew!
I left CommonApp descriptions in for a few of my activities just to clarify them.
Still deciding whether or not to publish my CommonApp essay..
Now I’m just left with the decision - Stanford or Pomona?? It’s a dilemma I’m very happy to have :)
Have a great Friday everyone! Let me know if I can answer any questions about my stats page or anything else :)
Anonymous asked: hi val! could you post your stats now that the admissions process is over?
Yes, I’ll get on it!