High Stakes: Beginning the common application

Daisy*, The All-Around

Daisy* used her summer to pursue two of her passions, science and soccer, by interning at a UCLA neurobiology research lab and attending soccer camps.

Daisy hopes to pursue a career in science, either as a doctor or a researcher. She is not being recruited for soccer, but intends to continue playing in college.

“After playing soccer my whole life I can’t just cut it out completely,” Daisy said.

Daisy, who sings at school, is also looking for a college where she can join a choir or a cappella group.

After touring colleges, Daisy decided she would prefer a medium sized school on the east coast. She is still unsure whether she wants an urban or rural environment.

Daisy is not certain she wants to apply anywhere early, but her top choices at this point include Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania and Brown University.

Thelonius*, The Artist

In addition to working at a retail job this summer, Thelonius* played in a combo at The Colburn School and in a band with his friends. He did not however work much on his other passion, painting.

Although Thelonius does not plan on majoring in fine arts in college, he does want an artistic, particularly musical, community.

“I can paint on my own, but I can’t really play music on my own,” Thelonius said.

He would like a strong arts program in case he decides to take art classes and because he believes “with a strong arts program comes a strong arts culture.”

Thelonius’ ideal college setting would be New York City. This is part of the reason why he plans on applying early decision to New York University, particularly its Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Gallatin would allow him to pursue an interdisciplinary major.

Melvin*, The Brain

After spending the beginning of his summer driving with his family to almost 10 national parks, Melvin* spent time auditing beginning chemistry and music theory courses at UCLA.

“UCLA is the only college campus I’ve ever been on,” Melvin said. “Most of what I know about schools is hearsay at this point.”

Since he has not visited any schools and does not plan to before he applies, Melvin does not intend to apply anywhere early decision. However, he is considering applying early action to the University of Chicago and to the University of Michigan.

Melvin is interested in schools that have strong research opportunities because he plans on pursuing research in physics and chemistry. He hopes to attend a school not too close to his home, but

Melvin is still considering schools in California such as UCLA and UC Berkeley.

Florence*, The Athlete

At the beginning of the summer Florence* ran twice a week, but since the beginning of August she has been exercising every weekday. She has been running track since middle school and looks forward to pursuing it further.

Florence plans on majoring in English and wants a school that emphasizes sports and school spirit. She toured many schools with Harvard-Westlake over spring break and is now sure that she wants a medium sized school in a relatively urban environment.

“I don’t want to be in the middle of nowhere,” Florence said. “I don’t have to be in a city as big as Los Angeles, though.”

Schools of varying sizes have contacted her about joining their track and field team, but Elon University and University of Pennsylvania are Florence’s top choices. She does not intend to apply anywhere early decision.

*names have been changed

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