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Tagged: College

Freshman files: Dartmouth impressions

January 22nd, 2019

Each year after the holidays I love to reconnect with past Shrop Ed students and check in on their first semester of college.  This provides a great opportunity to share their experiences as college freshmen, shedding light on important elements of the transition from high school to college.  Excerpts from their responses are extremely helpful to our younger students who will soon begin this journey as well, and I’m grateful to past students willing to share their thoughts publicly.  

The first freshman files excerpt of 2019 comes from Isaac, a first-year student at Dartmouth College, a small research university within the Ivy League.  Isaac’s commentary provides a deeper understanding of the many extracurricular opportunities and academic resources available outside of traditional classes, so important to making connections which can improve any college experience immensely.  

Regarding Dartmouth, I love it here! The academics are in no way easy, but I’m finding them manageable this term. I’m doing very well in all of my classes (Intro to Anthropology, Computer Science 1, and my mandatory writing class) with the exception of a bump in the writing class … That being said, I did well on the last paper, so I think I’m getting the hang of it!

 I joined Dartmouth Humanitarian Engineering and am currently working on a project to improve the design of cots at a local shelter in hopes of preventing them from breaking so often to hopefully cut down on long-term expenses. I am also in Investment Club, SIBS (Big Brother Big Sister; I get paired with my Little in about a week and will meet them once or twice before break and then kick it into full swing once I’m back for winter term), and the Dartmouth Outing Club.

 I also opted to do a couple of supplementary classes. I did Learning at Dartmouth which is a 14 session long informal course to help improve study skills and help first years learn about all of the resources they have available to them. I also participated in a 4 session long Koru Mindfulness class in hopes that it would help with stress management. It went pretty well and I think helped some but wasn’t a cure-all solution for me.

 First Year Trips was an absolute blast! I loved all of my trippees and my trip leaders were great. I still often hang out with my trippees and keep in contact with my trip leaders. It was an amazing experience. Social life has been good too. I’ve made a lot of good friends who are really accepting of everyone. My roommate is one of my best friends. I really like him and we’ve both made friends through each other. 

We’re grateful that Isaac agreed to share his experiences and wish him continued success as he finishes his first year!

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Ring in the new year with kindness and communication

January 9th, 2019

January presents an opportunity for a fresh start and with the new year we often try to make changes that will create a better future.  College applicants are already considering how their new year will be different; graduating from high school, possibly moving away from home, and starting a new school will all come in 2019.  What if I told you that being mindful of communication and kindness could help smooth these transitions?  

In the article linked below, Forbes contributor Brennan Barnard has come up with ways to improve the college application process for everyone by adding communication and kindness.  It seems so simple, and as he explains how it can help each aspect of the admissions process you will appreciate why it is so important.  I hope this year brings you health, kindness and communication along with a great transition into this next phase of life.  

Article referenced below published on January 1, 2019 by Forbes, written by Brennan Barnard 

My family had a New Year’s tradition that was different than most, one that often led to tears and retribution between me and my brothers. At breakfast on January 1st every year, we gathered around pancakes, and instead of crafting our own New Year’s resolutions, the group would decide what each family member should commit to change or improve in the coming year. Having a spotlight on our shortcomings was no picnic, as you can imagine, but in retrospect, it was a valuable exercise.

College admission is an imperfect system. With each new year, it grows more complicated, and produces more anxiety and finger-pointing, for everyone involved. It’s easy enough to assign blame, but rarely are we willing to address our role. So, in the spirit of the Barnard family tradition, I want to suggest two simple New Year’s resolutions to all the constituents involved in college admission: communication and kindness. Imagine the ways that our culture could start to heal if we all stopped blaming each other, and instead of defaulting to extremes, embraced the ways we can contribute to a healthier global community. Whether you are a student, a parent, or a high school or college educator, this coming year I beg you to continually ask yourself, “what am I doing to be a better communicator and to be more kind?”

Read more at Forbes >>

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Completing applications over winter break? How to manage the stress

December 24th, 2018

Happy holidays and best wishes for 2019 to all!  As the month of December winds down, many students have already received admission decisions this month.  Congratulations to those who have been accepted Early Action or Early Decision!  I love hearing students’ news, no matter the outcome, so please continue to keep me in the loop as you receive admission decisions.

Winter break is here and while we hope you’re able to focus on family time and a little R&R, this hiatus is also perfect for students still wrapping up final applications for colleges and boarding schools.  Try to stay positive throughout this sometimes stressful process and remember to enjoy the time you have with friends and family.  The Wall Street Journal provides a wonderful article to help us remember to keep calm as deadlines are approaching.  (N.B. – although focused on college, portions of this article are also useful for students applying to boarding schools.) 

Parents, many of you have fully equipped students who are ready to make these important decisions and with this in mind, you might find this stressful time a little more enjoyable.

Article referenced below published on December 11, 2018 by The Wall Street Journal, written by Sue Shellenbarger 

It’s a monthslong ordeal that could change the course of a high school senior’s life, leading to a choice that could cost tens of thousands of dollars or more. No wonder the college-application season can torpedo the holidays for teens and their parents.

Many students labor to meet early-winter deadlines for college applications, often under the anxious eyes of their parents. The resulting stress can damage family relationships if parents fail to set good boundaries and keep their own anxieties in check.

Read more at Wall Street Journal >>

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Early decision news: the wait will soon be over

December 11th, 2018

December is here and while it is a glorious time filled with much anticipation of the holidays, it can also be filled with tension as students who applied Early Action or Early Decision anxiously await their college admission decisions.  

While waiting is often the hardest part of this entire process, try not to worry too much.  Many of you will receive just the news you are looking for.  Yet no matter what happens, there are other excellent educational institutions around the country which might be the right fit and your applications are already well under way.    

The article referenced below was written for the U. of Pennsylvania’s admission blog by Olivia O’Dwyer, a student at Penn, as an open letter to students who applied Early Decision.  In this note, O’Dwyer tells about her experience on ED decision day and what she took away from this time.  Her genuine and candid advice is a great reminder that the college admission process is a small stepping stone in your journey to become who you want to be.  We believe everyone will find her words worth taking to heart.

We wish everyone the best possible outcome and while we hope for good news right alongside you, we are confident that you will be well placed in college whether or not the near-term news brings joy.  

Article referenced below published on December 8, 2017 by University of Pennsylvania, written by Olivia O’Dwyer

Hello, readers!

If you’re reading this and you applied Early Decision to Penn, or to any other university – I know exactly how you feel. Even though it was almost exactly a year ago now, I can still be brought back in a second to those final few weeks, then days, then hours of anxiously awaiting my decision. Everything seemed to hinge on that moment, opening my email to a confirmation or rejection.

Read more at University of Pennsylvania >>

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