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Tagged: Ivy league

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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Harvard withdraws 10 acceptances for ‘offensive’ memes in private group chat

June 27th, 2017

Harvard University revoked admission offers to ten incoming first-year students in mid-April, after University officials were notified of admitted students posting offensive memes in a private group chat on Facebook.  The images posted in this group were highly inappropriate, mocking sexual assault, the Holocaust, child abuse and jokes related to race and ethnicity.  You may have read about this in the national press already.

In the past we’ve posted about colleges and universities using social media as an additional way to evaluate applicants.  Not only is it important to maintain a positive social media presence but it is a good reminder that even things discussed in “private” on the internet can become public.  We hope our students do not need this reminder because they live lives that respect others as well as themselves.  The students whose acceptances to Harvard were revoked have learned a difficult lesson:  poor judgment and thoughtless actions have real consequences.

Let’s all live each day as an embodiment of the person we aspire to be and the person we hope to share with others.  

Article published below by The Washington Post on June 5, 2017

Written by:  Samantha Schmidt

The Facebook messaging group was at one point titled “Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens.”

It began when about 100 members of Harvard College’s incoming freshman class contacted each other through the university’s official Class of 2021 Facebook group. They created a messaging group where students could share memes about popular culture — a growing trend on the Internet among students at elite colleges.

But then, the exchanges took a dark turn, according to an article published in the Harvard Crimson on Sunday. Some of the group’s members decided to form an offshoot group in which students could share obscene, “R-rated” memes, a student told the Crimson. The founders of the messaging group demanded that students post provocative memes in the main group chat to gain admittance to the smaller group.

Read more at Washington Post >>

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Freshman Files: First year at an Ivy League university

January 23rd, 2017

In our second installment of “Freshman Files” for 2017, Abigail L. reports in from the University of Pennsylvania, a renowned private research university located in a very lively section of Philadelphia. We were delighted to hear about Abigail’s academic, social, and even political experiences and appreciate her willingness to share so much with the Shrop Ed community.

“Penn has been fantastic so far. I couldn’t really ask for anything more. … Although the classes were pretty demanding, I was happy to find the work load easier than expected. I was left with more free time than I was used to and was able to join … Social Planning and Events Committee, and Penn Dance Marathon. SPEC develops marketing campaigns for student events on Penn’s campus and helps to plan the logistics and marketing for Spring Fling: a multi-day festival event occurring across several venues. Dance Marathon is a club that partners with Children’s Hospital of PA for a fund raising event to support childhood cancer research. These two clubs have kept me pretty busy. In addition to these clubs, I plan to rush this semester and am excited to see what opportunities arise from being a part of Greek life.

I would say that the most challenging thing was getting used to how college professors grade. I was used to my high school teachers not really expecting a lot from their students and not really grading us to our full potential. At Penn, however, the professors really hold you to a higher standard and expect a lot from you. I was a tad frustrated at first for I felt I was giving my all, but my professors helped me realize the mistakes I was making and helped me grow as a student and as a learner overall.

You could definitely say that my world view is changing thanks to Penn. For example, there were many events that occurred on campus after Trump was elected (protests, cancelled classes, the creation of “safe spaces,” etc.) and it opened my eyes to how people react in different ways to unexpected events. Although something I’m not used to, I’m very glad to be on a campus where I am exposed to these types of reactions.

I would have to say that my favorite class was my Spanish class. The main reason was because my professor was incredible. I have never had a professor who exuded so much passion. I could tell he loved teaching and watching us learn, and he was incredibly helpful whenever I had questions. … I also enjoyed the class because of its size. It was an intimate class with only 12 students! This allowed me to participate in class regularly and get to know my fellow classmates on a personal level.”

Best of luck, Abigail, as you continue your studies, your service and your social engagement.  We are always delighted when students are so well matched!

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Tuning in to Students’ Dreams

May 9th, 2016

Bill Fitzsimmons, dean of admission at Harvard, delivered a lively talk to a group of educational consultants at the IECA conference in Boston last week.  Fitzsimmons’s focus on providing access to the world’s most talented students, regardless of economic circumstance, is something I’ve long known and appreciated.  His insight about students’ and parents’ dreams is also legendary, and his tale of a parent of a student who applied to Harvard several years ago is worth sharing.

The student was not admitted, and the parent could not accept the decision.  Many letters and phone calls ensued – always from the parent to the admission office, never from the student.  For quite some time, this parent’s efforts were ceaseless.  Then, a pause.  Three and a half years later, the parent called again … to say that the student was nearing graduation at her alternate college choice.  Upon reflection, the parent had come to realize that this college was indeed the better match for her daughter.  Harvard had been the parent’s dream, it turns out, and not the child’s.  So often, the pressure that children feel has to do with our own aspirations, doesn’t it?

Last week’s conference also included workshops on boarding school admission, new financial aid application procedures for colleges, international student recruitment issues, applications and auditions to theater programs, and the new Coalition application.  Ahead of the conference, school and college visits in the area set the stage wonderfully as I saw students learning, growing, happy at schools that are right for them.  I especially enjoyed visiting with a student who has found a great fit at my own alma mater, Tufts.

Each experience at this conference reminded me to listen carefully to my advisees, to help and encourage them as they clarify and pursue their personal goals.  Much is changing in college and boarding school admission.  And much is changing in today’s world that our students experience.  Students remain students, however, and their successes, struggles and dreams will always be at the center of our work at Shrop Ed.


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