Smart Steps for Sophomores: Advising Hours with Giebien

Recorded Thursday, December 3 at 01:00 AM

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About this livestream


Join Giebien Na for the inaugural session of a new series: Smart Steps for Sophomores! In this event designed specifically for current sophomores in high school and their families, Giebien will open the floor to allow you to ask any and all questions you might have about navigating the second year of high school and how to continue to develop your profile in preparation for the college applications process. Stop in to ask a few questions or stick around for the whole hour to learn from other viewers' questions!

Your host

Undergrad College: Williams College '20

Work Experience: I first joined CollegeVine in the fall of 2016. Since then, I've worked as an essay and admissions consultant, SAT tutor, and hiring manager within the company. More recently, I've also advised hundreds of students in my livestreams, specializing in liberal arts colleges and standardized testing content.

My Admissions Story: I did almost everything wrong in my undergraduate applications, and I was never supposed to attend Williams. The fact that I did is the best thing that ever happened to me! I've learned a lot of tips over the years on what to do in your college applications, and I have ample first-hand experience of what not to do as well. But the biggest lesson of all? Don't let yourself stress too much about the admissions process. Things (somehow) found a way to work out for me in the end. They will for you, too!

Audience questions

These are questions from the audience that we had time to answer during the live session. If you have any other questions, you can request an answer from Giebien and other CollegeVine experts in an upcoming livestream or on the Q&A Forum anytime.
4:17@anonymous:how many AP classes do you recommend to Sophmore and Junior?
7:04@chandras:What are your tips regarding sophomores participating in extracurricular activities or clubs to do well in applications to colleges.
11:00@bluedevil:Interesting summer plans for sophomores?
13:23@anonymous:What can we do to set ourselves apart on college applications (besides good test scores & AP classes)?
15:21@anonymous:Hi! so I want to stand out for the art colleges i plan to apply for in senior year and I'm just not sure what extra things I can do other than have nice art? it seems like the advice I'm hearing morely pertains to AP colleges and not really art if that makes sense, so do you have advice for art colleges specifically?
18:27@chandras:Any tips regarding taking the ACT and tips to plan for taking it.
21:07@anonymous:Where can I find past essay questions from colleges I’m interested in?
21:42@anonymous:is it ok if i dont comtinue with scout meetings after my eagle scout achievement. i need time for other activities.
22:39@anonymous:I ended freshman year with a 3.75 while taking regular classes, will that greatly affect my chance at getting accepting into a good school? (im looking at a school with about a 30% acceptance rate) I'm taking all honors now and currently have straight a's as a sophomore.
24:23@anonymous:What type of person would succeed at Ivy League schools? and are they worth it?
27:12@anonymous:It might be a bit early to ask as a sophomore, but what topics or cliches should we try to avoid on college applications and essays?
30:21@_lauren:So if I plan on graduating next year would it look bad on my application if I only have activities listed in my sophomore year?
31:46@anonymous:I plan on starting a business and I was just wondering if that was something that would make me stand out in colleges, or would it just be a waste of time?
33:53@anonymous:Would you suggest making contact with alumni or current college students to network and what are some questions I can ask them.
35:47@chandras:What do you think we should know as sophomores to prepare for college applications, thank you?
37:18@anonymous:Do colleges really care about your service learning hours, should the hours be specific to the major your interested in pursuing?
39:58@bluedevil:On the Common App, I think it asks for 10 extracurriculars which can be clubs, sports, summer camps/courses, hobbies, etc. However, someone mentioned that summer activities are placed in another part of the Common App. Do you remember? :)
41:17@anonymous:do you have any summer internships/research programs you know of? or any tips on what we should do as sophomores in the summer?
43:16@lij1207:I'm a US citizen studying abroad. Will I have any advantages against other people where I live aside from financial aid?
44:25@anonymous:When we start thinking about demonstrating interest to colleges?
45:30@anonymous:Do you have any tips for sophomores who want to go to med-school?
45:47@anonymous:Chance of getting into medical school: large selective private vs small selective liberal arts vs large competitive public
45:50@anonymous:covid has interfered with school activities tremendously, how does that factor in to the application?
53:57@chandras:I know this is vague but any tips for sophomores to do well in school(grades and extracurricular wise). Thank you!
55:07@anonymous:Does it matter how aligned extracurriculars are with the major you are applying for? (for example, participating in law based clubs if you want to go into law)?
56:15@anonymous:i feel like we're getting pressured a lot about AP classes, do we really need them for college, if we don't take many would that just ruin my chance at every college?
58:09@smontague98:How should we keep track of service hours? I think I may average 200 a semester because of all the activities I do, but how should I keep track of them?
59:52@anonymous:I have over 300 service hours and am continuing to do more. I also have a leadership position in a youth-led organization aiming to combat climate change. Will colleges care a lot of about this?
61:21@anonymous:Are summer camps that cost thousands of dollars actually worth it?
62:45@anonymous:I plan on going into the engineering field, would it be better to stay in-state and go to like UT-Austin and UT-Dallas or should I shoot far for like MIT and Stanford?
65:35@anonymous:if i start activity in junior year ios it ok
67:37@anonymous:Would colleges be more lenient for current highschool students when they apply for college due to covd?


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