Smart Steps for Sophomores: Advising Hours with Giebien

Recorded Tuesday, December 29 at 11:00 PM

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About this livestream


Join Giebien Na for another installment of CollegeVine's Smart Steps for Sophomores Advising Hours!

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.
2:01@sulagna0720:When I was compiling my college list on College Vine, it said that their estimate ranges "have broadened" due to the new uncertainty of potential outcomes (because of Covid). Are there any updates on this?
3:21@anonymous:As a sophomore, should I be attending college virtual information sessions to start learning about colleges?
5:09@tigersrock:What should sophomores focus on this year?
8:34@anonymous:Do you think pre-college/summer course programs are worth it?
11:27@anonymous:I’m still undecided on what I want to do - what’s the best place to start in terms of potential options/career paths to be able to shortlist colleges
14:54@anonymous:Would you recommend volunteering in a certain field to gain interest in a certain topic?
16:03@anonymous:What are things to consider when I am making a list of colleges?
16:23@Trustysuperbat:What are the things to look for when researching a college? (Location, cost, student life, etc.)
21:57@Trustysuperbat:How much should we budget for college counseling? Or is it even necessary?
24:00@anonymous:I can't decide between volunteering, research, or a precollege summer program at a college like Harvard or UPenn. From an admissions standpoint, what do you suggest I do?
26:37@anonymous:How can we find shadowing opportunities?
27:55@anonymous:How do you think we should prepare for our junior year?
28:48@Anya:I've heard a lot about how sophomore year you should be seeking out leadership position in extracurriculars. How much does this hold true, and will this make or break your college application?
30:33@anonymous:My daughter always asks me "why college is important?" I am not sure how to explain an answer to them.
32:39@anonymous:Are Ivy League schools better than an average college considering a future reputation or where you might get a full time job?
34:53@Anya:Is taking 10 APs(by the end of my hs career) when my school offers 20 a good number?
37:26@anonymous:Are subject SATs required or preferred in addition to the generic SAT and ACT scores
39:29@sulagna0720:How do we determine if a school is affordable, especially out of state public schools and private schools?
43:35@anonymous:If I recieve a leadership position that is not in a field I am necessarily interested in, but will allow me to establish myself as a leader, do I take it?
45:28@Trustysuperbat:While compiling a college list, how much should prestige be a factor?
49:46@anonymous:My school offers AP and IB classes. Both have pros and cons. Should I mix both or go full IB for the IB diploma? Even if I do go full IB, I can take the Ap exams on my own time. Basically, I just have this ongoing cycle of “what if’s.”
52:10@mirellarichard:So I've heard a lot about the college process, and SAT'S, EC's, etc. but what is the actual timeline of the college process? When do we submit essays? When do we give in applications? Thank you! I am finding this live stream very helpful!
55:23@Trustysuperbat:Which teachers are best to ask for recommendations? Teachers in the field we would want to work in or a teacher we personally like?
56:56@anonymous:Does the high school you go to really matter in which college you get accepted into?
59:24@Anya:Even if you don't plan on playing competitive sports(club still an option) in college, does making varsity your sophmore year still matter/look good?
60:14@anonymous:My school offers dual enrollment - should I sign up for it? I’m not sure where I want to go to college. I am also taking the AP exams for those courses. If I don’t get a great score on a AP exam but have a A on my course, would the dual enrollment help in that case?
63:22@Trustysuperbat:Which part of the application is the most important? (GPA, EC’s, test scores, etc.) Does it depend on the institution?
66:20@mirellarichard:As an Asian-American female, what is a good SAT score for an Ivy League college?
67:21@Trustysuperbat:Are sports worth pursuing through high school if we don’t want to get recruited for it? Could that time be better used elsewhere?
68:44@mirellarichard:What did you major in in college?
71:02@Trustysuperbat:Is there a specific way to prepare writing the admission essays?
73:00@anonymous:Should we start preparing for the SAT as of now?
77:37@Anya:What were some of your high school extracurriculars?
79:35@Trustysuperbat:Can personal projects found as EC’s?
82:10@Trustysuperbat:As sophomores, should we spend a lot of time right now thinking about college or spend more time developing interests/passions in & out of school?
84:10@Anya:What are some benefits of a rural college?
87:29@Trustysuperbat:How many colleges is a good number to apply to? How many targets, reaches, and safeties?
89:34@Anya:If college vine lists a school as a safety, how much confidence should I hold in that?
92:31@Trustysuperbat:How many schools should we visit in person?
94:52@Anya:What are some good examples of personal statements that someone could write?
95:55@Trustysuperbat:What are some examples of overused essay topics?
99:30@Anya:How important are alumni interviews?
102:54@Trustysuperbat:Should I take an AP class even if it doesn’t have to do with my future career path?
105:24@anonymous:Is your GPA really as important as people say it is for college applications?
105:44@Anya:Is talking to people who went to a prospective school over 30 years ago still a good measure of information about the school and student life?
108:55@Trustysuperbat:I’ve heard a lot of advice about finding a school’s values. Where is the best place to look for the school’s values?
110:46@Anya:Do state schools have legacy like private schools do?


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