2 years ago
Admissions Advice

What happens if you are a well-rounded student and not a spikey one?

I've been hearing that you need to be a well-rounded student instead of a person good with a few things. However, for those elite colleges like Duke and Vanderbilt, and Yale, colleges like to see you do good/amazing in 1 or 2 themes, like English or medicine or theatre. I'm now kind of worried-I'm interested in 3 main things which are medicine, religion, and writing/history. And I have some spikes in each of these 3 things (interning at MD Anderson and advanced to HOSA state competitions; led religious services for 100+ people for 5 years; founder of my school's newspaper and student advisory board member for TeenInk (national youth writing/arts magazine). My perspective major at these schools includes medical anthropology; global/public health; and medicine, health and society, which I believe require skills in religion, writing, and medicine since there's an emphasis on societal understanding to create better health policy and interventions. However, I'm not focused on 1 or 2 things. And I'm in the 12th grade, applying to colleges right now. Should I be worried that I'm not a spikey applicant, or is it fine I'm interested in different things because of my prospective major?


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1 answer

2 years ago[edited]

This is something I've been struggling with too- it's hard to just pick one passion to pursue! Something I've tried to do with my essays and activities are to highlight the intersectionality of each area of interest. For example, I'm passionate about both computer science and environmental science, so in my personal statement, I talked about the ways they both intersect (like how I can use computer science to address environmental problems). Colleges usually like unique ways of thinking, so I think that emphasizing your high level of experience in each area in this way would help enhance your application by showing that you are academically dynamic and have a genuine love of learning.

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Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


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