The Toast of the Town

I’m feeling so happy at the moment, as all my hard work has paid off and I have been accepted into both Cornell and Harvard universities. Now I have a couple of weeks to decide which one to go to. Obviously, Harvard it is considered one of the best, if not the best universities in the world. So you would think that it is a little bit of a no-brainer to go to Harvard.

Unfortunately, following my interview at Harvard I had a bad experience. My parents took me out for a meal after the interview, and I had my handbag stolen. Although I realize that this happens very often, and can occur anywhere, it is sort of put me off moving to the Cambridge area. I think the advantage of Cornell over Harvard is that it is pretty much in the countryside of New York State, with the only major town close by the Ithaca itself. I seem to recall it was a couple of hours drive from the airport at Syracuse.

Cambridge Area
Is the Cambridge area unsafe? Or is it just in my mind.

My parents have told me that I should not let this minor incident affect my decision after which of these two Ivy League colleges that I attend. Deep down I know that they are right, and it will make much more sense for me to go to Harvard. But for some reason, I did not really feel like I want to go there at the moment.

Cost wise, both establishments have offered me a full scholarship, so there was nothing to distinguish the two institutions there. I did prefer the campus at Cornell, as I really enjoyed walking along the lake and looking at the waterfalls (I could watch them all day long). Some students there told me that in the wintertime all of the water flowing through the Gorges freezes, and everything becomes beautiful beyond belief, though damn cold.

Anyways, I will keep you all up with my decision to make it!

I don’t know why, but this latest post of mine seems to be quite negative. It should not be in the slightest, as I became the toast of the town; I am the first person to be accepted to the Ivy League in my town since 1964. Yes, the last person to make the trip up to New England to attend the Ivy Leagues was John Snowden. He attended Princeton, and now owns is a law firm in Auburn.

As I am not planning to study law, I think that there is very little chance that I will end up with my own law firm J That said, I’m hoping to establish my own textile business once I have finished school. Though I am planning to travel around the world a couple times before I even think about doing anything like that. As most of you know, it has always been my dream to visit the safari parks in Africa and see leopards and cheaters in their natural environment. I will be taken my camera and sketchbooks along.

I think it’s about time to wrap up this post, as my parents are taking my brother and I out tonight to celebrate my being accepted into Harvard, Cornell, and a couple of other minor, though good, colleges. I’m not sure where we are going to go but I am hoping that it serves fantastic food, and that we will have a night out to remember.

Happy, happy happy, Annie L

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Interview at Cornell did not go so well

I have just got back from my interview at Cornell University. Unfortunately, the interview did not go as well as I was hoping that it would do. I think the main reason for this is because I was very nervous.

I should not have been so scared, as it is not the first interview that I have been to this year; I have also interviewed at Stamford and of all places Troy University. You may be thinking to yourself why did I go to Troy University, when it does not have as good a reputation as the other universities I have mentioned. Will the main reason for this is that I live very close to the university itself in Alabama. Therefore, I decided that it would be a very good idea if I checked out a local place, even though I will be very disappointed if I end up studying there (though it did look to be quite a nice place to be, to be honest). Finally, given the good University of Michigan ranking I have decided to apply there too, as a high quality backup college.

Anyway back to the interview that I had a Cornell, even though it did not go as good as I was hoping that it would do, I still think I have a good chance of getting in as I am expecting pretty much get full score in my SAT exams, and I did a lot of extracurricular activities that I feel the people that were interviewing me at Cornell were quite impressed with.

So why do I feel the interview went badly, I think I was a little bit immature as I brought my parents along with me to the interview. I don’t think this was the best thing to do in hindsight. I think the next time that I interview at an establishment on my list of Ivy League schools (Yale, next week) I’m going to go by myself, and insist that my parents stay at the hotel.

I also feel that I had to do behave a little shyly at interviews. I don’t think there is that much I can do about this, as it is a personality trait. I expect that if I do get into an Ivy League college that I will soon learn how to be more confident in myself.

So now that I have told you about the interview, I bet that you are wondering what I think of Cornell University itself. Well I have to admit; that I think the campus itself is stunningly beautiful. I was surprised, of just how spread out the campus was, and the amount of countryside that seemed to be within the campus itself. Just before the interview, my parents and I went for a walk along the beautiful lake there (Cayuga). What impressed me the most? The large waterfalls that run over the gorges there.

I think the one drawback of going to university at Cornell is that it gets very cold in the winter. I suppose that this is a drawback of virtually all of the Ivy League institutions. I have to admit, that at the moment Stanford is a little bit more appealing to me due to it having much warmer weather in the winter.

I guess the big question is, if I was offered a place at Cornell University or indeed any of the other Ivy League institutions (I’m going to an interview at Princeton as well as Yale) then would I be prepared to put up the cold? You bet your life I would. It must be an awesome experience to study at such a prestigious establishment. I’ve got to admit, that going to an Ivy League school or their equivalent, such as Stanford, has been a dream of mine for a long long time. Indeed, I would not have spent many hours working at home doing extra study-time if I did not plan to get the best education that I possibly can.

I told you that my interview did not go so good at Cornell, but that I still feel I have a chance of being accepted. I think the one good thing to come out of all this, is that I now have a little more experience at interviews.

This should put me in good stead for when I have my interview at Yale next Tuesday, and the big one itself, Princeton, in two weeks time. It feels strange really, that I feel a little bit more confident about being accepted into Princeton than I do at the other Ivy League institutions because it will be my last interview and I am hoping that the experience that I have gained from attending other interviews at Ivy League establishments will give me much more confidence.\

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On Life and College

Sometimes I feel that all I do is study and partake in placements. I’m only 18 so where is the fun in my life? Many people have told me that when I go to college that the fun will start. But as I will be going to one of the more elite ones, I have a feeling that my life will carry on in a similar pattern there, just that the workload will be more focused on my major.

I have been reading a lot recently about how college is a waste of money and you’d be better off if you just took the loan, then went off to the Philippines or Mexico for a few years and worked on your own business as an entrepreneur. Apparently, it costs about $600 to $1000 to live in these countries, and most people who do it are already ‘paying for themselves’ by earning this amount of money after 5 or 6 months. So it would pretty much cost about $3,000 to $6000 for your living costs, and another $1,000 or so for a flight. I have got to admit, that while I have been applying for a place at college that I have been reading up on the ‘entrepreneur abroad’ lifestyle on many blogs, you get a very good idea of costs by reading the nomadic list. I think that I’d rather live in Eastern Europe than in Mexico to be honest; seems it should be about $1,200 a month.

I find it interesting, how all of these guys and gals really hate the idea of going to college. I’m not sure that I totally agree, though I like the idea of living abroad, I’d rather do it as an ex-pat working for an NGO or something, get to really live in a place, instead of being on the outskirts of the society you are temporary staying in (most of these ‘digital nomads’ tend to only stay in a place for two or three months). And to get one of these positions I think it is better to network through going to a good college, than turning up in some good forsaken country and ‘so-called’ volunteering at a place for a few months, and trying to work yourself up.

Further to this, I winder what the success rate of ‘digital nomads’ really is? I’m guessing you don’t hear many of the bad experiences! I have read many stories of people down to their last couple of hundred dollars and then finding success. There must be many many more who were down to their last $200, and err, spent it, going under. What must that be like, having no money for food, getting on the phone and begging your friends and family for some money to get a flight home, and by the way do you mind sending a couple of dollars so that I can afford to buy a KFC! That must be dreadful. I’d hope that I’d return home, and swallow my pride, well before I got to that stage, but I guess people are willing to take a chance, or are perhaps too ashamed to return home to a gossiping community “Oh yeah, that’s the girl who didn’t go to college, and is now living with her parents”, “yeah, that’s right, she is working at Wal-Mart’s”, “LOL, she was so sure of herself, the stuck-up little so and so!”.

I personally feel, all things weighed up, that the best course option for someone like myself is to attend a good college, get a good degree (in a subject with job opportunities), and then think about living abroad in the future. I may even be able to partake in a study abroad scheme at university too, I think it would be nice to spend a semester (or two) in Italy or Spain. And one final point, I am expecting (hoping) to get a full scholarship covering all of the costs of my studies, so I won’t be one of these people who leave college with a $100,000 plus of debt. I think if I was in a situation where I was likely to build up a large amount od debt during my studies, that I too, would be thinking more about working from a tropical island somewhere (or perhaps in Budapest).

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Choosing my Dream School

As you all know, it is my dream to attend a prestigious school, preferably an Ivy, but I’d be more than happy to attend other places such as Chicago, Stanford, and the like. I have studied like mad, and I’m a pretty good person, so I am very hopeful that I will fulfill my dreams despite the fact that no body in my family has ever studied at an elite establishments. Although, I have heard it is beneficial at some places, I’m looking at you Columbia, to have had your parent’s be alumi, I am confident that I can let my personality shine through :-)

Anyways, I have three interviews lined up in the next month, Cornell, Yale, and NorthWestern. I would be happy to be accepted into any of them, though I probably have a preference for Cornell, as I’d prefer to live in/near a college town; New Haven is a little bigger than what I’d prefer (though I do like the idea of being near the sea).

I think that it is going to be very important that I receive some sort of financial help; these are all private institutions so the state won’t help out that much, but the good news is that they all have quite large endowments, so should offer some form of scholarship/work-deal for someone with my family background.

Just to give you an idea of why I favor Cornell, here is a video of Ithaca and Cayuga lake that I found on good old youtube:

Beautiful isn’t it. I’d love to go a flight over the lake! I go for my interview there on thursday, so I’ll be sure to keep you up to date with how things go; wish me luck.

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