Tag Archives: 25th Anniversary Class

Meet our 25th Anniversary Class!

Where Are You Applying to College?

By: Leonel , Minds Matter Class of 2016

College is what I always envisioned for myself. My life has been leading up to that moment when my mother drops me off to the college of my choice. Success for me lies in going to college.

At first, college was a scary unknown that I shied away from. When I was a freshman, I was deathly afraid of everything concerning college. However, after almost four years of high school and three years at Minds Matter, I feel more comfortable. I am still stressed sometimes, but I have the power of knowledge at my disposal, and that makes me confident.

At Minds Matter, my summer programs on college campuses greatly affected my college list. After my sophomore year, I went to Iowa University for the Iowa Young Writers Workshop. I realized there that Iowa was my type of college. It was a small city that was slightly rural with an artistic feel. For someone who has always lived in New York, it was a breath of fresh air. I felt so free. I went to readings at book stores and visited museums. The entire city was in walking distance, littered with amazing street art and small shops. The campus itself was not large and felt like a personal community. I immediately felt comfortable. This is the type of college I want attend. In fact, I would apply to Iowa University if it was not for the far distance from my family.

After my junior year, I attended a summer program at the University of California, Los Angeles for screenwriting. UCLA was the opposite of Iowa. It was big with tall buildings and a campus that was so big it felt overwhelming. The first day at UCLA, I felt nervous and quiet, standing in the corner. While I wouldn’t trade my experience in California for anything, such a large school is not for me. However, this experience did make it easier to create my college list. Below is my current college list:

  • Williams College
  • University of Penn
  • Yale University
  • Hamilton College
  • Middlebury College
  • Wesleyan College

Learn more about Leonel in his next post!

Meet our 25th Anniversary Class!

Where Are You Applying to College?

By: Dineydi, Minds Matter Class of 2016

As my senior class and I begin working on our college applications, we know that the next couple of months are going to be slightly overwhelming. However, all of our hard work applying to colleges will be worth it when the spring comes along and our college acceptances arrive. Before any acceptances come to our doors, however, we all need to decide what colleges we want to apply to.

For me, it wasn’t very difficult to come up with a list. I started my list with my dream school, Brown University. I feel it is very important to have a dream college on my list because even if it seems impossible to get in, I still want to apply! Brown is my dream school because I went to Brown for my summer program after my sophomore year and I instantly fell in love with the school and everything it has to offer.

I chose my college list mostly based on offered majors and locations. Cost is not at the top of my list because I believe the price of a school shouldn’t stop me from reaching for my dreams. All of the schools on my list also have both of my intended majors, Education and Marketing. I would like all of the colleges on my list to be located in a city or suburban environment, namely because I want to stay in a similar environment to the one I live in now.

In a college I look for a strong community, small classes, study abroad programs and extensive internship opportunities. I hope to thrive both inside and outside the classroom in this type of environment through building a strong community. In these college environments, I hope to look for new opportunities to grow, explore, and become the best person I can.

Learn more about Dineydi in her next post!

Meet our 25th Anniversary Class!

Where Are You Applying to College?

By: Deborah, Minds Matter Class of 2016

For me and my fellow Minds Matter seniors, college is a step into a brighter future. It is a goal we’ve been trying to reach for the past three years. However, before we go to college, we have to be accepted. And before we are accepted, we have to apply. And before we apply, we have to choose what schools we’re going to apply to. And before we decide on these schools, we have to decide what it is we are looking for in these schools. And the process goes on and on and on.

Right now, most of us have a pretty good idea on what it is we’re looking for, but choosing from a list of over 2,000 four-year institutions across the nation is still pretty hard. It takes time and consideration in order to make these decisions. So, how did I break it down?

First off, I’m a city girl. I live in the city that never sleeps. When I began looking at schools, I knew right away that I was not a good fit for schools that are in rural locations. I also knew that when I step outside campus, I want to be in a city, and not have to travel two to three hours to get to the nearest major city.

I’m also a student-athlete. Being part of a team is what keeps me fit and on track with my school work, so athletics also played an important role when looking at schools. For the past three years, I’ve been part of a rowing team, and I know that I want to have the option of rowing in college, even if it isn’t competitively.

The third factor that plays an important role in the schools I select are the available majors, namely Film and Sociology. I’ve known for a very long time that these two things are at the very top of my list of majors. While I may change my mind while I’m in college, I want to at least have the option to pursue these areas of study.

These weren’t the only things that I looked for when selecting my college list. I thought about the size of the school, how far it is from my home, diversity on campus, travel abroad programs, and financial aid opportunities, among other things. Right now, at the top of my list are Columbia University, the University of Southern California, and Tufts University. All are very competitive schools, and all goals I intend on reaching. Over the past three years, one of the things I’ve learned with Minds Matter is that you shouldn’t be afraid of aiming high because often times, when you reach for the moon, you land amongst the stars.

Learn more about Deborah in her next post!

Meet our 25th Anniversary Class!

Where Are You Applying to College?

By: Andy, Minds Matter Class of 2016

The college process began way before the start of my senior year. During the summer before my senior year, I focused on finding colleges that would be a good fit for me based on features such as the location, the body size of each class, and the specific majors offered at each college.

This summer, I went to an international summer program in Chiang Mai, Thailand with the Experiment in International Living. I was tasked to do many things that were not necessarily in my comfort zone, such as living with a host family in a really small village, going on scavenger hunts in the busy streets of Chiang Mai and Bangkok, and riding on water buffalos and elephants. I realized from this trip that no matter the circumstance or the environment, I am really adaptive and I can cope with change really well. As a result, location is not really a priority for me when it comes to searching for a college. I have schools on my list that are all over the country, such as Oberlin College, which is in a small rural setting in Ohio; University of Rochester, which is in a medium suburban setting in New York; and Drexel University, which is in a large urban setting in Pennsylvania.

Another determining factor is the body size of each class. I attend high school at NEST+ m (New Explorations into Science, Technology and Math), a K-12 school on the Lower East Side. Our class sizes are very small. I enjoy the amount of attention we get from teachers, but I often dread group discussions in the classroom. Some students argue that they shine in small environments, but I realized that I learn best when I am just alone and there isn’t so much attention on me. I see myself being in a larger community with a larger student body. I enjoy meeting new people and having more freedom outside the classroom to do things that I like. Schools such as SUNY Stony Brook, Northeastern University, and New York University fulfill this requirement for me.

In my opinion, the specific majors offered in each college are very important when seeing if a school is a good fit. Early on, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in medicine. Medicine appeals to me because it has the ability to heal. I want to be part of a field that saves and improves lives through advances in medicine and research.  I want to follow the pre-med track with a major in either Biomedical Engineering or Microbiology. As a result, Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University, and Boston University are on my college list because of their wonderful programs and internship opportunities.

I have many other colleges on my list such as University of Pennsylvania, University of Chicago, Stanford University, University of Southern California, and Brown University, which I am applying to through QuestBridge. QuestBridge is a prestigious national merit scholarship for low-income high school students.

Learn more about Andy in his next post!