Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceOther - Education · 6 months ago

Am I unique enough?

what is something unique enough/challenge that I can write about that can get me into top 25 schools?

My accomplishments:

Top level tennis player in the state(texas)/ practice 3-5 hours a day

nationally ranked/ has competed in international tennis tournaments

high school varsity 2 years, voted mvp both years, and took team to state for 1st time

have coached and organized tournaments for 3 years 

have taken calculus as a junior

been on a local radio talk show once to talk about tennis

been on a couple local newspapers

Volunteer work:

volunteered during harvey

participated in a one time project that involved cleaning local water areas



2nd generation immigrant( asian parents)

Note: i know money is a main factor in selective schools but for now I just want to know what I can write about that will help stand out


Note: I know what "unique" means, I was just wondering if I was "average" or not, and no, I am not full of pride or an internet troll, I am just very nervous as I am the first person in my family to go through this application process, not sure if I have enough extracurricular activities(besides tennis and minimal volunteer work) and just need some guidance. I have read that it is important to start writing before the school year, so I am a bit pressured. Thank you for the responses!

12 Answers

  • 3 months ago

    There are no degrees of "unique."  You're either unique or you aren't.  

  • Anonymous
    4 months ago

    Consider an area of study or academic skil that is unusual, but which interviewers would notice. Actually just checking the same boxes as everyone else and competing for numerical scores on tests that every other candidate is taking, simply puts you in a certain class. It does not make you stand out. Showing initiative, some genuinely unique academic curiosity and interest in something extracurricular that is academic is very rare. When most of your competition think of extracurricular, they usually never do any research or study beyond the curriculum, which might show promise to an academician. They do sports and hobbies and social activities, volunteering and so on. Consider the sorry decline in diction and grammar in our culture. Remember learning about split infinitives. Now start counting them. Notice who splits infinitives and it's a daily occurrence on television. Even highly educated and awarded journalists now routinely split infinitives and end sentences with prepositions.  "To boldly go", which is not correct, now sounds more awkward than "to go boldly", which is correct. Note also how few newscasters use "who" and "whom" correctly or understand when to use "me" and when to use "I". People who would never say, "Come with I" turn right around and say, "Come with Steve and I". They no longer hear how incorrect that is. And the preposition "for" ought to be pronounced with the "o" sound and not as a homonym for "fir" or "fur". If these things seem petty or unimportant or nit picking to you, then perhaps you are not especially unique and can tell an interviewer about your tennis game and ladling soup to the homeless. But, if you are aware of the general decline of grammar and diction in our culture, you could both demonstrate that you are unique in that you take care both in writing and in the interview process to express yourself well and demonstrate an intellectual curiosity by doing an independent study of the phenomenon on your own initiative. You would stand out and make yourself memorable to serious academia. Because you are interested in getting into one of the top 25 schools, allow me to suggest further that you note how the "t" sound is becoming lazily replaced by a "d" sound as in, "id iz right on our doorstep" rather than, "it is right on our doorstep". Notice how the great writers of the nineteenth century often made the contraction 'tis, indicating that the t sound used to be stronger in English. You could write your paper on the degeneration of the English language. Express your interest in studying that in depth. 

  • F
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    As you don’t even know what unique means, I would say a top 25 school is unlikely .

    Unique means one and only .

    You cannot be too unique, quite unique , unique enough, very unique, etc etc

    Unique is unique you cannot qualify it!

  • Anonymous
    6 months ago

    unique enough to be full of pride. there are many better people out there who are less qualified and do not brag about their knowledge. they belong to the school of hard knocks and if you ever joined them you would not survive. that is a real school that teaches everything.

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  • Lili
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    As I told you when I answered one of your other questions, push the tennis.

    Otherwise no, you don't look "unique".

    And as I also told you, money is NOT a main factor when it comes to selective schools. They offer need-blind admissions, and about half of students at elite schools are on financial aid.

    I'm beginning to think you may be one of the our OCD trolls.  Stop posting this question.

  • 6 months ago

    Actually, the most selective schools, including all Ivy League schools, have need-blind admissions. Admissions decisions are made without regard to financial need. 

    No amount of extracurricular activities or "uniqueness" will make up for average grades or SAT scores. The most competitive universities use ECs to distinguish between top applicants, since thousands of applicants have near-perfect grades and SAT scores. Less competitive universities, and most public universities, tend to rely strictly upon grades and SAT scores (the only real exceptions are the varsity athletes). 

    Competitive colleges aren't looking for uniqueness per se; they're looking for activities that will benefit their school.

    Tennis is probably your strongest point, aside from your grades. Contact the coach (probably should have been done junior year according to ) at some of the colleges you think you have the best chance at, and introduce yourself. 

  • John
    Lv 6
    6 months ago

    I'm the person who answered your first question about pointing out you need to be unique, not so much your essay.   The other person who replied to that question saying money was the top factor in admissions is an internet troll.   Admissions at most top colleges are made separately from financial aid considerations.  Ignore what that person said about money.

    On a different note, your tennis accomplishments seem high enough to catch the attention of college coaches.  Based on discovery material from the Harvard admissions lawsuit from a few years ago, the average applicant at Harvard has about a 5% chance of admission.  4 groups of applicants, however, had a 30% chance.  One of those groups was recruited athletes.  You might want to use your tennis abilities to help bolster your elite college chances.

  • 6 months ago

     Most high school students, even the top students, tend to be involved in the usual high school activities -- band/orchestra, sports, key club, student council, etc. Your tennis accomplishments might be the thing that gets you into a top school. Being interested in an unusual major also might help you get in (you can always change majors later). But do your homework ahead of time. Mention a particular program that interests you or a professor that you'd like to work with.

  • 6 months ago

    The first thing to do is to learn the meaning of "unique".

  • drip
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    What about a tennis scholarship? Do you plan on continuing in the sport.

    For ivy and high ranking schools they are looking for leadership positions. Did you head up any volunteer projects? 

    Being in the newspaper / TV really doesn’t count for much.

    So all you have is your tennis. Coaching and organizing tournaments would be you only leadership Position.

    My daughter took AP calculus as a junior and scored a 5 on the  AB. BC exam. Not that unique

    Grades and SAT count the most. Your acceptance or denial is not based on money. 

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