Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Harvard Interview: Anticipation

I sent my Common Application to Harvard on the last possible date. I sent my SAT scores even later. Regardless, my online profile says everything has been received. Except the (voluntary) interview.

According to the website, not being able to set up an interview will not have an adverse effect on the applicant's chances. Now there's also a list of counties where international interviews are possible, and I hoped Costa Rica wasn't on it. It was. Since I suspect that not trying to set up an interview would look bad, I sent an e-mail asking who I could get in touch with. I got an answer telling me all Harvard alumni had gone on a mass migration to faraway parts of the world and that I was therefore saved. Hurray!

Actually, I got a list of names and e-mails and the interview is tomorrow.

Interviews are hard. At least I suppose they are, I only ever had one other with The Major, and a phone interview at that. See, the thing about a phone interview is that there's an escape route. If things go badly and I panic and I decide "Screw this, I'm frightened and I don't want a degree" I can slam down the phone and never face the person again. What am I supposed to do in person, make a break for the door? Wait 'til they turn their backs and try to sneak out the window? I don't think so.

What makes it all the more nerve-wracking of course, is that it's Harvard. Nearly no one is qualified for Harvard and that goes double for me.

My GPA is 3.72. My highest SAT score is 2140 (+ writing, 1410 without), high, but hardly Ivy League. And we're both going to know this and I still have to go in and convince him that they are.

Here are some depressing numbers: the most recent estimates (The Choice, New York Times College Admissions Blog) say that roughly 35,000 students applied to Harvard this year, up from 30,489 in 2010. Last year, only 7% were accepted (CollegeBoard).

Cheerful thought.

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