Admission Tips from a Columbia Student: My Chinese Parents

November 29, 2013

This week, we asked some of our interns how their parents affected their admissions process. Here we feature one of those responses from QD (her initials), a Columbia student who grew up in China. We wanted to know whether the Tiger Mom stereotype holds water. Read her responses below and let us know what you think!

How involved were your parents in your application process?

My parents neither hurt nor helped. However, they encouraged me a lot, and helped me know myself better. 

How did they encourage/help you?

They are both Chinese and know little English, and therefore, I had to depend on myself researching the schools and courses that I was interested in. It was indeed a labor! I spent days and nights sitting before different computers (I was working as an intern then) and burying myself in all the requirements of various schools. Sometimes, I felt exhausted and unhappy. Then, here came my parents! They just sat beside me or cooked me a delicious meal, chatting with me, comforting me and helping me relax. After telling them my concerns and worries, they tried to give some suggestions based on their experience. I felt it was great!

Did they have a strong opinion about which school you should go to? 

When it came to decide which school to attend, I was in a dilemma. My parents, instead of giving me a cut-off announcement, they, together with me, analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of each graduate school. Combined with my career goal, I finally figured out the school without much anxiety or difficulty.

Any final thoughts?

Now, I’m in Columbia University alone, but I feel like I’m equipped with the skills and brave enough to make decisions on my own, whether it is about everyday life, or is about lifelong choices.



Browse Successful Application Files

aebrennen
UNC ‘18


Accepted to Yale, UPenn, Davidson, UNC, UMich, Emory, Northwestern, Wake Forest, UVA, UKentucky, William & Mary, Miami OH, Vanderbilt

Passionate about education from the great state of Kentucky.
elewal
Brown ‘20


Accepted to Brown, Cornell, CMU, Wesleyan, William & Mary, Case, Villanova, Binghamton, RPI, WPI

Hi! I'm a sophomore at Brown University studying Biochemistry and English. I love writing, baking, hiking, and music.
niustephanie
Stanford ‘19


Accepted to Stanford, MIT, GA Tech

STEM outreach enthusiast. Poet. Programmer. Advocate for women in STEM.
beccapenn38
UPenn ‘21


Accepted to UPenn, Tulane, Elon , UNC

Student in the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business dual enrolled in the School of Arts and Sciences and the Wharton School.

New Posts

UNC Writing Supplement Essay Prompts 2017-2018
UNC Writing Supplement Essay Prompts 2017-2018
September 15, 2017

Due to its popularity among in-state and out-of-state students, the University of North Carolina is one of the most competitive public universities in the US. The University of North Carolina is the oldest public university...

College Rejection: Understanding the Tufts Syndrome
College Rejection: Understanding the Tufts Syndrome
September 14, 2017

Ever heard of the term Tufts Syndrome? One of our recently graduated high school interns have and Aditya wants to share with you what it means and how it affects your application. Getting rejected from...

MIT 2017-2018 Essay Prompts
MIT 2017-2018 Essay Prompts
September 13, 2017

Applying to MIT this fall? Check out the 2017-2018 MIT essay prompts!If MIT is your dream school, you should already know that MIT does not use the Common Application. Instead, they have their own...

Load More Posts