College Admissions Info

joelhm18
Williams College ‘21
BA, Undecided

Profile Overview

Profile contains
  • Test Scores
  • High School Performance
  • Extracurriculars & Awards
  • Personal statement
  • 14 supplemental essays
  • 7 advice topics

Student Background

I'm an incoming Williams College freshman with no idea what I want to study or do, here to help others successfully navigate the college application process.
From: Beirut , Massachusetts , Lebanon
Gender: Male
Race/Ethnicity: White Non-Hispanic
Accepted At: Tufts, BC, BU, Wesleyan, Northeastern
Denied At:
Waitlisted At:
Withdrew From:

Test Scores

1490
SAT
Other SAT Scores:
SAT Prep:
SAT IIs:

High School Performance

4.30
GPA
Top 5%
Rank
Academic Performance in High School: Steady

Extracurriculars & Awards

Sports: Soccer, Swimming/Diving, Tennis
Extracurricular Activities: National Honor Society, Debate Club/Team, Film, Quiz Bowl/Academic Bowl, Tutoring/Mentoring
Awards Received:

College Application Essays

Personal Statement for Williams, Tufts, BC, BU, Wesleyan, Northeastern, Harvard, UVA, UNC, Brown, Duke: Ethical dilemma, Leaving home
698 Words
Pushing Through the Door The fresh, overly hygienic smell that hospitals always to seem to have filled my nostrils, just as the rancid odor of the street vacated them. I felt the cool, artificial breeze of the air conditioning on my lips, which I had whet as I prepared to speak. “How bad is it?” I asked my mom. “Bad,” she replied. Her eyes filling with tears, she continued, “It’s the chemotherapy. It’s like she has no muscles;...











Supplemental Essay for Tufts, Harvard: Unique question posed by school
300 Words
The question was "What makes you happy?" (I wrote it for Tufts and used it for Harvard since Harvard doesn't ask a specific question for the supplemental essay). A soft, fluffy, well-buttered, and lightly toasted whole-wheat bun; a thick but not too thick black angus beef patty cooked medium-well, just the way I like it; a layer of well-salted goat cheese topped with a generous helping of cherry jam and rocket leaves. As you take a bite, your taste buds...





Supplemental Essay for Williams: Unique question posed by school
331 Words
The question was "Imagine yourself in a tutorial at Williams. Of anyone in the world, whom would you choose to be the other student in the class, and why?" In Lebanon, liberal arts colleges are something of an unknown entity. In fact, when I told my parents I wanted to attend Williams, they were rather perplexed. As it turns out, they thought it was an actual art school, and, having seen some of my paintings, they knew that, while I...





Supplemental Essay for UVA: Unique question posed by school
293 Words
The question was " What's your favorite word and why?" Although I rarely use it in conversation, my favorite word is perspicacious. Prior to my last year of middle school, I considered my only strengths to lie in science; although I was an avid reader, I had little interest in English class. That changed when I met Mr. Mee, my 8th grade English teacher. He had a passion for words like no other, and it was infectious. Before long, I felt...





Supplemental Essay for UVA: Unique question posed by school
255 Words
The question was "What work of art, music, science, mathematics, or literature has surprised, unsettled, or challenged you, and in what way?" It is rare that a book truly unsettles me, but the events of La Petite Fille de Monsieur Linh, by French author Philippe Claudel, did just that. The book recounts the story of Monsieur Linh, a refugee of war, and his baby granddaughter, whom he cherishes and loves above all else. His first few months as a refugee...





Supplemental Essay for Tufts, Duke: Diversity statement
292 Words
The prompt was "Describe the environment in which you were raised—your family, home, neighborhood or community—and how it influenced the person you are today." On Halloween of 2016, Lebanon’s parliament elected a president after almost three years without one. It was treated as a momentous occasion, but the truth is that having no president made little difference. Everything functioned as it usually would, which is to say, barely. With or without a president, Lebanon is a tumultuous place...





Supplemental Essay for Tufts, Duke: “Why us” school essay
116 Words
This one was for Tufts, but the Duke one was very similar. I often hear that universities are looking for well-rounded students, but I think that many students, I among them, are looking for well-rounded universities − universities like Tufts. In addition to being in what I consider the ideal location in Greater Boston and having a lovely campus as well as a vibrant, diverse student body, Tufts excels in practically all areas of academics. I hope to capitalize on Tufts’...



Supplemental Essay for Brown: “Why us” school essay
164 Words
Although I am a staunch advocate of movies in the movies-versus-TV shows debate, I admit that some shows are exceptional. One such show is “The Office”, where Brown alumnus John Krasinski plays my second favorite character, Jim Halpert. Embarrassingly enough, that’s what first drew my attention to Brown. Brown became my top choice when I learned of the liberal learning goals achieved through any and all concentrations. I am attracted to Brown’s emphasis on developing skills common to...



Supplemental Essay for Brown: Unique question posed by school
214 Words
The question was "Why are you drawn to the area(s) of study you indicated earlier in this application? If you are "undecided" or not sure which Brown concentrations match your interests, consider describing more generally the academic topics or modes of thought that engage you currently. (150 word limit)" "Doctor, engineer, or lawyer?" It’s a question that saw me embark on an ultimately doomed quest to discover which Lebanese-parent-approved profession suited me best. I have found that I am...





Supplemental Essay for Brown: Unique question posed by school
137 Words
The prompt was "Tell us where you have lived - and for how long - since you were born; whether you've always lived in the same place, or perhaps in a variety of places. (100 word limit)" My love for Christmas has grown because of the different environments I have celebrated it in. In Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where I spent the first ten years of my life and Christmas is effectively banned, the only place to celebrate is a secret party...



Supplemental Essay for Brown: Unique question posed by school
134 Words
The prompt was "We all exist within communities or groups of various sizes, origins, and purposes; pick one and tell us why it is important to you, and how it has shaped you. (100 word limit)" It’s the duality of swimming as a team and individual sport that makes it so important to me: it simultaneously offers me the camaraderie of a team and the chance to compete on my own. Hunched over the starting block, a teammate is a...



Supplemental Essay for BC: Unique question posed by school
455 Words
The prompt was "Human beings have a creative side that tends to shine most when we are truly invested in the world around us. Describe a situation when you responded effectively to a particular need and found yourself at your creative best." I once wrote that identification cards are society’s way of summarizing a lifetime of identity building on a 3-by-2 inch piece of plastic. While it’s true IDs are primarily used to identify rather than classify, they...







Supplemental Essay for MIT: Unique question posed by school
145 Words
The prompt was "We know you lead a busy life, full of activities, many of which are required of you. Tell us about something you do for the pleasure of it. (100 words or fewer)" Despite my heavy involvement in sports and my semi-obsession with fitness, I (like anyone else with their priorities straight) am a lover of food. I tend to be adventurous, both in life and in diet, so I firmly believe that the best food is new food. ...



Supplemental Essay for MIT: Unique question posed by school
298 Words
The question was "Describe the world you come from; for example, your family, clubs, school, community, city, or town. How has that world shaped your dreams and aspirations?(*) (200-250 words)" My early childhood in Saudi Arabia placed me in an environment of perfect structure: between the impeccably organized expatriate compound I lived in and the strict British school I attended, I developed an affinity for order. So, when I moved to Lebanon as a nine-year-old, I was in for a...





Supplemental Essay for UNC: Unique question posed by school
249 Words
The prompt was "Tell us about a small goal you hope to achieve, whether in the next 10 days, 10 months, or 10 years." “The difference between a raft and a boat is an engine,” my dad often tells me. Each person has their own engine; something that drives them to improve. Without our engines, we would just float aimlessly through life. My engine is the goals I set for myself. I learned a long time ago that life is richer with an...





College Admissions Advice

What I’d change about my application process
119 Words
I made the mistake of leaving all my college preparation to my senior year. I studied for and took my SAT and Subject SATs during the the first semester of 12th grade. I also didn't...





My advice about getting recommenders
116 Words
Ask three of your teachers for letters of recommendation in 11th grade. If at all possible, ask one STEM teacher, one social studies teacher, and one language teacher. Most schools ask for two letters...





What set me apart from other applicants
119 Words
Be self-aware. Know if you're a well-rounded applicant or an applicant with an outstanding interest or ability in one area. If you're more well-rounded, like me for example, you might do better at small...





How to increase chances at my school (Williams)
45 Words
At Williams and other elite LACs, you're expected to do lots of reading and...





How to increase chances at my school (Tufts)
32 Words
Tufts stresses creativity, so it would benefit you to...





How I chose schools to apply to (Wesleyan, Northeastern)
57 Words
I applied to these schools solely because they do not ask for extra essays, which makes them...





How I chose schools to apply to (UVA, UNC)
74 Words
In hindsight, I shouldn't have applied to these schools simply because it is way harder for out-of-state applicants. They're both great schools,...