All about College!

Extremely few girls there I suppose. I actually don’t see any obviously female names on the list.

How on earth can MIT field so many kids on their team? Most of the kids are not even math majors I guess?

Yeah. I only saw one, but maybe Li is a girls first name?


I mean, one on the list up to about 250!

On MIT’s Putnam page they did show some girls on their teams. It’s hard to make out the gender of Chinese first names.


Well I guess we have made it? Asians are now the most discriminated against in college admissions. We need a much higher MCAT score and GPA to get accepted into medical schools.

Next step for colleges is to of course get rid of MCAT test scores requirements. That way we won’t even know if we got the short end of the stick. Just like what they did with SAT scores.

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This means it’s far too easy to survive now, and people feel entitled to anything they need for free. There are out if basic needs to worry about, so now they have to make up stuff to worry about.

There’s a huge difference between “I don’t want my child to be the next president” and “I want to make sure there’s food on the table.”


Why do you think there’s demand for student loan forgiveness? People expect handouts. It’s why the government did additional stimulus checks even though unemployment had returned to pre pandemic levels.

Still think there’s a difference between being on gov’t aid, wanting to be off government aid, and having literally a Billion dollars.

Like, I don’t wish a Billion dollar company on my kids either, but I’d be happy if they could afford to have a parent home with the kids.

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It’s like I’d love for my kids to be healthy. But I don’t wish that they had two extra arms.

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Right, there is plenty of space in the happy middle ground between being a billionaire and being on welfare.

I do want to encourage my kids to be entrepreneurs and financially independent though. Being in America and Bay Area in particular I think many people are inclined to at least give it a try.


Saw this on Quora.

What are the darkest secrets of elite US universities?

Let me talk about MIT, which is largely missing from this set of answers.

I can talk circles about MIT not giving a lick about its undergrad population (oh boy, so much to dissect), or about the disparity between average highschool-smart kids and the IMO Gold Medalists in math classes, or about the fact that most of my classes are graded on a curve despite the fact that MIT pubs that they don’t do that.

But let’s focus on the saddest topic.

MIT is known for being one of the most intense, most rigorous, most high pressure universities in the country. It’s not because students are competitive (on the contrary, collaboration thrives and is often encouraged by instructors), but rather due to a combination of difficult coursework, extremely intelligent people everywhere that create insecurities, and a constant need to feel “hardcore.”

All this leads to one of the highest university suicide rates in the nation.

Just a few years ago, a girl jumped off the roof of my dorm, the tallest dorm in the school. MIT very promptly proceeded to investigate, and I’m not going into details, but let’s just say it was conducted extremely poorly.

The Institute is learning, though. Today, if you walk up a stairwell at MIT, it’s easy to deduce which door leads to a roof. It will have a sign:

There is help.

And really, truly, there is. We have a budding S^3 (Student Support Services) system that helps out a vast majority of students, a growing awareness about mental health in flyers and events and workshops…truly, this institution in many ways has tried to save lives.

But it’s not enough. And some of the decisions the administration have made recently haven’t exactly helped*. Just this academic year, a boy in my year committed suicide. A female grad student in my department. A 2016 alum who several of my newly graduated friends knew. And likely others who I haven’t heard about.

Rest in peace. You are missed, and you are loved.


yes, but…

First, 2/10,000 is roughly normal for that age group.

Second, her dorm - Macgregor - is a bunch of singles. Less social support.

Third, MIT kids are very DIY and think they are smarter than everyone else. They do not want to get help. I had a friend who was suicidal (for legit reasons that had nothing to do with MIT - he witnessed his girlfriend’s death during high school) who refused to be “gamed by the psychologists”.

I’m actually surprised that the rate is as low as it is.

That said, she’s right about the MIT administration not caring one bit about the kids. Wouldn’t be surprised if the signs were put up on the roof-doors by other students.

And the comment about IMO vs other disparity - just confirms what I know about admissions nowadays.


Apparently this is a pretty well known site but I only knew about it yesterday. It offers a free personality test. I think it’s pretty helpful for kids who don’t know what they want to major in, not sure what kind of professions they may want to pursue.


Any advice on IB programs? I hear contradictory perspectives.

  1. Theory 1: IB programs are very rigorous so are a great prep for college and US colleges know about it and hence give kids taking IB classes due consideration in selection process
  2. Theory 2: Taking IB classes means not being able to take AP classes. And, all said and done, AP classes prepare students for college better and have higher weightage in college admit criteria.

So what are the thoughts of experienced parents in this group on IB vs AP classes comparison?
Note: Let’s not compare IB programs to non-AP regular HS classes. IB is definitely better than that.

I heard people in the know agree with Theory 1 but said the edge is small. A lot depends on particular schools. Most IB schools are private right? So there’s also this private vs public school dynamic.

I am also curious what parents of IB kids think.

IB is recognized internationally and has more tests. APs are recognized in the US and most colleges specifically tell you what credit you’ll get for each of them (IBs, I think you have to ask the admissions office). Some IB programs require that you take all the classes together with your cohort - so it’s an all-or-nothing thing. Others might allow a la carte. AP classes can be taken fully a la carte allowing you to customize your high school experience.

Also, IBs are known for having a ton of homework, but that also varies with the program.

To summarize - if your kid is definitely applying internationally, go with the IB, otherwise AP might be better.

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