College Survival Tips [Part 3] | Nicolas Chae | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

5 Lessons (13m)
    • 1. Welcome to Nic's Declassified! [Part 3]

    • 2. Lecture 8 My Story

    • 3. Lecture 9 Moving Into College

    • 4. Lecture 10 Picking a Major

    • 5. Lecture 11 Habits for Success

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About This Class

Creating a College List 

Answer some questions about what aspects are important in potential schools you are interested with the relevant information to help determine which universities you should be creating your list around.

Essay Thought Questions

If you're looking for some inspiration to start your essay, use these as a starting point! Remember, your essay won't be perfect right away, but through revisions and critiques you'll have a beautifully crafted essay!

College Research Worksheet 

Narrow down your search for the college of your dreams with the Excel spreadsheet to keep track of application requirements, important deadlines, tuition costs, and more important information.

Meet Your Teacher

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Nicolas Chae

Princeton University Class of 2021


Greetings and salutations, friends!

My name is Nic (21) and I'm a senior in the Economics Department at Princeton University. Since I got into college, I've been documenting my life as a college student and the journey it took to get me here through YouTube to an audience of engaged, interactive students from all over the world.

Throughout my time at Princeton, I've gotten hundreds of messages from people just like you asking how to succeed in high school to get into the school of your dreams. As someone who understands the frustrations and uncertainty in the college application process, I decided to come up with a series of lectures outlining everything you need to know, from your freshman year of high school, all the way up to your first year of college.

I'm ... See full profile

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1. Welcome to Nic's Declassified! [Part 3]: There are few things as intimidating as a college application process. The culmination of all your years of hard work boiled down into a single application to determine whether or not you're qualified for the school of your dreams. I know it's a scary process because well, I've been there. My name is Douglas Jay and I'm a senior in the economics department at Princeton University. Since my freshman year of college, I've been documenting my life through YouTube and the journey you took to get me here. Throughout this process, I've gone hundreds of messages from people, just like you asking me questions about how I got into the number one university in the country. Now as I come to the close of this chapter of my life, I'm very excited to announce the launch of Nick's declassified comprehensive guide, walking you through every step of the college application process, everything you need to know from the start of your freshman year of high school all the way to your transition to college. Now, a couple years back as I was going through the process myself, I was thinking, dang, I wish there was a comprehensive guide that would tell me everything I needed to know. So I did just that builds an all-in-one comprehensive resource to answer any sort of question that Google can't help with. And the reason I believe this is so beneficial and revolutionary is that every single course throughout this lecture has been written by an actual college student who has been through the process just like you, what better way to learn from your peers who had the exact same struggle with and had the same questions but ended up succeeding throughout this entire journey, earning hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarship money and are now attending some of the most prestigious universities in the country. This course, I'll be taking you through the various steps of the college application process, starting with the foundation of a successful high school curriculum to best set yourself up for admission into your dream University. Then we'll break down the actual aspects of the application as well. Some tips on formulating a cohesive, well-thought-out essay that's gonna make you stand out from the crowd, will also provide tips on standardized testing for tests such as the SAT or the ACT, as well as how to maximize your efforts for SAT subject tests, an AP tests. Finally, we'll conclude with your transition into college, as well as billions of habits for success. And you start your first semester of college, we'd put in several hours of preparation to bringing guys this course diving is going to be really beneficial and bringing a lot of utility. Hopefully as you guys go through these lectures, you'll find a lot of value in insights that you won't find anywhere else without further ado. Welcome to Nick's declassified. 2. Lecture 8 My Story: The waitlist process. Now the way this process is something that can bring a lot of confusion to students who are still applying to colleges and just waiting to hear back from their dream schools. Quite honestly, I didn't have a clear idea of what it meant for me either, what exactly is a weightless doesn't mean I have a spot or do I not to put it simply, it's not an exception and it's not a rejection. Your application was awful, but it wasn't scholar to be accepted right away. Basically a measure taken by schools so that if students start declining acceptances, then there's still applications that can be reviewed for mittens off the waitlist. Now me personally, I got waitlisted at four schools which meant my application wasn't absolutely stunning, but was still pretty good. And statistics alone meant that my chances were better than none. Now, although the chances of getting off the waitlist are pretty slim, students should absolutely not based their decisions based off the very slight chance that you might get into the school of your dreams. The most practical advice is to find your next best option and prepare yourself to start there in the fall. Now at this point in my college selection process, I narrowed it down to about four choices. Northwestern, Evanston, Chicago, Vanderbilt in national Tennessee, and why you in New York and the University of Texas at Austin. All of these are fantastic schools and I had great reasons to attend all of them. However, Northwestern and Vanderbilt gave me those financial aid, so I flopped. And then took a road trip down to Nashville to checkup with schools and make my final decision after visiting campus, I had made up my mind to attend Northwestern University and study at the Medill School of Journalism. Not only was one of my best friends going there by loved an urban environment and Chicago seemed like the perfect place for me as a photographer. However, I did have a few second guesses when I went to Vanderbilt and visited campus because it is one of the most beautiful campuses I've ever visited. But the end of the day, I knew that the opportunities are going to be better for me at Northwestern. And so I ended up spending $200 on mugs, t-shirts, and hoodies, thinking that I start there in the fall. Now at this point you may be wondering how I went from a kid that was committed to Northwestern and then ended up going to Princeton. Well, here's my story. It is right around mid March, early April. I can't really remember, but I'm sitting in my fourth period government. All my friends were just doing whatever you do in high school. And then my phone starts ringing and I see this caller ID that says Princeton, New Jersey. And at this point I was kind of running circles around my head because I did realize that waitlist decisions were coming out and I couldn't tell if this is actually going to be the call is going to change my life or maybe it was just some random person in Jersey calling me. Basically, I just walked out of the classroom and hesitantly answer the phone. I say hello and I'll never forget the conversation that changed my life. Someone says, hi, is this nickel this she said yes. May I ask who's calling it? She said, I'm calling from the Princeton admissions office. I'm very excited to say congratulations, you've been accepted at this point. I'm just in complete shock and disbelief. I have no idea what to say. I am just breathless, speechless, flabbergasted really, I go back in the classroom. I'm like on the phone, I'm telling my friends. I got into Princeton guys. I don't exactly remember the rest of the conversation, but the gist of it was I basically had a week to decide when she said she wishes to see me as part of the Princeton Class of 2021. That part hit me the hardest. I didn't realize how monumental and life changing a single phone call could ever be. At the time, I was so excited, overwhelmed, everything seemed too surreal. My friends were so happy for me. And when I called my mom, she started breaking down interiors. Now, obviously the choice seemed like a no-brainer. However, it was too late for me to back out of Northwestern when I had already bought all my gear and thought mentally that I was going to be attending there in the fall or shall I just restart the process because clearly it wasn't too late and I hadn't made a final decision at the end of the day, everyone I've talked to who told me I had to make the best decision for myself, aspirations and my goals. I also told myself that I shouldn't base index for years on my life just off the Ivy League name. In hindsight, there are actually several downsides of attending an Ivy League school. It's incredibly difficult. The cutthroat competition and a never ending routine of constant studying, Was that really the environment and culture I wanted to surround myself in where I'd always feel like I was at the back of the pack or what I enjoy more comfortable time at Northwestern, why are we even stand a chance of enjoying myself? It took several days of consideration, but what helped me the most was asking alumni from my high school who are currently at Ivy League schools and asking them about their experiences. It turned out that none of my superstitions proved to be true and everyone I talked to actually enjoy their time there and never thought there was too much pressure for them. This gave me a lot more comfort and reassurance as I booked the last minute ticket to New Jersey. Now it wasn't until I set foot on campus, saw the endless greenery, incredible architecture. And imagine myself as a student there for the next four years that I was immediately hooked. At first, I thought the weather was going to be amazing year round. Turns out it actually isn't. Canvas was only an hour and a half away from New York City by train, Princeton had this great college town environment. And lastly, it was ranked the number one school in the nation. On top of that, it's been rated number two for the best value college. Obviously you had the credential of the best university in the country, offer me a great financial aid package. And I still have the ability to take the train up to New York City or Philly on the weekends. It's safe to say it didn't take a lot of convincing for me to switch from one Northwestern wildcat to a Princeton tiger, whether you're religious or not, I genuinely believe that all things will fall into place and you'll be happier than ever at the college you decide to attend. I can't emphasize this enough. And if there's one thing you take away from this course, it's this, you will end up where you need to and you will succeed at any college you end up choosing. I know exactly how it can feel to think that all the work you put in was for nothing. But I promised in the end, everything will work out. You get what you put into college. So taking advantage of every opportunity that our school has to offer you will open up endless doors for you, regardless of a Colleges ranking. Once he would accept it to some schools, make a pros and cons list of every aspect of college that it's important to you and prioritize what you're looking for in a university. Listing out all the factors that will affect your final decision gives you a clear idea of which ones you can cross out and which ones you need to look more into. Other big things to consider while you're making her final decision is going to be your specific major extracurriculars offered. The distance from your home in proximity to any major cities. And in all honesty, guys, that's gonna wrap it up for this section of this course. I hope that these lectures showed a little bit more insight on topics that your counselor may not share with you are finalizing your college decision and deciding where you're going to end up for the next four years of your life. It's definitely a hard task. However, know that your decision should be fully supported by your friends and family. At the end of the day, you're the one that's going to be attending the school. So you should be making the decision based on your own goals, aspirations, and what you wanna do with your life. I hope you guys have been enjoying the series so far. Let's go to wrap it up for this section of the course, but get ready because we have a whole nother section dedicated to your first year of college. 3. Lecture 9 Moving Into College: Open day. I still remember pulling up the campus suitcases in hand and having upperclassmen helping me move everything into my dorm. Now most universities try their best to help easier transition in. So take the help when it's offered. Now when you get to school, it's easier to quickly feel overwhelm with dozens of flyers. Student groups will be handing out hundreds of faces you, you've never seen before. At the same time trying to be that cool freshmen who knows what they're doing. Trust me, you're not that cool, so don't think you're better than everyone to not participate in the DOM and cheesy orientation activities. Take these opportunities to find other like-minded people who are also rolling their eyes and strike up a conversation about how boring these icebreakers are. Acclimating. Undoubtedly acclimated to College is one of the hardest aspects. Asides from the academic, you're sleeping in a slightly uncomfortable bed next to a complete stranger, miles away from home and staying up at night trying to figure out how you'll be able to survive borehole years like this, all that excitement you had to get out of your boring hometown now feels like a welcome memory. Trust me, everyone has been there. It didn't take me a long time to get settled in, but it did take me a long time to get acclimated. Now, having your mom wiki for school, remembering you need to go somewhere else besides your kitchen to eat meals and don't forget community bathrooms. Yes. It's a lot to take in all at once, but that's the thing. You don't have to have it all figured out right away. You have for years I just Campus, so don't forget when you don't know how the omelet bar words are sloughed to ask for directions around campus the first few weeks, take it one step at a time. Figure out everything you need to about your door. Move onto organizing academics, find a few friends, and slowly everything will fall into place in before you know it, you'll be acclimated. Now when you get to college, it's easy to forget the real reason you're there. As much fun as everyone makes it seem the majority of the time will be, or should be in a library in your bed getting that last minute asleep before your 9AM lecture or at your local coffee shop or the braces already know your order. Nick, what the weekends just reporting and recovering all day? No. Saturdays are not just with a voice. Saturdays and Sundays are what I call crunch time. Pushing off all your worthiness. Oh, I can just do this over the weekend and then you go out at night. You'll quickly had that oh shit moment when you realize you have a paper due in two hours, basically what I'm saying is that academics should be your first priority. You worked your ass off in high school to get into your specific school, to get a good education, graduate with a degree in a field you're interested in and have a successful career. So don't they colleges a job you don't have to worry about because GPA is forever. Take time to relax and hailed friends over meals or at night. But don't make the mistake of partying every weekend and watching your grades tank. I'd have to explain to your mom why that extra gamer to a beer pong was so important the night before your campaign. 4. Lecture 10 Picking a Major: Now at Princeton and other Ivy League schools, we are required to declare a major until the end of our sophomore year. However, most other universities will require you to apply to a specific college, whether it's in business, communications, engineering, et cetera. Since the latter case is more common, I want to briefly talk about how to go about picking a major. If you're a person like me and you have a bunch of different interests, it's hard to concretely defined what you want to be studying and what career you want to pursue, especially when you're barely 18 or 19 years old. However, if you're the kid who has always wanted to be a lawyer since leaving the womb or winning elementary school competitions. And you probably already know what you need to be majoring. Regardless, as we grow older, our interests can change and falling your parents footsteps might not necessarily be where your path takes you personally. I'm majoring in economics with a minor in entrepreneurship. Even though I have a huge passion for film or photography, I'm not majoring in those because it's not offered at Princeton, where liberal arts school. So there is no business communications or marketing major either. That being said, economic isn't something I love to study. However, at the number one university in the country with one of the top economics programs in the world. This is an opportunity that would've been naive of me to pass on. Having an econ degree in my back pocket will allow me to pursue any types of creative endeavors once I graduate and if all else fails, I still have something to fall back on and get a good job. With all this being said, I strongly encourage everyone watching to pursue a major that they are actually passionate about. It will make your time at college so much more enjoyable and will obviously be a huge advantage, should get into the field you want to. However, if a school doesn't offer the specific major you're interested in, My best advice is to find the closest alternative. For my case, the closest thing that getting a degree from business school is getting an economics degree. If you're having a midlife crisis about being emitted for major, you no longer want to pursue, take immediate steps to talk to the necessary departments and see if your able to transfer schools. I know that at some universities that can be difficult while others, it can be very flexible. 5. Lecture 11 Habits for Success: Time management. If you haven't already developed the skill in high school, you will quickly learn the value of efficiently managing your time. You will never be more busy than when you're in college. And your daily schedule will be packed with clashes, rehearsals, did a meeting study sessions, and then hanging out with your friends to get from someone. They used to be a huge procrastinator that just isn't cute anymore and will quite literally Rooney. And most effective way to combat procrastination is to be proactive. Don't let it get to the point where you're asking your roommates to proofread an email. So it really sounds like your computer got a virus and night before an essay was do hassle sort of daily planner and use your calendar religiously, schedule all of your meetings, you know, are set and pull out your phone with someone asks, do you wanna grab dinner next week to check your schedule before you double book yourself. Now the day you get your syllabus, right down, big exams, papers, projects, and come up with some sort of game plan to tackle it one step at a time. Pro tip, set all your due dates a Dare to earlier so you can go into pending mode earlier than you actually need to and still have time to pull everything together. Budgeting colleges also expensive on top of academics and social scenes that you're gonna have to maneuver it. There's literally so many other things you're going to have to consider in one major thing is your personal expenses aside the amount you pay for tuition, housing, and meal-plan, there are literally dozens of other things that you and your family are going to have to pay for out of pocket. These include but aren't limited to dorm furniture, textbooks, money to go eat out your friends, transportation and list goes on. You may not realize it now, but personal expenses can actually become a huge burden if you don't have a plan before you had to call it and talk it over with your parents and we're 17 allowance, talk with her parents and they'll give you some kind of monthly allowance for you to go and get extra food, shop a little or going out on the weekends, nothing crazy. Keep it to maybe a $100 to get a job. If your pants can't or aren't willing to provide you with some cushion money, then don't worry, fight a campus or local job that can easily accommodate your class schedule. Working in the library, rec center, or dining halls are great ways to pick up some extra cash to cover your personal expenses you'll have. But summer is also the perfect time to begin setting up so you won't have to worry about working well acclimated to the college life. This way your parents don't have to put an allowance and your account every month. It put your hundreds and to savings and keep the rest are spending. For example, if you make $350 a week, put $300 into savings and try and use a $50 until your next paycheck. Number three, limit your expenses. Not everything you do in college has to cost money. Five, free events, student discounts for danger College has to offer it so you don't have to fork out $20 every weekend just to go out, be frugal and only go out to eat for special occasions, birthdays after finals celebrations as herself, whether it's really worth it or just an over-hyped scan. A Cybil's $10 for a bowl of fruit is definitely a scale.