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An interesting story in the Harvard Gazette profiles Eni Dervishi’s journey from Albania to Harvard that began with two simple words: "table" and "chair". Fascinated by language, Eni, soon developed a passion for learning languages.
“I fell in love with languages,” she said. “Through languages I was able to see a different world. It opened my imagination to what was out there.”
Eni is from a small town in Albania. Her father had no formal education. Neither did her mother, though she returned to school as an adult. Her mother had to balance both school and house work and showed Eni with her actions that education is important.
Eni's small-town high school had no one to guide her in the application process. “My teachers hadn’t written letters of recommendation before,” she said. “I had to teach them.” When she needed to send official documents, such as transcripts, she found another hurdle. “I thought of faxing them, but there was no fax machine in my hometown.”
Despite these odds, Eni persevered and got accepted at Harvard. As you can see, Eni is from a modest background and did not have to climb Mount Everest, or take several extra co-curricular classes, or be a team captain, or, well, impress people. She followed her passion for learning languages. In addition to English, she learned some French,
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Images from Pixabay
What if you could hack your brain to be brilliant on demand?
Research has found that the surge of brilliance you experience is when high-performance hormones dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin floods your brain.
How do you do that? You just have to ask yourself the following questions.
1. Ask "What's possible here?"
It's not reward that releases a flow of dopamine in the brain -- but the promise of reward.
2. Ask "What matters most to me in this situation?"
When you make a connection with someone on what matters most, you release oxytocin in your brain and theirs. Yes, even if you or they have ADHD or Dyslexia or ...
Focus on your conversation. Find out what matters the most. This helps your brain focus and also helps you make a connection with someone that builds rapport, trust, and bonding. You will acquire superb social skills.
3. Ask "How might we...?"
When you ask the famous "How might we...?" question used by seasoned innovators, you get the big release: a trifecta of motivation, connection, and confidence that can spark brilliant ideas.
The micro-surges of brilliance you create with these powerful questions can energize your brain, help you create new ideas, deepen your relationships, and--ultimately--make you happier and successful.
There is a science behind it. There are three hormones that create a powerful surge that helps you create your brilliance.
1. Dopamine: the motivation molecule
Dopamine is called the motivation molecule. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that’s a key factor in motivation, productivity, and focus. It enables us to plan ahead so we can achieve our goals.
2. Oxytocin: the connection chemical
Oxytocin is called the love molecule. When released, your ability to connect with people goes up and your stress levels go down. You need the molecule when dealing with people: rapport-building, trust-creation, and bonding skills.
3. Serotonin: the confidence chemical
Serotonin is a chemical messenger that’s believed to act as a mood stabilizer. It’s said to help produce healthy sleeping patterns as well as boost your mood. Without serotonin, the effect of dopamine and oxytocin in your brain would be muted and numb.
Serotonin turns up the signal strength of Dopamine and Oxytocin. This produces a powerful effect: You feel confident, optimistic and self-efficacious.
You don't need to take any drugs to use these hormones. Just ask the above three questions!
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Noticing that nearly 150,000 edX learners (in 2014) were high school students, edX announced its high school initiative addressing the crucial need of college readiness gap.
Studies show that nearly 60 percent of first-year U.S. college students are unprepared for postsecondary studies. This readiness gap between college eligibility and preparedness is costly not only to students, but also to families and institutions.
MOOCs are offering courses from top high schools, secondary schools and universities to help students prepare for Advanced Placement (AP®) Exams and CLEP® Exams, as well as introductory-level courses to help you get ahead of the game. Examples are edX specially designed courses and FutureLearn's special collection of courses targeted to help students prepare for university.
How can MOOCs help you?
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Image from Pixabay
Whether you are making up work, preparing for a new class, or simply want to get ahead, it is possible to get your homework done during your holiday and still enjoy your free time. However, due to distractions and time visiting family and just relaxing, you could lose sight of your goal and unable to do much. Try these two cures for holiday homework.
Eliminate online distractions.
Switch between play and study.
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Image from Pixabay
“Early admission appears to be the ‘new normal’ now, as more students are applying early to Harvard and peer institutions than ever before,” said William R. Fitzsimmons, dean of admissions and financial aid. “At the same time, we have continued to stress to applicants, their families, and their guidance counselors that there is no advantage in applying early to Harvard. The reason students are admitted — early or during the regular action process — is that their academic, extracurricular, and personal strengths are extraordinary.”
Regardless, more and more students are applying early. The Washington Post reports that UCLA is now the first university to get an application pool hitting six figures. Dartmouth accepted more than 27% of their early action pool of applicants. Barnard College in New York City said their application pool rose 19% from last year. Wesleyan University in Connecticut said they received 16% more apps this time around. And Williams College in Massachusetts reported a 25% increase in early decision applications this year.
It seems there is an advantage of early application to get admission in colleges.
Are there any cons?
Yes, a major one: financial aid.
If you apply early, you lose the ability to negotiate on financial aid, because you have to accept the offer before the regular admission folks. Sometimes the aid package comes out later, with the rest of the admission pool. So if you want to negotiate your financial package with colleges, you may want to wait and apply later so you have your admissions and financial aid package information available and make the best decision for yourself.
So what do we recommend? Well, if your heart is set on a specific college, apply early, regardless of financial aid. If you want to get into a top school, and money is also a major factor in your decision, then we recommend to wait and apply with the regular pool and not lose your negotiating power for financial aid packages.
Let us know if you have more questions about college admissions. Feel free to contact us at any time.