The Unspoken Reality Behind the Harvard Gates | Alex Chang | TEDxSHSID

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Ivy-Way Academy

Ivy-Way Academy

2 yıl önce

【Updated】 New TEDx video on college admissions:

Back in high school, Alex was not exactly "Ivy League material." He did not even finish top 5 in his public high school in New York, did not get a near-perfect SAT score, did not win national honors in math, was not a starter on his lacrosse team, and did not have rich and famous parents to get him into places. Therefore, his story of being accepted and completing his education at Harvard College and Harvard Graduate School of Education as an "ordinary student" served as the prime model for high school students who want to reach their dream schools. However, in addition to sharing his secrets to Ivy League admission, Alex feels the social responsibility to inform-and warn-students about the life behind those Ivy League gates. Things may not always be as pretty as they seem.

Speaker: Alex Chang
Date: April 1, 2017

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at
Professional connection:

YORUMLAR: 14 116
Caitlyn Liu
Caitlyn Liu 2 yıl önce
more asian parents need to see this
Stellular Nebulla
Stellular Nebulla 26 gün önce
*more parents need to see this Asian parents in particular.
Jovanssss 27 gün önce
Oliver Nguyen
Oliver Nguyen Aylar önce
@Connetification touche
Connetification Aylar önce
@Oliver Nguyen Yea definitely will take a while. Therefore, why would I do that???
Oliver Nguyen
Oliver Nguyen Aylar önce
@Connetification You know at least 2 languages, so the best thing to do is to translate the whole thing, although that may take a while
Titus Wu
Titus Wu 16 saatler önce
lets just say idgaf about anyone going to harvard or an ivy league. really doesn't mean you're better or smarter than people who don't go to ivy leagues, unlike why this kid is saying in his excuses
Victorel Petrovich
Victorel Petrovich 21 saatler önce
Very good! I think he's speaking the truth, relevant for many dreaming of top schools.
Iman bahyia
Iman bahyia Gün önce
I'm studing at what you can call an ivy league university (medicine), i must add that I'm an international student and got an early admission accidentally bcz somebody else dropped out. What happened was, I went from a A+ student to having C in best case scenarios and F in some. I fought so hard! Now I get A- but the journey that I needed to get there broke me to pieces. Now I suffer from anxiety. I suffered from depression for 2 years. And I have hardly have any confidence left. Some look at me with wow she's amazing. And the only voice in my head goes:"not enough". It has been such a long time that I have slept at night and actually felt satisfied. Don't get me wrong, I overcame many struggles and I am sure I will overcome this. But when I look back, I wish I stayed that naive and easy going person I was.
notfiveo 2 gün önce
Harvard wasn’t difficult for me……until they forcibly had to remove me after the tour.
Runa singh
Runa singh 3 gün önce
don't let external pressure, effect your internal pressure.
harish nandagopal
harish nandagopal 4 gün önce
As a medical student would say welcome to med school . Because everything is there
Prove_it 4 gün önce
Applies to all Indian kids too, whether they're in Harvard or not. Nice talk!
Robiya Ganieva
Robiya Ganieva 5 gün önce
My dream college is Harvard, but I'm excited about if l can ever get into there.
Gaobakwe Bakang
Gaobakwe Bakang 5 gün önce
How does a degree in Maths from Havard differs from the one from a university in Ghana or South Africa...Linear algebra is the same all over the world so havard is jst a name..
Amin M
Amin M 6 gün önce
This guy has already accomplished more that I’d have my entire life at 17 lol .
Kiera Grace
Kiera Grace 6 gün önce
At my school the competition is really intense. I’m a junior, so college is just around the corner. Most of the time I feel like I’m not good enough… Most of my friends are super talented geniuses so I feel like I just don’t add up. I have straight A’s and I’ve written an entire book that I’m publishing soon for Pete’s sake but I still don’t think that’s enough for college :(
Wainda Youngthain
Wainda Youngthain 6 gün önce
Please explain why there’s no more arms around your and easily your understanding😆.
D. Grem
D. Grem 6 gün önce
Average high school, University of Notre Dame, LSU Medical School, Post medical school training for 5 years in the Army Medical Coprs in San Francisco and at Walter Reed in Washington. 3 years in active duty at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Denver. Then entered private practice and created 4 medical offices, 2 surgery centers . Confidence and having fun and desire to provide for my family and patients drove me. That is what will make anyone a success.
Áñùj 7 gün önce
Have you ever heard about iit in india Around 1.5 million people give exam and only 5k got selected
hassizahana nahala
hassizahana nahala 7 gün önce
harverd were made to harvest your money
Scott Hullinger
Scott Hullinger 8 gün önce
Harvard is hard. But it's easy to get yourself indoctrinated there, and also at countless other universities. They don't teach at Harvard, hell no - they PREACH.
the buff video
the buff video 9 gün önce
I don't care I have a plan at that.
Darth Nox
Darth Nox 9 gün önce
It's common knowledge that Hardard is harv
Ozmha 10 gün önce
Paul Hetherington
Paul Hetherington 11 gün önce
Teach medical, not Belgium, needles machines! Terrorism 101! Go Sweden! Shucks, we don't have, any football team! Libs = no roughness? While they, demand always? Do it then!
Paul Hetherington
Paul Hetherington 11 gün önce
No Harvard, is encapsuled in, any US .edu! Or evol-- Native for: Absent without leave! Astral libs religion! And CIA NSA FBI -- own-- Google Yahoo Microsoft Linux! AW-- US GOV is, Harvard!
hamedhh test1
hamedhh test1 11 gün önce
that's funny. there are people in the world that Harvard is not hard for them but they would never even get a chance to study at a descent university. so plz don't come here and say these things. you're lucky to study at Harvard just prey God.
BlackAngel 11 gün önce
I want to apply to harvard and everytime i think about me it gets me so excited but sometimes scared
M R 12 gün önce
Amazing talk and self-minded. Well done Alex Chang! And thank you!
Hara Xilz
Hara Xilz 12 gün önce
when he say its not harvard material .... damn ....
marco biti
marco biti 13 gün önce
I would've left out the lacross, table tennis, concertmaster and science medals' bits to be honest, unless you were applying for America's got talent
Tanny Zhu
Tanny Zhu 13 gün önce
RAN on the ASX. Good investment?
Tanny Zhu
Tanny Zhu 13 gün önce
Invest in RAN on the ASX. Make 5000x profit
Buck Wheat
Buck Wheat 14 gün önce
Harvard. ? Oh you mean the witch burners. School.
TubalCain 14 gün önce
No matter how smart Harvard is,it can't erase cancer ,raise people from the dead,travel to another star,crack the Riemann Hypothesis or figure out quantum gravity or the origin of life. C'mon Harvard- impress me.....
Daniel 15 gün önce
The talk was great but the conclusions really bad. You do not so things to make your parents proud, you do it because you want that too. Your job as a child is to be happy, not to make your parent happy. If they are good parents then if you are happy, they are happy!
Daniel 15 gün önce
They are living their lifes on what the parents want instead of their own life :(
Claudia Lamberts
Claudia Lamberts 16 gün önce
I really needed to hear the ending! Such a good video!
Yogesh Rathee
Yogesh Rathee 16 gün önce
Harvard selection ratio 5% .IIT selection ratio 1 % and for my caste 0.1%
Seung Kim
Seung Kim 16 gün önce
Or if your parents are rich enough, offer a building to the school and there will be no struggle.
anthony morales
anthony morales 16 gün önce
Good heavens grades are such a subjective metrc. If your getting all A's cause you haven't been challenged and no should get all A's.
Mary Magdalene
Mary Magdalene 17 gün önce
Harvard isn't for very student and I don't want to see it dumbed down just because it is that hard. There are plenty of other schools where kids can get a good education and where the stress will not be as great. But, I must say, that getting a good education and wanting to do well in and of itself, is very stressful even at a state university. It's just not easy to make your brain work that hard. Some say that we have access to about 1/6th of our brain and maybe that's where the trouble lies. The real genius will find the solution as to how we can open up our brain capacity to its full potential. Then we will all be geniuses!!
Mary Magdalene
Mary Magdalene 17 gün önce
Makes you wonder how these celebrity kids who just send in an application with their name and address on it (practically) get into such a prestigious school! I'm thinking about the Obama girls who both (I believe) got into Harvard. If it's as hard as this overachiever Chinese student had so much difficulty with, how did they manage? Would love to know about their grades and how they compared to these genius kids who were their classmates. Maybe, though, they are actually that bright and it was not that hard for them.
Ankit Singh_Class:X, Roll no.-6
Ankit Singh_Class:X, Roll no.-6 18 gün önce
There's thing which named IIT,these all fell ashamed before it, but think is knowledge.
vaisakhm 007
vaisakhm 007 18 gün önce
Cries in IIT
R 19 gün önce
If you are complaining about how difficult Harvard is for a college or master student attending the institution, dont, just be grateful. Imagine how difficult it is for a PhD or Medical student at Harvard. Also ,why do people feel the desperate need to be the smartest in the room, you'll never learn that way. "If you are the smartest person in the room, than you are in the wrong room"- Confucious
Yuuki Akihime
Yuuki Akihime 19 gün önce
i think much people believe , if we pass to enter great school or great college make we better from other . but actually if we think again we can meet people greatest of us . And if we understand who are we , learn like anything we are aware learning is not only about how can we be the best ,but like being yourself or how can we be thing on our own . but the answer is but the answer is how can we proceed. i think just like that , but in every different point it's long.
Pedro 19 gün önce
Harvard costs a loan that will take years to pay, while I've studied at a University across the seas in Europe, paid not even 5% of that and I'm successfully working at a major company in the same zone earning a salary that is way above average. I'm not sure I understand the difference.
Lubystka Olamonola
Lubystka Olamonola 19 gün önce
One of my teacher (wonderful lady) said that "None of your employers is going to care what school you went to or what grades you had there. You must know your subject (math, language, history, biology), no matter if you graduated from Harvard or some cheap local university." Make it simple. If you know Spanish, none cares if you graduated from Harvard, Yale, or Monster Academy. Very wise words from her.
Fastestmanalive 19 gün önce
Well Elon Musk didn't go to Harvard. But he is the richest man in the world. My mom needs to understand this.
Nicole Brown
Nicole Brown 19 gün önce
And sadly, Asians(Chinese especially with Affirmative Action)think they're smarter than black kids. He didn't know how to handle adversity(getting a B). This is why colleges/Universities don't just value GPA and Test Scores. However, he survived and has that Harvard degree.
Nicole Brown
Nicole Brown 18 gün önce
@Ivy-Way Academy Thanks for your response! It doesn't matter what black people/college kids do, will we always be considered Affirmative Action admits because whites and non black minorities think we're stupid. Two: The problem isn't Affirmative Action. It's legacy applicants. Williams college, eliminated legacy preference and admission of low-income and middle class students, increased. Also, it's the only form of Affirmative Action that can messed with. Gifted Students? Affirmative Action. Athletes? Affirmative Action Geographic diversity? Affirmative Action. There are multiple factors as to why someone was accepted and not. Chinese students shouldn't be still upset at Affirmative Action...VARSITY BLUE? Those yt people lied/broke the law for their children to be admitted. Guess what? They probably weren't as smart as you! I have no idea why Ivy League colleges are so important Chinese/Indians students? Do what other kids of color do? You have to move forward. Just because you have had more "academic challenges" just not give you the right to THINK that you "deserve/worked hard" to go any Ivy league school. It's entitlement. However, thanks for your response! I appreciate this discussion!
Ivy-Way Academy
Ivy-Way Academy 19 gün önce
Hi Nicole, speaker here. Thanks for your comment! You probably misunderstood the situation for affirmative action: since Asian students usually do better in academics than those of other demographics, it actually works against Asian students, and Asian students will need to outperform other non-Asian and non-white students academically to be equally considered by a college. As a result, using your example, a black student at Harvard should be encountering bigger academic challenges than I did, given that they’re admitted via a relatively lower academic standard.
Sean Carawan
Sean Carawan 19 gün önce
This is Me but in high school
Mar 20 gün önce
I know someone who graduated from a Third World medical school will be teaching medical students from a top university. They had Ivy league grad doctors, but all of them left because of the tough schedule, workload and the bs the patients and their families complain about.
Konstantinos Chatzopoulos
Konstantinos Chatzopoulos 20 gün önce
You've got a friend in Goldman Sachs. Keep an eye on your money.
Lisa Seabrook
Lisa Seabrook 21 gün önce
Bless this man
bigdikdude 420
bigdikdude 420 21 gün önce
Harvard? more like Hardvard, amiright?
León Armeni
León Armeni 21 gün önce
we already know he went to stuyvesant.
Robert 21 gün önce
Harvard was not that hard. MIT, Berkeley, Caltech where there are no handholding are far tougher. Harvard has a super liberal grade inflation. Unless you're dead, you cannot get below a B in almost any class. Don't be so mellow dramatic about your "sentimental" journey. You just like the upvotes and the publicity youtube provided you.
Priyanshu Uniyal
Priyanshu Uniyal 21 gün önce
Have you give jee iit
Abhinav Dev
Abhinav Dev 21 gün önce
What about iits then? 😶
Ranker's Journey
Ranker's Journey 21 gün önce
Harvard is not a utopia of success
Marcus Pietarinen
Marcus Pietarinen 22 gün önce
That’s relatable because I just started the best IB high school in Finland and it feels pretty tough
Elizaveta Sycheva
Elizaveta Sycheva 22 gün önce
My mom always told me that "It's better to be the worst out of the best than the best out of the mediocre, because failure motivates to work harder", but the part that she left out is that sometimes "the best" are simply above your level, and the hard work will only lead to burnouts and lowering self-esteem. Found out the hard way...
VGLV 23 gün önce
Radit 23 gün önce
When he said asia does he meant all asia? (including SEA?)
Epikderpywhale 23 gün önce
7:20 "Because we were so used to being successful in high school" Say what now? lmao
Aesths Plays
Aesths Plays 24 gün önce
Thank you I also create a motivation videos in this channel to survive from poverty. Hoping someone will support me
Heike Goshen
Heike Goshen 24 gün önce
"Blockmates" says it all!
Laguna Beluga
Laguna Beluga 24 gün önce
Harvard is now woke and corrupt.
S I O M A I 24 gün önce
_"When everyone is super, no one will be"_ - Syndrome
Brega62 25 gün önce
This courageous video and so many of the of posts made me very sad. No one should go through such stress or be "expected" to achieve academically what parents require or demand in order to gain their approval.
Aperson101 25 gün önce
half of me is poison and trying so stop me from feeling relatable on the grounds of "stop making excuses"
Askya Lumumba
Askya Lumumba 25 gün önce
Most of Havard graduates I know lack empathy and compassion, for them life is all about gains and competition, they lack interpersonal skills... something definitely wrong with the environment at Havard ...
陳睿澤 25 gün önce
But sometime in real-world your grades sometime represent your skill. And most importantly is that test of gradeis is the best fair way to measure your skill
Tony Miller
Tony Miller 27 gün önce
Imagine spending the first 20 years of your life focused on whether you get an A or B in class. Such a narrow life for these kids. The kids from the lower rungs in my school often did better in life than the academically able because success in life is NOT the same as being good at sitting exams. Why that should be a surprise for many
loafxTT 27 gün önce
I really appreciate him making this Video, because I am a 12-Year-old and Harvard is the dream school my parents want me to go. But I am really bad at school to be honest. Even thought about suicide a lot of times. Not because of my Grades, No because of my parents. Seeing them and my friends, feeling like I am a disappointment, faking being happy in school, it all had me at my end. But I figured a way out and not gonna lie, Harvard is still my dream school, but I know I can be also go to an other school and do the same and have the mentality for the world. Now I find Harvard might be something I might learn other mentalities that I need, but making my Parents proud is my biggest wish. I know it might sound like a lot for a 12 yo, but that's how I feel. So what i want too say is there might be more of kids like me and i want to tell that is really not wrong to be bad at school. You'll get your opportunity.
Anshumaan Agarwal
Anshumaan Agarwal 27 gün önce
IIT [Indian Institute of Technology] is even harder.
Tamsin HU
Tamsin HU 27 gün önce
what if i didnt got into my dream school but still feel over-stressed?
Maisha Nanjeeba
Maisha Nanjeeba 28 gün önce
i wanted to apply for harvard....but after this video i feel like maybe i am the most unworthy person ever for harvard.lets not embarrass myself for trying to get into this harvard mess.
T1Oracle 28 gün önce
Being that competitive is toxic. I would never hire an Ivy League grad. Humility and teamwork is far more valuable.
CloudTamer_21 29 gün önce
"if harvard it's hard then it's HARDVARD" - The worst joke that i've listen all my life
Donald Duck
Donald Duck 29 gün önce
a prodigy in highschool is barely average in Harvard...
Ruth Onyirioha
Ruth Onyirioha 29 gün önce
Me reading the title: Duh
Bright Moose
Bright Moose 29 gün önce
Firstly, for all of those who dream of going to Ivy-Leagues, this is garbage. If you have dreams, some C+ don't stop you. Secondly, I feel like the google algorithm doin' something funny. Looks like it doesn't want me to go to any Ivy-League unis. It's been showing my videos like these, to try to psychologically discourage me. Eat that algorithm
trustnoman 29 gün önce
he used a cartoon Kids movie for an analogy smh
Portho Games BR
Portho Games BR Aylar önce
So, just to clarify, becoming 1st place in a collegue isnt going to make it better. I can say this because i am the one who manage to get 1st place or 2nd place everytime, but the price i have to pay simply is too big. My brain simply goes: "Cool, we are the best at this. Now lets find another thing that we still cant do to feel stressed about it."
Bilge Kağan Deveci
Bilge Kağan Deveci Aylar önce
Vincent Harrington
Vincent Harrington Aylar önce
Stupid antisocial suicided, get a life antisocial university nerds, what a waste of life. Hahahahahahah.
Bhavya Mudgal
Bhavya Mudgal Aylar önce
VERDUGO Aylar önce
Faisal 35i9
Faisal 35i9 Aylar önce
Can a Harvard student get an F in any course he studies?
Sb news
Sb news Aylar önce
The giddy coke complementarily dislike because distance culturally intend mid a ambiguous frame. military, condemned squirrel
Think Critically
Think Critically Aylar önce
It is easy to make something seem hard when it is an elitist, hierarchical echochamber. The distribution of ranks, all on its own, deserved or otherwise, assures that perception.
Scolvel Dynasty
Scolvel Dynasty Aylar önce
cat purrin on the microphone ?
Leonid Velocci
Leonid Velocci Aylar önce
No shit my Asian friend
Riordan47 Aylar önce
In the real world, Being a Harvard or Yale graduate is same as a graduate from other university. coz I got a job over harvard graduates, I didnt goto harvard
ZirehPOP Aylar önce
asian seems like what he said
Fernando Fernando
Fernando Fernando Aylar önce
The sad part is that it seems like a lot of students do this to please others like their parents and family. While they lose their self love and perspective on life in the process. Do things for yourself and choose what you want.
bassbeatzz bbx
bassbeatzz bbx Aylar önce
I've seen this many times mostly because India is more or less the same.
Romulus Khan
Romulus Khan Aylar önce
If you think getting into Harvard is difficult, simply forget about getting into IIT😏
Ahndeux Aylar önce
He is absolutely right. In high school, I remember the hallways had lists showing which colleges the students were accepted and attending in the following year. At the time, I had no inspiration to go to college and was interested only in going to a trade school to learn about aircraft mechanic. Many of my friends and colleagues were planning to attend MIT, Harvard and many other Ivy League schools. I ended up going to the trade school and got an A&P mechanic license. However, the A&P education I received made me want to strive for more. I ended up enrolling in community college and transferring to a 4 year college. I eventually got my mechanical engineering degree and was happy with reaching my career goals. Later on, I learned that some of my friends who attended college dropped out and had other problems due to the pressure. I agree with Alex that its best to pursue your own dreams and goals at at a pace that you feel comfortable. There are always pressures, but overcoming those obstacles is the best way to approach success. There are many paths in life, but if you pursue your dreams instead of letting the pressure overcome you, you will be much happier in life.
Joeri Spek
Joeri Spek Aylar önce
No one? alright I'll say it... Hardvard
Ricard Abella Arasa
Ricard Abella Arasa Aylar önce
well, then just don't go there ?
Kou Yang
Kou Yang Aylar önce
The reality is that highschool should be teaching students to figure out what drives them to succeed. Why are they trying to get that good grade? Will that still be the case when they get into college? Highschool was a breeze for me. I lost my drive and motivation about my 2nd year in college. Got put on probation, left came back failed again. College is about self discovery. People forget that and we're pressured to graduate in 4-5 years when actually most people graduate in 6-7years. Im much happier where i am now at a different school in a different program. You gotta find what clicks for you and what drives you or else you'll just be lost and wondering why you're trying to get this degree.
akachuy Aylar önce
I don't see why so many people are touched by this dude. He had the wrong attitude from the very beginning. You don't get into ANY school with already low expectations for yourself. He's actually full of bs smh. People struggle at ANY school. You don't need to go to Harvard to have the right mentality. I can go on and on.
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