Michael (New York)




Multiple Siblings

The Short List has worked with many siblings, including many sets of twins and younger siblings who have watched an older sibling go through the process. Even among siblings, every student is different.

We worked with Michael’s older brother three years ago and met Michael, then a high school freshman, at Zach’s graduation dinner. Michael asked if he might be able to work with The Short List, too.

We started working with Michael in his sophomore year, which gave him plenty of time to plan out the process. He was studying Latin at the time. After traveling to Nicaragua for a sophomore community service spring break, during which he was frustrated by not being able to communicate with the people he was trying to help, Michael decided to switch to Spanish so he could return to Nicaragua the following spring and converse with the villagers.

He arrived back in Nicaragua a year later and many of the villagers greeted him by name. They shared stories about their lives, families, and aspirations, and Michael began to understand the true benefit of language. Michael enrolled in a Spanish course that summer to accelerate his learning and allow him to enter Spanish III as a senior. The Nicaragua trips and summer program had changed his thinking about what he wanted to study, so he took his time exploring colleges and applying.

Michael’s relaxed strategy paid off; he was accepted to almost every school to which he applied.
Michael began to look for strong language and economics programs that would allow him to continue studying Spanish and economics in the third world, especially Central America. Michael’s relaxed strategy paid off; he was accepted to almost every school to which he applied and elected to attend Cornell University. He wrote, “I intend to continue learning Spanish and study abroad in one of Cornell’s many Spanish-speaking programs. Cornell requires all study abroad classes to be taught in the language of that country, which will unquestionably aid in my ability to speak Spanish fluently one day.”

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