Less Asian

Amy Qin, writing for The New York Times:

Many families still seek out professional advice. In interviews, college admissions consultants spoke about trying to steer their Asian American clients away from so-called typically Asian activities such as Chinese language school, piano and Indian classical instruments like the venu flute.

Maybe we should save money by not sending our kids to piano private lesson. Qin writes:

Many consultants said that, when it came to elite college admissions, it was not enough to just be a well-rounded student. Differentiation is the name of the game, regardless of race.

Part of the problem, some college consultants say, is that there are kernels of truth in the stereotypes of Asian applicants. Within the communities, violin and piano are, in fact, oversubscribed activities, the consultants say, making it difficult for most students to stand out.

“I often tell families that instead of playing violin or piano, which is something almost every Chinese American can check off on their profile, try a different instrument,” said Shin Wei, the founder and chief executive of IvyMax, an admissions counseling company based in California.

Sure, how about trying different sports like rollerblading or skateboarding. Qin reports:

Lap Nguyen, 20, a junior at Harvard, had also leaned into generational themes, writing about his love for the language of his birth country, Vietnam, and his experience teaching that language to his little brother.

I am glad Lập Nguyễn wrote about his love for Vietnamese and was accepted to Harvard.