Writing Your SSR: One That Worked

Every junior student submits an SSR (Secondary School Report) form to help their guidance counselor write an SSR for them for colleges. Here is one SSR that worked.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Cover Image
By Jaden Bae

What is your commute time to and from school in total? (to + from = total)

The subway is far too unreliable for me to use on a daily basis, for I refuse to be at the mercy of such a fickle system. The only true reliable source of transportation is the one given to me at birth: walking. As a result, one round trip to and from school through the treacherous terrain of Queens takes me a total of eight hours. This, in my opinion, is a small price to pay for knowing I am more self-reliant and therefore stronger than my peers with these actions.

Describe your interests, talents, hobbies, etc. Include how you've been developing them over the years.

In order to become the optimal Ivy League student, I’ve been locked in for the past 16 years of my life, catering every aspect of my life into becoming an academic and extracurricular weapon. I am extremely interested in attending an Ivy League school for whatever major or concentration. In fact, going to an Ivy League is my only interest! I sleep at night on Harvard sheets, my head resting on a stuffed Yale bulldog, and my body clothed in Princeton pajamas. All of my talents, of course, are pursued in an attempt to get into an Ivy. I’m one of the best teenage hackers in the country, which proved to be valuable sophomore year when I had to hack Talos and change my AP Chemistry grade. I’ve also mastered the art of rowing for athletic recruitments, and I’ve developed such an incredible tolerance for caffeine that Columbia is writing a study about me! (I’m hoping I can get them to include me as an author). My hobbies include publishing research papers (I’ve got 326 so far), looking at my chances of acceptance on Collegevine, and spending the profits from my biotech startup on Ivy League merch. 

Describe your character in your own words, in the words of others who know you well, and/or through a personal motto.

I live by the quote “Though she be but little, she is fierce” from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Cursed by a 3’5’’ tall mother and a 3’4’’ tall father, I have done the impossible: grow to be 4 feet tall. It was not an easy feat. Five years of replacing water with fresh cow milk (10 glasses a day), hanging from monkey bars for hours on end to stretch my spine out, multiple limb-lengthening surgeries, allowing the Stuyvesant Research Club to genetically modify me — it was tough. But I did it. It is my biggest accomplishment to date.

Unfortunately, still being below average height, I am still thought of as short and scrawny. However, as short and scrawny I may be, someone to mess with I am not. Perhaps I cannot yet win a battle of the brawn (I am seven months into my weight-training program). But a battle of the brains? I always win. You know what they say—“Sticks and stones may hurt my bones, but words hurt more than stones.” 

My strategy? Be the NPC. Notice the insecurities. Pick a quote. Challenge the opponent.

N: Notice the insecurities. Step into their shoes for a moment. As my grandpappy always said, stepping into the shoes of others is the best thing to do for empathy and introspection. If you were them, why would you hate yourself? Stuy students are particularly easy. The 35 on the last test when the average was a 67? The lack of athletic ability? No friends? Single? Harvard rejection letters? 

P: Pick a Shakespearean insult to use. Here are some of my favorites:

  • “Thou art as fat as butter.”
  • “Like the toad; ugly and venomous.”
  • “Thou sodden-witted lord! Thou hast no more brain than I have in mine elbows”
  • “Would thou wert clean enough to spit upon”
  • “Your brain is as dry as the remainder biscuit after voyage.”
  • “Away you starvelling, you elf-skin, you dried neat’s-tongue, bull’s-pizzle, you stockfish!

C: Challenge the opponent. Assert dominance by standing wide-stanced with your hackles raised. Squeal threateningly. Paw the ground menacingly. Start swaying back and forth while aggressively growling. Raise your arms up so that you can get their attention once you realize they still haven’t noticed you. Pick your insult of choice from the previous list and recite it loudly and clearly, intoning each syllable. If done right, your opponent should immediately shrivel up like a diseased raisin and collapse, being utterly destroyed by your incredible show of strength. 

What two things about your story (everything you've talked about or haven't gotten to yet) that NEED(s) to be included or emphasized in your SSR?

I NEED to go to an Ivy League school. While this has already been addressed in my SSR, the importance needs to be emphasized. If I don’t get into any, I’m going to have to go to one of those cringe-fail non-Ivy Leagues like MIT or Stanford or wherever losers with no girlfriends or job prospects go, and the life plan I have followed since the age of four will collapse. I would rather throw myself to the wolves in the woods behind my home than suffer through that. There is simply no other way.

College counselor person, I am begging you to do whatever it takes to ensure my acceptance. I type this on my knees, pleading for your mercy. Do something illegal if you have to! A little bribery never hurts anyone! Don’t worry, I won’t tell. Just help me get into an Ivy League pleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease