"5 AM: The hour when legends either wake up or go to bed." | A Harvard Alum on Extracurriculars
Updated: Aug 1, 2021
We had the privilege of interviewing Taylor Reneau and asked for some experience about: Extracurriculars
alum of Ivy League university, Harvard University in Massachusetts
founder of Ivy Advise - an online course to help high school students get into dream school
a YouTuber who speaks on various topics about education
Here are some of her main points:
"Everything had its place in my schedule, and I didn’t deviate from that schedule. I did, however, compromise sleep. A lot of it."
"It all worked because I never allowed my feelings to get in the way of what needed to be done."
Q: For some of your major extracurriculars, roughly how many days a week did you spend involved in it (preparing for competitions, attending meetings, etc)?
A: I spent about 6-7 days a week on my extracurriculars. Track was every school day for at least 2 hours in the spring, tennis was every school day for at least 2 hours in the fall. Add in competition days, a couple other extracurriculars (e.g. debate club, NHS, etc.), and you’ll notice I didn’t have a life outside of school!
Q: Did you ever prioritize your extracurriculars above your schoolwork or grades?
A: Never. But I never had to. Everything had its place in my schedule, and I didn’t deviate from that schedule. I did, however, compromise sleep. A lot of it.
Q: Did any of your extracurriculars shape your future or are related to what career path you want to pursue?
A: As a YouTuber (youtube.com/yesreneau), I believe that my art classes (which weren’t extracurricular, but they felt like it) were very relevant for teaching me how to find inspiration in the mundane. Also, as the founder of an Ivy League admissions company, I talk about my high-school extracurricular life all the time.
And now that I’m getting deeper into thinking about this... I still work out about 6 days every week, so I would say that athletics has also hugely shaped who I am today.
I guess that I’m exactly who I was eight years ago, except a more matured version (hopefully).
Q: What accomplishments or impacts did you make in the extracurriculars you were involved in?
A: For track, I ran the 4X100m at States in Ohio. Our relay team placed 7th. In art, there were few awards… but my talent was conveyed through showing the admissions officers my paintings. I really didn’t have too many spectacular awards, though. My way with words is really what sealed the deal for me through the essays.
Q: How do you balance extracurriculars with home, work, and social life?
A: I didn’t back then. I just slept less, made my extracurricular life my social life, suppressed my feelings, watched comedy shows to blow off steam, crossed my fingers, and hoped for the best. It all worked because I never allowed my feelings to get in the way of what needed to be done.
Also, if you want to know more about Taylor, take a look at her LinkedIn, her YouTube Channel YesReneau, and her business, Ivy Advise.