Applying Sideways - WWDC Scholarship
A good friend of mine which won a WWDC Scholarship thrice in a row gave me this advice: Make a playground about something which you care about! And not what you think would impress the judges.
The first time I actually applied for a WWDC Scholarship I got rejected. I thought about what would impress the judges the most. Therefore I didn't made the playground about something which I really cared about, but rather about something which I thought others cared deeply about. Like in life applying to WWDC as it is with Colleges etc. you should be truly yourself and not be someone different which you think would be a perfect fit.
But let's face it. All people applying for a WWDC Scholarship have the technical abilities. The thing that sets apart the winning submissions is not the accomplishment one has, but rather the technical creativity. The creativity to take something like ARKit and make something unique with it. The creativity to think about playground ideas which when one tells them they sound really really stupid. A friend of mine once made a awarding playground where an animal band plays a song which you yourself can compose. Think about that. A animal band ?! My first impression was literally what the fuck are you joking ? Because who on earth would make a playground about that. He did and it was so fucking creative that he got awarded a scholarship.
What Apple looks in submissions is the creative capacity to think differently. To have the courage to pursue ideas which at first sound stupid. To simply be oneself truly and fully. Because that's what the world needs. People who have come to be themselves.
So if you've read that far. Pls have the courage to pursue ideas which you care about. To pursue ideas which at first seem strange. To pursue your wildest imaginations. And turn them into something beautiful, because in the end it doesn't really matter if you get selected or not. You did something which you really care about. And that is all that matters: That you were yourself. And not a version you're pretending to be.
Applying sideways, as a mantra, means don’t do things because you think they will help you get into MIT (or Harvard, or CalTech, or anywhere). Instead, you should study hard, be nice, and pursue your passion, because then you will have spent high school doing all the rights things, and, as a complete side effect, you’ll be cast in the best light possible for competitive college admissions.