Feeling alone as you swim through the terrifying waters known as the college admission process? Have no fear! We have several seniors blogging about ups, downs, and random in-betweens of their college process for the next 12 months (from June 2015 to June 2016!). Sit back, relax, and get that “OMG I totally get you, bro” feeling. Information for how to contact a blogger will be at the bottom of his/her posts.
Hello fellow-future-college-students (and mom)!
I am ecstatic to announce that my junior year is over. I’m finally done with the world of SAT’s and ACT’s and now I’m entering a new world. A new world that might be just a little bit scarier—the world of college applications. I hardly even know what my “dream college” is, let alone what I’m going to write in the Common App. I am utterly unprepared. But I think all of us in the Class of 2016 are to some extent. We’re all getting ourselves into something that we’re pretty much completely unsure of.
I suppose I should probably introduce myself. My name is Andrew and I attend a small Catholic high school in California. No, not the California that you see in movies, where everyone has blond hair and goes surfing on the weekends. I live in the good ol’ Sacramento Valley, the epitome of normalcy. Even though it’s just so overwhelmingly average, I’m proud to call this place home. That said, I’ve lived here my entire life, and I can’t wait to get out. I’m pretty sure I’ve got senioritis and senior year hasn’t even started yet, so this year should be pretty interesting.
The vast majority of my free time is spent studying. Not studying for school, but studying foreign languages just for my own fun. And okay, yes, I realize that that sounds extremely nerdy and maybe a little bit sad, but not only is it super fun and relaxing, it also feels really cool to be able to speak to someone in their own language. Even if it’s just saying “Hi, how are you,” and not really being able to understand their response (because trust me, that happens a lot more than you’d think it would, even after spending hours on end studying the language and trying to immerse yourself in it through television, books, music and the likes). Right now I’m focusing on the four languages that I call the Big Four (okay, yes, I realize I’m not making this sound any less dorky, but I don’t care): Russian, Italian, Danish, and Romanian. Each one has its own fun little quirks and I speak these the best out of the twenty-something other languages I’ve studied.
And in case you were wondering, yes, this hobby did come about as a means to procrastinate way back when I was in the seventh grade.
But besides studying languages and giving my friends and family numerous under-appreciated lectures on linguistics, I like to do other things too. I’m pretty involved in theatre at my school, and as a member of my school’s special visual arts program I like to spend a lot of time drawing and painting too. And I also like to annoy my family by singing mediocre and loud renditions of the entire Marina and the Diamonds discography throughout my house. So I suppose you’d call me a man of many creative pursuits.
I guess you might say I’m a little bit obsessed with college stuff. I mean, it’s not like I spend every waking hour thinking about college and getting pumped up for application season. No… That’s not accurate at all. But, I mean, I did just spend about an hour and a half writing up a spreadsheet of all the colleges I’m going to apply to with various tidbits of information regarding what I want in a college (geographical distance, tuition, linguistics major, etc.), so you could probably say that I’m a little bit more obsessed than most kids are.
But I’m certainly not overly obsessed. For quite a long period of time I blocked college out of my mind entirely. I knew I was going to go, I just didn’t know where. And therefore, I didn’t care to think or talk about college or anything college related. When people asked me where I was applying I would snidely respond, “The only college I’m applying to is Harvard,” in a half-joking tone. Usually that would end the conversation, but occasionally people would respond with an equally snide and sarcastic, “Oh, wow, you must be a very good student!”
It wasn’t until I took the SAT last March that I became consumed with college fever. And by that, I mean I literally had a fever—I came down with the flu shortly before test day. In my desperation for academic validation, I discovered College Confidential and I was hooked. I spent a lot of time lurking the College Confidential forums reading everything from “Chance Me for All the Ivies” forums to the “My D Got a 2280 on the SAT, Should She Retake?” forums. And then when the time finally came I posted a Chance Me thread—a move that probably was not in my best judgement. And while I’m certainly not grateful for being berated on an online forum for my “sub-par SAT score” (which wasn’t even bad!) and boring extra-curriculars, I’m grateful to know now that College Confidential is the last place I’ll ever go for college admissions advice.
Much like college, the future is not something I’ve ever been too concerned about until recently. It recently occurred to me that in two or three months, I’m going to be beginning one of the most anxiety-ridden yet fascinating journeys of my young life–and I’m absolutely terrified. But as scary as the college admissions process seems, I know that I can get through it all in one piece. Thousands–no, millions of high school students just like me have gotten through it before, so why can’t I? At least, that’s what I tell myself whenever I’m feeling a little anxious about the all-too-rapidly-approaching future. And even though I have a stressful year laying ahead of me, something about the college process is so captivating. In one year from September, I’ll be beginning a new school year at an entirely new school, living in a totally new city, and making new friends from all over the country. And each and every application that I send in has the potential to give me those freedoms. It has the potential to let me explore whatever of my passions that I choose–linguistics, math, or writing–in extreme depth. And that’s really exciting. Stressful, but exciting.
I’m not too sure what lies in my future. But I can tell you with great certainty that the next year will be an exciting one. After all, it isn’t just another year where I’ll be staying up until dawn writing papers and doing homework–it’s also the year that those nights staying up will finally pay off. I will finally be rewarded for all those nights staying up, stressing out about that huge AP Bio test the next morning.
And I can’t wait.
Want to get in touch with Andrew? Fill out our Contact form, and he’ll write you back ASAP!