Image from Pexels

Image from Pexels

Feeling alone as you swim through the terrifying waters known as the college admission process? Have no fear! We have five seniors blogging about ups, downs, and random in-betweens of their college process for the next 12 months (from June 2013 to June 2014!). 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.

No, I’m not a big fan of Jay-Z. Something about his sound throws me off, you know? And I’m unsure of why everybody is in love with Beyoncé, but regardless, her husband’s lyrics do me well here. While I can thankfully be my own Michael, I am now forced to pick where I will spend the next four years of my life, and I am hesitant at best and fearful at worst. Like many of my peers who have yet to decide–even with the official deadline so close–the thought of “what if I pick wrong?” persists. You have gotten in and not gotten in to where you wanted, and now, it’s time to decide. You sit down and say, “I think I’m ready to pick this one.” And yet… the hesitance is back.

For myself, I have been able to narrow it down to the four schools that are strangely enough an accurate representation of my application list as a whole. Boston College, my reachable-reach, Case Western Reserve and Fordham University, two targets, and Geneseo, my favorite of the NY state schools. For many, I’d harbour a guess and say that it has come down to something of this sort, give or take a couple. So what does it boil down to for us now?

Financials

So financial aid packages are basically all out and you and your parents are staring down at these numbers with trepidation. Scholarships can certainly help, but anyway you cut it, college will be expensive. Judging what you want to do post-college can certainly help in deciding, for if grad school is the goal, then lugging more than $100,000 in debt may not be the best course of action. The name may indeed be worth it, and if you plan on going into business, this may be just the case. Crunching the numbers, calling up financial aid offices, visiting again to sit down with directors may all be necessary to choose wisely, because unfortunately, we cannot all simply go where we want, uninhibited by financials.

Student Life

Now that there is no chance of being disappointed by rejection, many students decide not to visit some schools. It’s important to get out there! A critical part of students enjoying time spent out of the classroom is fully dependent not only on the rest of the student body, but on the surrounding area. Getting oneself acquainted with the entertainment, night life, etc. is very important for students not only to excel in the classroom, but to foster personal growth and social intelligence. Without this, students are harmed in their ability to connect and establish relationships with others, a necessary element in this contemporary socially-connected world.

The most important part of this whole process, however, was not taught to me by admissions counselors, guidance departments (though my own is excellent), or even the college departments themselves; rather, the best advice I’ve ever received came from my 11th and 12th grade AP English teacher, Dr. Barbara Young. What Dr. Young imposed upon us, her students, after much curious questioning as to her opinion on the college process, was that in the end, you basically make your own luck. Yes, where you go will open up different doors, but it is your own human ingenuity that sparks your creativity and ability to succeed, not your degree. Grow your intelligence and your mental ability, but don’t for a minute forget to grow as a person. Where you go will mean little if you don’t have the skills you need to do the job you studied for. And know wherever you go, your whole person is needed to succeed, not the name on the gate in the front.

So get going, college-bounders. Find out where you’re bound.

Until next time, y’all. ~Salib

Want to get in touch with Michael? Fill out our Contact form, and he’ll write you back ASAP!



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