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.
If Looghermine has a pie made of time and splits it between college selection, college essays, and a college tour during the month of July, how much of her summertime does she have left?
If I had to be a math problem, this would definitely be the one I would choose. It seems as if July has flashed by my eyes and now I entering the dreaded month they call August. A time for the Common Application. A time for going back to school. A time to watch leaves fall (on TV). A time for uniforms. This year is definitely going to be the craziest school year yet. I have no clue how I’m going to manage to pull off passing classes, keeping up with extracurricular activities, and getting into college. Before I head back into that (not-so) wonderful time. I’d like to reflect on the three parts of my July.
ESSAYS. My life this month has been mostly essay prompts. I’ve been filing all the supplement options that I have for each college inside of a folder inside of a folder in Google Docs. I was hoping that the farther the prompts got away from me, the less important they would become. But, of course, that didn’t work out. Now, I have released the beast from its cage (with just two clicks!) and I’m tackling the Common App and supplement essays. The hardest part is always starting. Having to choose which element of my entire being to portray and for which essay and for which college. I’ve never been good at talking about myself (writing these is a lot harder than you think) and to sit and write over and over again about my life is like climbing Mount Everest. I’ve begun the ascent and at one point I’m going to reach the peak and that’s going to be the best part. Hopefully the top is filled with proper grammar and submitted applications. Once I actually get started, the ideas flow easily (I have a reputation in newspaper for exceeding word limits) and for some reason I can write my heart out.
For the college application process I’ve found that writing on a physical sheet of paper is easier than typing on a computer, so I created a notebook to hold my ideas and drafts so that I can create a nice essay. Since I just came back from my college tour, I have a ton more notes about each college and what I like about them and why I want to apply. Looking over them has given me a better understanding of what I should be writing in my essays. But that doesn’t mean I’ve started writing it yet…
For some reason I’ve always had the inclination to leave home. When I was little, I always wanted to go on sleepovers and in the summer go to a sleepaway camp. Now all I want to do is travel the world and go to an out-of-state college. Some of these are working out for me (I’ve currently been to London, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, and Rome) some of those not so much (17 years and my parents still haven’t let me have a sleepover). I’ll check back with you in June for how the out-of-state (OOS) college thing is working out. For now, I’m dreaming about beautiful campuses up North. I’m looking for a school that’s challenging but not too competitive. A school that’s going to support me from when I enter to when I die. A school that’s going to be small enough to feel personal but large enough to have diversity of all kinds. A school in or near a city so I can learn and grow in a place that’s different than where I am now.
The list is: Georgetown University and American University in D.C., Barnard College in New York, Tufts University and Wellesley College in the Boston area, and the University of Chicago in…Chicago. But I can also be realistic when I need to be. I know that going OOS costs a lot and many scholarships are super competitive, so I have some places at home that I wouldn’t mind going to (if I must). Those are: the University of Miami (UM), Florida International University (FIU), the University of Central Florida (UCF), The University of Florida (UF), and Florida State University (FSU). So that’s like 11 colleges. And I don’t think that’s my final list. So you can imagine my dread towards those supplements.
For one week my mom and I traveled up north to look at five of the colleges I was interested in: Georgetown University, American University, Barnard College, Tufts University, and Wellesley College. Though, in the past, I visited colleges before, I had never really paid attention to what was going on or taken notes or really talked to admissions officers or tour guides about the colleges and what they had to offer. This tour was different. I brought along my trusty college notebook and in the back, carved out a section for the tour. Each college was given its own page where I could write notes and jot down details. I would fill them in by taking what I quickly typed into my phone’s notes during the tour. While on the tour I marked things that I really liked with a smiley face and things that I didn’t like with a frowny face. I also made a list of questions beforehand that I wanted answered by the college either through their free pamphlets, their information sessions, or the tour guides.
This was the best thing I could have possibly done for myself. Not only did I collect facts and figures, I also collected notes on how I felt during the tour, how the campus looked, and how the admissions officers and tour guides presented themselves and the school they were representing. I now have detailed information to write about in my colleges essays and I have a definitive way of comparing colleges to each other to see which school would be the best for me if given the choice between all of them. Each school gave off a different vibe and I know I’ll use the differences to my advantage. Now I want to go on a mini-tour for in-state schools to compare the feeling that I got from these small/medium private schools to much larger public schools.
Now that my time pie has been almost completely consumed, it’s time to move into the new school year and get ready for the inevitable: my last year in high school, my first college acceptance and rejection, my last spirit week, my first homecoming dance, my last AP classes, my first prom, and of course, graduation. But more on that mushy stuff later.