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.
Official congratulations to the class of 2016 for making it to the end of the college application process! May 1st has come and gone, and that marks the end of that chapter of our lives. We’re college kids now!
I finally decided to commit to being a member of the Vassar College Class of 2020! It was a tough decision even in the end, and I didn’t make my deposit until I think the 29th of April. As the deadline was approaching I just had to buckle down and choose, because I had done all of the comparison I possibly could have done. I’m proud and happy to have chosen Vassar, but I think there will always be a little nagging voice in my brain asking “What could’ve happened if you’d chosen W&M?” “Is this the right decision?” “How would your life be different if you’d made the other decision?” Although, I think that that is a consequence of every decision you make, so don’t be too caught up in that.
I am very excited to be off to Poughkeepsie in August, although as that day comes I become more and more worried. Going into the college application process I wanted to go to college in a small, remote area with opportunities to explore the outdoors, but now that I’m committed, I’m worried I won’t be used to the small town feel anymore. The total population of Poughkeepsie, town and city, is just about 80,000 people, which is pretty sizable for a New England town, but so small compared to the city I’ve lived in for the last 5 years. There are a good 70,000 people who live on my street alone in Shanghai. I’m worried that I will feel trapped not being able to buy things when I want to or go where I need to when I need to. That leads me into another big fear of mine: driving. I am 18 years old and I do not know how to drive. I took 3 driving lessons to get my permit in the summer of 2014, and haven’t been behind the wheel since then. Just one more adult responsibility to worry about when I move back, I guess.
My high school experience is also just about wrapped up. I’ve finished AP testing (hallelujah), and classes have ended for Seniors. Everything is done, and I graduate high school next weekend! It’s strange thinking that when I see a student in the hallway or a teacher in his/her classroom now it may be the last time I will ever see them. I’ve never been good at saying goodbye and expressing my gratitude, so all of my teacher gifts are joint with other classmates. Little piece of advice: get your teachers gifts or sincerely thank them before you leave! It’s always good to end on a happy note, and you never know – you may need a recommendation letter from them for something in the future.
In my immediate future, I am looking at a week of no classes before graduation, graduation, and then I’m off for senior trip. It’s an exciting few weeks coming up.
Enough about me, though! As excited and as worried as I am for all that is in my future, I am going to dedicate the rest of this post to reflecting on my experience with the college application process and advising the rest of you who are just starting.
1. Write thorough and thoughtful essays, particularly supplements. Really research the school you’re writing the essay for, and spend a good week writing, revising, and rewriting every essay. You don’t want to be rushed like I was at the end of December, frantically piecing together essays. Not only does this not give you enough time to reflect properly, you also miss out on spending the last Christmas at home with your family. Think about what you’re writing, and spend time on them.
2. Think about what you can do in the future, not what you could’ve done in the past. It’s easy to get caught up on submitting one essay that you think you could’ve done better on. Try to think of everything else you can do instead of what you have already done. Show extra demonstrated interest in that college, or set up an interview with them, or anything else to improve the rest of your application there.
3. Try to get as much done during the summer before Senior year as possible. Solidify your college list as much as possible, get started (or even finish) the Common App essay, and get the supplements to schools you definitely know you will apply to out of the way. Once the school year starts, it is so easy to lose track of deadlines and leave all of your work to the last minute.Get as much done as possible when you have the time.
My college application process is finished, but many of you are just starting on your journey. Work hard, think clearly and methodically, and I wish you the best of luck!
I’ll see you guys.
Want to get in touch with Katherine? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, and she’ll write you back ASAP!