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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.

Congratulations, class of 2016! Our college applications are all submitted, essays are all written, transcripts and standardized test scores all sent in. Take a deep breath, everyone, and give yourself a pat on the back for making it through. You deserve it.

The last month for me was pretty insane. I spent half of it working harder than I’ve ever worked before, and the other half of it doing less work than I did as a Freshman, and that’s really saying something.

The extreme difference between my December and January is almost laughable. The last two weeks of December 2015 were intense. I got up at around 8 every morning, and worked on college applications and supplement essays all day until 9pm, punctuated by a very drawn out lunch and the occasional shopping outing. Although, I suppose my winter break wasn’t too different from my winter break from last year (I spent December 2014 doing SAT practice tests every day).

Even though I didn’t spend as much time refining my supplements as I’d liked to, I’m quite satisfied with the way they turned out. Although I didn’t have much time to write, thankfully, I already knew what I specifically liked about each college. I think I’m happiest with the fact that the essays for each school are so different than one another, and really reflected what I liked about the atmosphere and opportunities of that particular institution. So, a bit of advice to those writing applications still, or will be writing applications in the future: don’t BS your essays. Spend time doing research and discovering each school, and get genuinely excited about going there. Don’t copy-paste your “Why X” essays and change the nouns. Don’t try to force enthusiasm: if you’re not feeling the school right then, go back to it later, after you’ve watched 10 Youtube videos about students there or read the school newspaper or scrolled through some student blogs.

I clicked submit on all of my applications on December 28th, just a mere three days before the deadline. It was stressful, and I did feel regret that I hadn’t put more work into some of them, but I knew that it was time to finish it. After I clicked the submit button on my last application, my stress levels didn’t really decrease, as I had hoped it would. I thought it was going to be a “hallelujah!” moment where a huge burden was lifted off of my shoulders, but it really wasn’t. I went to sleep that night and actually had nightmares about not getting into college because I didn’t submit the perfect application. But, as I have, and the other Admit/Deny bloggers have said before, what’s done is done.

December, and thus 2015 concluded, January came, and suddenly my motivation level plummeted. I went back to school on the 4th, so between the time I submitted everything and the time I got to school, I did absolutely no work. I caught up on the TV shows I did not have time to watch during the semester, and read the books I had lined up to read. When school started, I still lazed about and didn’t do much work. I did my Stats homework in homeroom and my Lit reading during lunch. The one class I actually did still do work for was Biology. It was so much fun and so interesting last semester that even Senioritis couldn’t break my enthusiasm. Second semester may hurt your grades some classes that weren’t really interesting to begin with, but may also give you the time to really pursue your interests.

Truthfully, I am extremely excited about this semester. Because of my tight schedule, I didn’t have the opportunity to travel at all during 2015, and haven’t left Shanghai since October 2014. Almost every year I’ve been here, I’ve travelled at least once during the year, whether for sports competitions, school trips, or family vacations, and 2015 was the first year that that didn’t happen for me. However, I get the chance to go on the most amazing trips this semester! I’m going to Iceland with my photography class in two weeks, then Taiwan during spring break, and finally Thailand for my senior trip. I recently realized that I am not going to have the chance to travel like this anymore after I go back to America, and now look forward to these trips with an appreciation I didn’t have before. I am so grateful for this privilege, and for my parents and family for giving me the opportunity to see the world.

I’m going to catch up on some more reading (Not AP reading, but reading for pleasure. When was the last time I had time to do that?) now, so until next time, everyone. And again, congratulations, to the class of 2016: we made it through.

Want to get in touch with Katherine? Email her at, and she’ll write you back ASAP!

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