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.
On December 11, 2015 I was scrolling through College Confidential on my phone before gymnastics practice trying to find out when Early Decision results come out for Rice.“Results come out at 4 PM central today!” someone posted. My stomach drops and I roll face first onto the blue mat I was lying on. Clearly, I was not prepared for this. I knew that I would find out before the 15th, but I was not expecting a decision until the week after. Of course, I had to wait until my practice ended at 5:30 (I live in Massachusetts) before checking my application status. Thus began the longest two hours of my life nervously flipping around trying to distract myself. Looking back I was probably not emotionally stable enough to be doing gymnastics on 4 inches of wood, but that is besides the point.
After practice it took all of the willpower I had not to check my phone until I got inside my car. After a brief pep talk from my parents, I decided it was best to open the decision right away to take the band-aid off quickly. I had waited long enough. I type in my password to find that I typed it incorrectly. Take two of nervously typing on my phone and I enter the portal. I click on the status update to find a letter amongst dead silence. I scan it quickly, but I didn’t have to read the entire thing. I had been rejected.
This is the part where I thought I would collapse in a heap of despair and self-pity, but instead I remained upright, stoic as ever. Wasn’t this everyone’s greatest fear, the ultimate worst case scenario? I knew my chances were not great at Rice because my ACT score was below the middle 50% and I didn’t have the grades or course load to make up for it. I was expecting to be devastated, but I feel relieved. I had previously finished all of my other regular decision applications, and I recently found out that I was accepted into the Honors Program at Baylor University with a large merit scholarship. Now that Rice is out of the picture I can consider other options that will be better fits for me academically and financially. I can compare offers from other colleges and have the opportunity to tour more as I have only toured Rice and Baylor thus far.
I know that it is so hard to scroll through Facebook and see everyone post where they are going to college. You know that you should be happy for them, but at the same time it is frustrating when you know you will probably have to wait until April to make a final decision. Out of all of the hurdles to jump through in the college admissions process it is the hardest by far to have to wait in my opinion. All I want is some certainty, but unfortunately this process brings up so many doubts and lots of paranoia. At this point it can feel like a game. People ask themselves what they need to do to get into the most prestigious college possible without looking closely enough at fit and cost. Often times with social media people only highlight the best parts of themselves, and this makes it difficult to have any sense of reality on the internet. No one is talking about their rejections, waitlists, and deferrals, so it seems like everyone is having success besides you which is obviously not the case.
Though the advice “everything happens for a reason” is controversial I feel that it applies well to the college admissions process. I know that I am meant to be at another college where I will feel much more comfortable. If I was accepted at Rice there is a good chance that I would be struggling academically which would decrease my chances at getting into medical or graduate school. I have seven more colleges to hear back from, and all of them are great institutions that can help me reach my long-term goals. No matter where you go to college, you can make the most of the opportunities that they provide you.
It is also important to not take any rejections/deferrals/waitlists personally. This decision does not define who you are as a student, and has no bearing on your worth as a person. It may seem like it when everyone is congratulating the people that get into top schools and saying how much they deserve it, but the truth is almost everyone that applies to college deserves it. The process is such a crapshoot with so many confounding variables that it is not about who deserves it anymore. The only way to increase your odds of getting into a college that you can thrive at is loving your list of colleges. My top choice may no longer be feasible, but that does not mean I cannot find another college that I can love just as much.
Want to get in touch with Calley? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with her on Instagram and she’ll write you back ASAP!