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.
Okay, to be honest, senior year is kind of a roller-coaster of stress. Pretty soon after I wrote my last post, things got a lot less nerve-wracking. I mean, I’m definitely not nearly as calm as I was in August, but I’m significantly more so than I was in September.
Early September was mainly stressful because I was trying too hard to get the bulk of my college stuff done while also working on school. If I weren’t applying to 17 colleges this year might actually be kind of easy. I mean, other than AP Physics, which is by far the hardest class I’ve ever taken in my entire life, I don’t have any super difficult classes. But I’ve got 7 different supplements and 3 essays that I have to work on all on top of that.
The fun part of college applications is over (I like filling out applications like that, okay? It makes me feel important). Now it’s down to the supplements and the letters of recommendation and the interviews and the “oh-God-I’m-having-a-nervous-breakdown-because-I-have-an-application-due-tomorrow-and-I’ve-barely-worked-on-the-supplement”‘s. I’m fairly certain that that might happen to me.
But I’m trying.
Last month I was still looking around for schools to apply to. But this month, I’m proud to say that I’ve completely finalized my list. Mainly because I realized how much it costs to apply to seventeen different schools but also because I recently had to ask my teachers and counselor for letters of recommendation. And while I could theoretically add one or two more schools to my list, I’d rather not. I mean, I’m sure it’s no big deal for them, but I mean, the only other schools that I’d consider applying to are extremely selective, and I don’t want them to waste their time writing a letter to a school I’m probably not going to get into.
Maybe I’m just being silly. But again, applying to seventeen schools is really expensive. I don’t think I need to apply to any more.
Speaking of letters of recommendation—asking for them is one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever done. No, seriously. I felt like my heart was going to burst out of my chest it was beating so fast. I’ve got a great deal of anxiety when it comes to that sort of thing, so I’m sure for most kids it’ll seem like I’m exaggerating. But I couldn’t be more honest with you if I tried.
The teachers I asked are some of the nicest teachers that I’ve ever had, and yet I was scared out of my mind to ask them. More so the first time because I didn’t really know what to expect. I mean, I knew he would say yes, but I was still sweating profusely and stuttering like a little kid as if he was going to say no. Just writing about it is making me melt into a pool of awkwardness and anxiety.
I don’t know if counselors at most schools do this, but our counselors have us fill out a recommendation request form with all of the schools we’re applying to, and then it has a bunch of questions about how that class helped us grow and a bunch of other stuff that’s supposed to help our teachers in the process of writing these letters. Stuff like, “How have you showed good collaboration skills in this class?” or “What project in this class made you the most proud?”
Given that I asked my math teacher to write one of my letters, I had to leave a lot of these questions blank. I mean, you don’t really do oral presentations in a math class. Like, ever. Thankfully, he understood.
Anyway, thank God that I’m done asking for those. Hopefully my asking for letters of recommendation skills improve before I [probably] apply to grad school. I’ve got four years though, so I think I’m good.
I’ve been trying really hard to work on my supplements. And I’ve gotten a few down, mostly “Why X?” supplements. Those are the ones everyone said were the hardest. They really aren’t—they require a bit of research, but they’re actually pretty easy as long as you know why you’re applying there (that may be the most obvious piece of advice I’ve written thus far in my Admit/ Deny career).
But beside those two or three supplements that I actually have done, I’m stuck. I open up my supplements word doc (I told you I’m trying to be more organized this year, didn’t I? Whether or not it’s working is up for debate…), and just look at them. There are some really tough questions—I mean, that’s the point, but I didn’t expect them to be that tough. One of them is essentially “What would the title of your life story be and why?”
I have no idea what the title of my life story would be. Something clickbait-y I’m sure.
So there you have it—October’s been a pretty straightforward month so far in the world of college applications. Hopefully it stays that way. My first major deadline is next month (UC Apps are due November 30t), so we’ll see how that goes then.
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