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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.

Prospective seniors, have no fear, for blogger Katherine, extraordinaire, is here!

Actually, I lied. All of you rising seniors are most likely stewing in fear right now, as I definitely am, and to be honest, being a little scared about the college application process is probably a good thing. Fear motivates work, and being scared and over prepared is always better than being totally chill and really behind (trust me, I speak from experience). Now, we all know that the next semester is going to be a grueling and exhausting time, filled with deadlines and essays and more “what are you going to do with your future” talks than any of us can handle, but it’s okay, because thats where I come in! Throughout the next 12 months, I am going to be learning how to deal with the college application process and the end of our high school careers right along side everyone else. Hopefully, reading about my confusion, worrying, and constant struggle will reassure you that it’s okay to have no idea what you’re doing, since the rest of us have no idea either.

First, little bit about me. My name is Katherine, and I am currently a rising senior at a small international school in Shanghai, China. I know, I know. You must be thinking, “Wow, China! An international student!” However, don’t be fooled by my residence on the other side of the planet from most of you – as much as I try to embrace both cultures, I actually grew up in suburban Connecticut and am sadly about as culturally foreign as the orange chicken from your local Panda Express. My school has a standard American curriculum, but because of the large amount of international students there, I am able to appreciate different perspectives culturally different students have on issues. This, I think, has been the biggest perk of being a member of the international community.

Other than that, I love traveling and photography learning about the world. I like writing research papers and Orphan Black, and I treat my fat cat like the most precious gem on the planet. I spend most of my days studying for school, and worrying about upcoming exams, college applications, or just the future in general. The rest of the time, you can usually find me in the pool, on the tennis court, or participating in other activities, like teaching English to locals or organizing the new school blog. On the weekends, I wander the streets of Shanghai, camera in hand, observing the locals play mahjong, stopping by at museums, and eating whatever it is vendors are selling that day. If not that, I’m sitting in a cafe catching up on assignments while power-browsing wikipedia sites.

However, in terms of the future, I’m still pretty confused as to what I want. I know that ever since I can remember, my biggest goal was to just absorb knowledge faster than a sponge absorbs water. I come from a pretty academic family, and that trait has rubbed off on me. Dinner table discussions revolved around current world issues or Chinese history. Because of this, I have always wanted to learn about everything. And it seemed like the best place for me to do this was at college. So, while others dreamt of going to outer space or becoming President, I wanted to go to a place where I could learn about ancient history and different cultures and how the brain works. I wanted to do my own laundry and attempt to cook my own meals. I wanted responsibility, I wanted independence, and I just wanted to learn about everything.

Now, almost eight years later, that aspiration still stands. I still dream of discussing important world issues with classmates, red brick buildings, and putting quarters in washing machines, but with that excitement now comes anxiety, and a little bit of panic. What am I going to do after I finish my formal education? Where will I do my learning? Also, an Asian American girl with two first-rate-Chinese-university-graduate parents and a high GPA that wants to study economics isn’t exactly the most novel thing universities have seen, and doesn’t make for the most unique or must-have candidate. Furthermore, although I wanted to go to college so badly, I hadn’t really thought much about the application process. I just figured that eventually, everything would work out and I would end up somewhere interesting and intellectually stimulating. I still hope that this will be true, but my introduction to the college application process was definitely not smooth. I experienced minor panic attacks about once or twice a week second semester of junior year just thinking about whether or not I would be able to attend a solid school. Now, six months of stress have passed, my worries have (slightly) subsided, and I am singing the words that Shang from Disney’s Mulan put so eloquently: Let’s get down to business.

I have decided that with my love for learning and my curiosity, I would fit in best at a small liberal arts college. I am looking at a number of those colleges, especially up in the Northeast. Do I have a chance at being admitted? Who knows – as for right now, all I can do is keep learning and keep wishing for the days of seminar discussions and meal swipes.

Although this introduction isn’t much, I think it captures the essence of who I am; the extremely (extremely, oh my gosh extremely) lame introduction, the constant worrying, and the thirst for knowledge capture my personality and my goals pretty well.

Therefore, so far on my college application journey, I’ve self reflected, done research on different schools, and worried about everything while I did it. I encourage you, reader, to do the same, if you have not done so already (Although, you can leave the worrying out. I’m doing enough of that for all of us). I hope that you can find at least a bit of yourself reflected in me, and that I will be able to help you all this next year. Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions, comments, or just to finish the Mulan karaoke that I started at any time. Until next time, readers!

Want to get in touch with Katherine? Email kkatherine.ni@yahoo.com, or fill out our contact form, and she’ll write you back ASAP!



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