Feeling alone as you swim through the terrifying waters known as the college admission process? Have no fear! We have five seniors blogging about ups, downs, and random in-betweens of their college process for the next 12 months (from June 2014 to June 2015!). 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.
Hello, world (of stressed prospective college applicants)!
I can greet you with my super intensive anxiety-inducing spiel or with an off-handed joke, but I’m not the kind of person to beat around the bush, so I’m just going to say it: we’re here to learn more about the college application process and try our best to survive (and get that admission letter), so we are going to trek through this incredible journey together.
We both know this: the application process is going to be incredibly stressful. It’s going to be über emotionally exhausting. It’s going to be incredibly frustrating at times, and it may or may not be rewarding in the end. It might not be a fun or an exciting (or even remotely interesting) learning process, but I promise that we’re going to learn something: mostly about ourselves, where we stand in this world, and how we’re going to live our lives no matter the end results of our hard work.
OKAY. Enough of this kind-of-depressing and ominous talk about the future for now. Let me introduce myself so that you’ll know who the heck this geek is and what she’s ranting about behind the computer screen.
My name is Laan Yeung, but you may call me Rainbow for simplicity’s sake. There’s really not much to know about me (I’m sure none of you are dying to know my favorite kind of chocolate or which brand of fountain pens I would prefer), except for the fact that I tend to go on nerdy tangents about the weirdest scientific facts. I guess you’ve also figured out by now that I’ve got a case of anxiety about this whole application process. In my eyes, the whole process boils down to this: who are you? What do you want to do in the future? Why?
The answers to all these questions for me are: I don’t know.
Okay, fine. I may or may not have the slightest bit of inkling for what I want to do. Maybe. Just a little.
If you were a college admission officer asking me for my major of choice, I might say “Biology” with an air of certainty; if I were being adventurous, I might even claim “Astrophysics” or “Computer Science” as my intended major. But then, that would be false, too. The truth is, yet again, I don’t know.
People say I worry too much and I should just ‘let it be’. But how could I do that when my future is on the line? My siblings are counting on me to help pay their tuitions after I finish my undergrad years (hopefully with amazing scholarships). My parents are counting on me to be successful as they have always provided me with the best to give me my best shot in the future. I am counting on myself. I can’t fail.
I know I have it in me to go to a good pre-med college–I’ve done a biochemical internship two summers ago, taken a 8-credit Bio course at Harvard University last summer, did a few biology-related science fairs, and am working full-time in a biochemical engineering lab at Purdue University to save up for college right now. Do I like the stuff? Of course. (Why else would I work with it for 300+ hours this summer otherwise?) Would I be okay to work in the field for the rest of my life? Yes. Then what’s the problem?
The problem is that I don’t know if I would like to do something else with my life other than biology. I don’t have in-depth experience in any other field, but that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t like to have some. What if applying as a pre-med or a biochemical engineering student is not the right choice for me? I’m seventeen; I don’t think I’m wise enough to make this decision for myself just yet. Maybe I don’t know any better. But then, all of us will have to choose a major to apply to for some colleges within the next year anyway.
So I guess this comes to which colleges I’m thinking of applying to, and why I’m having a semi-angsty breakdown at wee hours in the morning. Heh, this has actually been a long-drawn drama already in my mind: I’m torn between REA-ing Harvard and EA-ing MIT, CalTech, and UChicago. It’s mainly the decision between Harvard and MIT, to be honest. (And when it boils down the very essence of the whole thing, I’m torn between going into a school with a bit more options or setting my mind on the track to become an engineer.) Of course, I would also have to take in account of the way top college admissions work these days–the small percentages, my chances in EA as opposed to RD, my career and graduate school options after undergrad, etc. It’s a long thinking process that I’ll put on hold for now until after the SAT subject tests next week and the ACTs the week after.
It’s stressful; it’s hard work; it might not even be rewarding in the end. However, it will never cease to be interesting. Perhaps you all think that I am a super intensive person right now, but I promise I like to joke probably more than necessary once you get to know me. So guess what? Let us all just buckle down for now, take out our packs of Sour Patch Kids and let the college admissions begin!
Want to get in touch with Rainbow? Fill out our Contact form, and she’ll write you back ASAP!