m6rT4MYFQ7CT8j9m2AEC_JakeGivens - Sunset in the Park

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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.

Oh, March! I have long awaited your arrival. This month has been full of anxiety – in a good way this time. The anticipation for those decision letters are getting lighter as the month progresses, and I am upbeat and grateful for what has happened so far!

If I am keeping a scoreboard on my admissions game, it has been 6-1-1 to date: 6 acceptances, 1 rejection, and 1 waitlist. Not bad at all, I would say; although I am almost so sure that the rejection number will only go way up when I hear back from more private colleges.

I was accepted to five UC’s and one CSU, for which I am extremely thankful! I can’t even begin to describe the genuine happiness I felt after the letters started pouring in. I am not that lively and animated when it comes to showing emotions, so to some of my friends, it seemed like I wasn’t happy. But I am! I am happy in the inside! I was dubious about my credibility throughout this whole process (you know, low standardized test scores, not-so-great GPA, etc.), but these acceptances meant a lot as I realized that numbers cannot define a student at all. If only I told myself that during the early years of my high school career, then I think I would’ve been more satisfied in school.

The highlight of these acceptances would probably be UCLA and UC-Santa Barbara. I am in love with Los Angeles city, even if I live so close to it. I always feel like there is so much to do, and I like to be busy all the time. UCLA has always been on the top of my list, and I can’t wait to visit it again with the admitted students. It seems like it’s an easy choice, right? However, I was accepted to UC-Santa Barbara with their Regents Scholarship. It was totally unexpected, and it already made this decision process painstaking. If you did not know, the Regents Scholarship entails not only a generous amount of financial help, but also an automatic acceptance to their Honors college, priority registration to my classes and preferred housing, and even an extended borrowing privileges in their library. Also, as I have said before, I come from a low-income background, and the financial aid they offer definitely helps a lot. So even if I prefer UCLA so much more, it is hard to ignore the benefits of going to UC-Santa Barbara instead. I was put off by its “party-school” reputation at first, but after all my research, I am beginning to see this reputation dispelling. I just need to visit the campus, see the beach, and hopefully help me make my decision.

In other news, I was waitlisted to University of Chicago, and rejected by Northwestern. I guess the state of Illinois just ain’t for me. I was okay after being rejected by Northwestern, to my surprise as I thought the first rejection will hurt my self-esteem so badly. University of Chicago, on the other hand, became my “dream” school in the middle of the application process, so obviously I was a bit disappointed after the decision. But it’s always better than being flat-out rejected, right? There’s always a tiny chance that I can get in though, but I am giving up all hope to make this decision-making process easier for me. So long, UChicago! You have been a great dream of mine.

I have yet to hear from about ten other colleges later in the month. I am enamored with Brown University, and their acceptance will probably be the best acceptance out of all. However, I am incredibly satisfied right now, and no rejection can take the happiness I am feeling away from me. One of my friends has mentioned that the more this year progresses, the more she desires to stay close to home for college. I am starting to feel the same way. UCLA is about a 30-min drive from where I live, and UC-Santa Barbara is about an hour more. I’ll just need to wait and see, and hope for the best!

Now, for some of you out there reading this post, who have been rejected by some colleges, especially your dream schools, please do not feel discouraged! As some of my fellow QuestBridge finalists would say to each other, you’ll do great things in life no matter where you go! I say that with the greatest conviction, as some of the best people in the world has made a difference without attending the brand-name schools we so long wanted to be in. Rejections are like a bump in the road: merely a nuisance that makes the car slow down, but it has never stopped a car from going – unless the driver purposely do so. Keep going, alright?!

Oh, what a month it has been! This is the climax of the college admissions journey, and man, I never thought I would be this joyful. It is great to finally see the fruit of four years of hard work. I congratulate all of us for making it this far, and wherever we end up, I am so sure we’ll be the game-changers we have always been. So long, Prospies, good luck, and see you next month!
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