Image from StockSnap.

Image from StockSnap.

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.

Slow down, November! I’m still not done with my supplements!

I am smack down in the middle of my college admissions process, and I can definitely say everything is going well… so far. Although I am a bit behind with writing my supplements, I will have one week off from school for Thanksgiving – an appropriate time to take a step back, be thankful, and work harder to finish my applications early. This month has been full of exciting events, and let me update you on some great news!

As you probably know (because I mentioned it only like a million times), I applied for the Questbridge National College Match Scholarship. The results came out on October 21st, and I remember staying up at 12am thinking it would come out at that exact time. I was wrong and probably wasted an hour of precious sleep. More than a hundred thousand log-ins and log-outs on my application later, I found out that…

I am a Finalist!

It was really an amazing feeling! No, I didn’t jump, scream or anything; I remember just smiling in Calculus class and feeling a sense of relief knowing I am a step closer to achieving my goals. I read the words over and over again, in shock and in disbelief. At that time, I set my expectations to the ground; I didn’t want to be disappointed. Even the days leading up to it, my self-confidence has run out. But alas, it all worked out at the end!

Now, I know being a Finalist does not guarantee anything; however, it’s good to know that this amazing organization has got my back. I am part of this incredible group of ambitious and driven individuals all across the country, and whatever happens from now on, I’ll be rest assured knowing that Questbridge believes in me.

Speaking of Questbridge, I chose to opt out of the the National College Match round of the process and only pursue Regular Decision. Although it might seem I am passing an opportunity to be “matched” at a top-tier college with a full-ride scholarship, I didn’t think I’d be sending in the best application I could with the constricted time frame. There were many dynamics that came into play when I thought about this dilemma. I do get questions from other people that doubt why I would do such a thing, but this is a decision I have made carefully for myself.

I also recently submitted my University of California application! As expected, I had the most trouble in writing my personal statement. After staying up night after night trying to write about myself (like, seriously, I’d rather write an essay about Leslie Knope), I finally came up with something I definitely am proud of. I learned that finding a topic about which to write is much simpler than I thought. If you can’t think of any topic, just look around you – maybe you’re staring right at it. I also had a hard time picking which campuses to apply for. Although I live in the cool Cali, the only UC school I have visited is UCLA because it’s the closest one from where I live. Following hours of research and “should I apply to that, should I apply to this,” I narrowed it down to six UC campuses. It’s not exactly “narrow” as you might think because it’s still a lot, but the opportunity is right in front of me, so why not? Now it’s time to finish my CSU applications!

Since my UC apps are done, I pretty much only need to worry about finishing all my supplemental essays. There are a lot that needs to be done, but it seems like I would be able to write much easier this time. Due to all my experiences so far in writing other essays, I think I’ve known myself more and dug deeper into the recesses of my soul that I would be able to talk about my values and beliefs more strongly and genuinely. Plus, it’s awesome to see that some of the questions dares students to drain their creative juices, like the UChicago essay questions. I don’t know, maybe I’ll write about what my feelings about Wednesday to my future roommate while explaining how my perspective in life has changed by finding x. Oh, this is going to be fun! (I mean it both literally and sarcastically.)

So… I guess everything is looking up – at least for now. There will always be times when I would feel sad, depressed, and stressed with the college admissions process – that’s just how it is. Ups and downs are an inherent part of this whole journey. But it doesn’t mean we will not succeed. We’ve worked so hard the past four years of our lives, and the prospect of our immediate futures depend on how we approach this voyage.

This month is the time to be thankful, and we should give our thanks in advance for whatever is stored in our future – it’s surely a great one.

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