Image from StockSnap.

Making my way downtown. 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.

*awkward silence*

Since this is an introduction, I need to be as truthful as possible. I am socially inept, and awkward silences pretty much make up all my conversations with other human beings. That includes you!

Hello! My name is Keith Atienza, and I am an upcoming senior living in Los Angeles, California. I am here to tell you about my college admissions journey and whether I would survive at the end. Most likely not, but let’s try to keep a positive outlook here, okay?

Like some of you, I am not exactly the best student out there. I have decent grades, acceptable extracurricular activities, satisfactory test scores and (if you can’t already tell) tolerable writing skills. I am the epitome of the average good student. But I stand here believing that being average does not mean not being good enough. As I move forward on my adventure, I will not only give you tips on how to hold back tears in the process but also give you further insight on how to stand out and be confident.

Now let me tell you some details about myself. I am a recent immigrant in the United States- exactly today marking the fourth year since I set foot in the land of opportunity. It was not easy, as you might expect, but I guess I made it work because I am still breathing and eating pizza. I am also an active member of the JROTC in my school. I learned so much from the program – from processing grueling paperwork to harnessing my public speaking ability- and I would forever be grateful for that. It is also there where I honed leadership skills that would definitely serve me well in a zombie apocalypse.

I love to sing when no one hears me (but apparently the universe does because signs everywhere suggest I should not). I love to dance while waiting for my food to be heated up in the microwave. I have a talent in social awkwardness. My favorite hobby is avoiding responsibilities. My most embarrassing moment is everyday. My greatest accomplishment is probably when I woke up one day not despising the world. And my morning motivation inducer is a game where I try not to be as late to class as I was the previous day. I call it “The Impossible Game.” You get the deal, I am the least interesting person in the world.

All jokes aside, I am passionate about music that portrays genuine emotions, with my favorite genre being anything indie. I love playing the piano. I like learning math and history. It seems like an odd combination but both immensely interest me. I have a love-hate relationship with English, with the love coming from reading books and the hate stemming from i-can’t-get-higher-than-a-C essays. I can never draw anything besides stick figures. I am quite interested in filmmaking, and I have a habit of picking certain songs for particular scenes in a movie. I dream of being in big, rainy city someday. If you find me in places like Seattle or London one day, you’ll know the reason why.

I am currently interested in pursuing a business-related career like public relations or finance. That might change to something like geophysicist or architect in the next few hours, so ask me again tomorrow. I know I am indecisive, and I still have to research the field in depth, but I think it’s the best fit for me. All I know is that I want to have a career in a fast-paced, unpredictable environment. Ironically, I was highly interested in chemical engineering but after taking AP Chemistry, I think I developed an extreme allergy for it – so don’t put me near a chemistry textbook ever.

I still yet to make a comprehensive college list (that would probably consist of every college university that I stumble across Google). I don’t exactly have a dream school in mind, but it would be incredible if I get into UC-Berkeley. I am also planning to apply to Stanford, Columbia University, and MIT. I know I am dreaming too far, considering my average-ness, but it doesn’t hurt to try. I will also be applying to some local universities because California is pretty amazing…weather-wise. I would be lucky to get into anywhere, really.  In this competitive college world, I have always been told that I make my own future and not the colleges I get into. Sounds cliché, but it is a principle by which we should all live. I am still lost on how everything would work but bear with me; we’ll figure this out together.

Frankly, I am quite anxious about the financial side of the college applications process. I mean, this is the time where I should bash the United States college education system, John Oliver-style, but I wouldn’t dare. Like most of you, college debt scares me, and I want to be smart of my decisions. If graduating college without a penny of debt seems unreal, I guess acquiring as little as possible seems more reasonable.

Anyway, here I am writing. Typing. Vomiting my thoughts. In the following twelve months, I will be blogging about my arduous college journey. Based on my experiences, I think I would tell you less of what to do and more of what NOT to do. Trust me, I am as baffled as you are with all of these. Since we are all one step further into being an adult, we now cannot escape to our cocoon of blankets and bed sheets while watching Netflix. We have one year left, and we got this!

So there I am. Join me and my fellow Admit/Deny bloggers as we share with you our own experiences in navigating the deadly waters of college. I swear, we are all cool here! Good luck everyone!

Want to get in touch with Keith? Fill out our Contact form, and he’ll write you back ASAP!



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