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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.

It feels weird that this is the year I’m going to move out of my house and go off to college. I don’t really know why. I’m going to be an adult in a month and I couldn’t feel further away from adulthood. Like I said before, the constant progression of time frightens me.

So it looks like this was a pretty tough early admissions season ― I had friends deferred from so many different schools and it looks like a lot of my fellow Admit/ Deny bloggers were deferred from some of their top choices too. On December 10th, I found myself scrolling through my Instagram feed hoping to see if at least one of my friends got accepted and decided to post a picture of the letter on Instagram.

No one did though. Out of all my friends who applied early, only three of them got accepted anywhere. I don’t think anyone got flat out rejected though, so that’s a good thing!

So most of my peers had a pretty bumpy start to college decision season.

I, on the other hand, had a pretty exciting start. A little under a week after my last post was published, I was sitting in my Mystery of Suffering and Death class (for those of you who forgot, I go to Catholic school) for a review period before the final. It wasn’t really a review ― more of a self-study period ― so I was just kind of sitting at my desk on my school iPad, entirely on task and definitely not taking BuzzFeed’s “Which IKEA Product Are You” quiz at all.

After I finished the quiz and determined that I’m totally the “FLICKÖGA Bedding” (duh), I noticed an email notification coming in. All I saw was that it was from San Diego State University and the subject line was “Congratulations!” I figured it was just one of those confirmation emails with the portal login that always start out with “Congratulations and thank you for applying to [insert college]!” So I opened it so I could figure out how to set up my portal and everything. That stuff can be confusing sometimes (I’m still not sure if my Northridge State portal is set up right).

But this time it wasn’t an underwhelming congratulations-for-applying email. It was a congratulations-for-getting-in email.

I have to admit, I was pretty surprised that it was actually a letter of acceptance. I mean, it was one of the schools that I was fairly certain I’d get in to, but still. Just the period before, I was telling my friend how I was starting to regret not applying early anywhere. And now, here I was in my religion class, with an acceptance letter that I wasn’t even expecting until March.

Now, San Diego State is by no means my top choice. But it’s still a really good school to have gotten into, and to have it as a backup school is great. Ever since I got that email, I’ve been checking out SDSU dorm tours on YouTube and all the other perks of going there ― I wouldn’t say I’m in love with it like I am with a lot of my other schools, but I definitely like it a lot. I can say with confidence that even if I don’t get into my top choices, I’d be happy to go to San Diego State.

So now I’m just waiting on all my other schools. I decided not to apply to Emory or Occidental for a couple of reasons ― application fees are expensive and I’m pretty sure I was wearing down my dad’s patience with them, and I didn’t really feel like I knew very much about either school that much.

But in my seemingly endless search for colleges, I did find another one to apply to ― Grinnell College. It’s pretty much the outlier of my college list, being such a small school in such a small town (it’s in the middle of a cornfield from what I hear), but it’s got a lot of the things that I want in a college. It’s got a pretty good linguistics program, and it also has art programs for non-majors which is perfect for me. Even though it’s so different from every other school I applied to, I’m actually really interested in it. Also, the application was free, so I didn’t have to worry about giving my parents a run for their money.

So I ended up not applying to seventeen schools like I’d originally planned. Sixteen is a good number though. I poured my heart and soul into those last few supplements ― I only ended up leaving two schools for the last minute, and those ended up being the schools I’ve fallen most in love with. I don’t want to jinx anything, so I won’t say exactly which schools they were, but I’m really happy with the supplements I wrote for them. It almost makes me wish I could go back and rewrite the supplements I submitted earlier and make them just as good.

After applying to sixteen schools and logging into fifteen portals (No, I’m not lazy, UCSD’s portal just hasn’t opened yet), I have to say, that all application status portals are definitely not created equally. I know it’s kind of a silly observation, but there are some schools with amazingly designed portals that have everything organized neatly in a few obviously marked tabs. They’re easy on the eyes too. And then there are some that look like they haven’t been updated since the late ’90s. They make me feel like Indiana Jones searching for the lost treasure when I’m looking for anything regarding my applicant status (Honestly, I’ve never seen Indiana Jones but it just sounded like a good analogy). It truly is a shame.

On one hand, I’m really excited for March. If I can feel as excited as I did in my religion class that day, I can’t imagine how excited I’m going to be to get into any of my other schools. But on the other hand, there’s a voice in the back of my head (probably the helicopter mom that spends hours at a time on College Confidential and thinks Williams and Bowdoin are the perfect safeties for her D) that says my applications weren’t good enough. I’d like to say that I’m more excited about everything though.

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