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.
This month has been pretty uneventful. I mostly stayed home looking more into the colleges I’m interested in while taking out some colleges off my list. I also went to school occasionally to help out my JROTC unit, as we are preparing for the upcoming school year. Again, uneventful. However, since I am advancing further in the college admissions process, I am starting to feel a bit of apprehension. To give you something a bit different, I would like to share with you the current sources of my anxiety:
Standardized Tests: It’s Not Too Late. Yet.
“Oh, Keith. Why didn’t you finish all your standardized tests before senior year?”
I know it would have been an extreme relief if I actually got it over with. My school is very SAT-centric, and I found out that I am more of an ACT guy after my junior year. I decided I would take the ACT this September as I didn’t get a great score in the SAT the first time. I studied a little bit over the summer, and I am definitely getting a more satisfying score in the ACT when doing some practice tests. I think it’s just really a matter of preference.
Let’s not forget that standardized tests wouldn’t make or break your future. I know I definitely felt this way. Whenever I looked at the student profiles of some colleges, I would usually feel bad about myself. Still, it’s only another part of the application. Your drive and ambitions will direct you to the future you want, and not the numbers you get.
Senior Year: The Beginning of the End.
August 18 marks the beginning of my last year in high school. By the time you read this, I am already at school crying over my senior year workload. It is unnerving and exciting at the same time. I longed for the day to get out of my high school, explore new opportunities, and start being more independent. However, as much as change excite me, I can’t help but feel nervous. I know this year will be enjoyable, with all the fun senior activities, but it will also be the year that would test my ability to handle pressure.
I know many of you feel the same way. Nonetheless, feeling worried about the future is counterproductive. The only thing we can do, really, is try our best. I know it sounds like a phrase you would see inside a Hallmark card, but that’s just the reality. Ultimately, we have to move on. I am sure that when we’re in college, we would look at our senior year and laugh about all our worries. We’ll make it through without regrets, I’m sure of it.
College Essays: The Bane of My Existence.
My number one source of anxiety right now are college essays. I stayed up all night waiting for the UC and the Common Application to open at midnight. My overzealous self decided to fill out most of the application, but ended up being too sleepy to continue. Long before the college apps opened, I have been trying to brainstorm topics for the essay prompts. For the past three weeks, I have been stuck at home attempting to write something, anything. They never seem to feel right, however. This must be the most daunting task of the college admissions process.
Honestly, I know I can write about almost anything as long as I answer the prompt while revealing a personal quality that would impress the admissions officers. Like what most essay examples have shown, it is possible to write about weird, mundane, and unusual topics. However, the only grueling part is retaining the focus of the essay to myself. So take this from me: keep yourself in the spotlight! If you write about, say, your cats, please don’t make the essay all about them. Write why they inspire you, the qualities that you learned from them that you applied in real life, etc. The reader wants to know more about you, not your cats. Furthermore, do not overthink. I could definitely use my own advice.
It is so easy to just forget about these responsibilities and escape through the world of Netflix. It really is. Still, I can’t shake the feeling of guilt whenever I try to. My inner self keeps reminding me that this is the last leg of a journey towards something great. As much as we want to deflect the stress, we have to face it.
The best thing we can do is be positive.
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