Image from Picjumbo.

Image from Picjumbo.

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.

Is there a pause button for senior year?

I am officially the overly-exhausted senior who walks like a zombie in the hallways of my school. My friends have pointed out that I now often stare at blank space randomly during the day. Admittedly, I do this because I have to constantly prioritize all my responsibilities in fear of losing track. Well, to tell you the truth, I am plain tired.

Like some of you, I was led to believe that junior year is the most stressful year of anyone’s high school career. Well, that’s a lie – to me, at least. I now realized I probably signed up for far too many activities and challenging courses beyond what I am capable of handling. Still, no pain, no gain, right?! This year is definitely testing my limits, and I say, “bring it on!” Despite all the anxiety-inducing work I have to do, I feel more determined than ever. My immediate future rests in my own hands, and I can’t slack off now. The same goes to all of you. It’s our last year, and college looms in the distance. Trust me, you will not regret working to the best of your ability during your graduation day.

So what am I doing this month?

This month has been all about finishing my application for the QuestBridge National College Match Scholarship that is due on September 28. My application is still not done completely, and I am rushing to finish it. I have one essay to edit, and one more to write – which I will, right after I finish writing this blog post (lots of writing, guys!). Questbridge does have an early deadline, which I am happy for because I get to have an early start in this whole college admissions extravaganza. With all my motivation this year, I cannot erase the fear of failing to get the prized “Finalist” distinction. Still, knowing I am not letting this great opportunity pass by is enough reason for me to put a great deal of effort for the application. It will not be the end of the world for me. Whatever happens, right?!

I actually did ask two of my teachers and my counselor to write me a recommendation letter for the application. It was less intimidating than I thought it would be. It essentially went out like this: “Hi Mr./Ms. ___. Do you think you’ll be able to write me a recommendation letter for my college application?” To which they responded a simple, “Yes, I will.” The end. Done deal. I just had to follow-up with them with all my information and submitted a “brag” sheet that includes everything there is to know about myself as a student, from my goals and interests to the qualities that brings me success in my academic career. If there’s a “tip” I can impart to y’all, it’s to just ask. The worst thing that could happen is to be flat-out rejected, which rarely happens. However, it is still important to remember to ask the teachers who really know you inside-out.

I also had the chance to sit-in with the Los Angeles college admissions officer for Vanderbilt University at our school, where she introduced us to the many great aspects of the university. The whole presentation itself basically confirmed some of my preconceived notions about the institution, and I can’t wait to apply.  Furthermore, I took my very first ACT this past week.  The day before the test itself, I registered for the October one. It’s not like I’m preparing myself for failure; it’s just I know there will always be a room for improvement. The test was okay, and that’s probably the most accurate word for it. I think I did well enough – certainly better than the SAT, if you were to compare the scores to their counterparts. Can I just say that the two-hour nap I had right after the test was the most satisfying nap I’ve had in my life? Oh, the little joys in the life of a stressed-out senior!

You are probably wondering how I am handling all these responsibilities on top of my challenging courses. Well, not that good but not that bad either.  I am currently taking four AP classes – Physics, European History, Calculus BC and Microeconomics. On top of this all, I recently joined my school’s Academic Decathlon team. My grades are like objects free-falling with constant acceleration (physics joke, anyone?), but it’s a price I have to pay. Despite this year’s difficulty, I am glad that all my classes are interesting. At least, all I am learning are worthwhile. Furthermore, senior year activities offer much-needed enjoyment in the midst of all the stress. I am just thankful I have not been infected by the senioritis virus just yet.

It is definitely hard to balance the “present” and the “future” at the moment, but hopefully, it will all be worth it at the end. All the hard work that I, all of us, are putting in will not be for nothing.

We’re almost there.

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

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