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Feeling alone as you swim through the terrifying waters known as the college admission process? Have no fear! We have five seniors blogging about ups, downs, and random in-betweens of their college process for the next 12 months (from June 2013 to June 2014!). 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’s the final leg of the college apps race. Transcripts have been mailed in, applications have been submitted, and essays have been shredded to pieces by the eyes of others. You’re almost at the finish line, but you need to take a quick detour before you’re really at the final stretch. And that detour leads you…to an interview?

Just a few hours ago, I had my first college interview. To keep the college anonymous, let’s refer to said college as “X” College. When I first got the email that an alum was in the area, I was more than stoked. Actually, scratch that–stoked doesn’t even begin to cover it. I was jumping-on-the-couch, screaming-at-the-top-of-my-lungs, running-down-the-street-yelling-the-college’s-name ecstatic. Though it doesn’t seem like much, I was amazed to see that a school was interested in me. Of all the alumni in the world, “X” college had an alum here, in the middle of nowhere, nonetheless.

Because it was my first interview, I had absolutely no idea what was in store for me. Would the interviewer ask me why I wanted to go to “X” College? Would I be able to sell myself to this person who had absolutely no idea what I was like? Would this person contact the admissions office and tell them to completely throw my application out the door? Would my cheeky/nervous attitude ruin my .000001% chance of being admitted? What was going to happen?

I’m not going to beat around the bush about it; interviews in general can be nerve-wracking. How do I explain why I love a college, why it makes my stomach feel like a million butterflies are fluttering around, why it makes me fangirl every time I receive a  letter in the mail? How do you explain something so incredibly inexplicable?

The answer is that I can’t; I didn’t. No matter how many minutes of the hour before the interview I spent going over answers to possible questions, I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready to explain why I’d love to move literally across the nation for four years for this one college. I couldn’t find the words to describe why I had a terrible case of wanderlust–why I want to go to this school more than anything in the world. And though there are many, many ways to prep for such a crucial part in investing your love for a school, there’s just no way to beat the jitters about an interview.

So…interviews. How in the good Lord’s name do you ace this? You’ve heard it before a million times and you’re going to hear it straight form the mouth of one of your own fellow college bound homies. You be yourself, and you do you. As cliché as it sounds, interviews are for your benefit. It’s a chance for you to know more about “X” College, a chance for you to professionally fangirl with one of your dream school’s alums, someone who understands what it’s like to fall absolutely in love with this school.

Not everyone gets to have a shot at an interview. In fact, if you live in the middle of nowhere like I do, they might be physically impossible. But if you do get a chance to interview, be you. Write down some questions you have about the school. Even if they may not seem like the most creative questions, they represent you. Don’t stress out too much about trying to fit this mold that you have set up for yourself, or how you’d basically sell your soul to “X” College. If you don’t have a chance to interview, fear not my good ol’ pals. Interviews aren’t necessary for the most part.

If there’s one thing I learned from my 40 minutes of professionally raving about a school, it’s that you will find yourself no matter where you go. You will end up where you’re supposed to and you will thrive into the beautifully independent superstar that you’re destined to become. Be comfortable with yourselves, my fellow prospies. One day–maybe 10 years down the road–you just might end up asking the same questions to a mini version of you.

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

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the author

Born on the other side of the globe but raised in the Lone Star State, Ameera Khan is currently a rising freshman at the University of Texas-Pan American, where she is majoring in Premed-Biology under a BS/MD program. She is a self proclaimed fanatic of soccer, tea, beautiful paperback books, adventure, deep life conversations, and rice pudding. She also has an indefinite love for running, culture, and politics (although she is terrible at the former). Ameera has been writing for The Prospect since June 2013, where she wrote for the Admit/Deny column until the end of her senior year. She is currently a college writer and editor for The Prospect.

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