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.
I’ve got to admit: I felt like a sham. When my first acceptances to state schools came in, I felt great. I knew I would get into those schools so having the acceptance was just checking the boxes. Easy peasy. Then, I worked on the rest of my applications. I started them late and turned them in on time by the skin of my teeth. I felt doomed. There was no way I could compare to kids who had their parents, friends, teachers, and college counselors read their essays multiple times, right? But no, apparently, I could. I got into UF and UM with–at best–a rough draft of my Common App essay and some shoddily put together supplements. Then, my Wellesley likely letter came in. I couldn’t believe it. How could I, Looghermine Claude, get into Wellesley? I kept thinking I didn’t belong. That somewhere there was a fluke.
I doubted my acceptances like crazy. I thought that UM looked past the grammar mistakes on my essay. I thought that UF liked the essence of my essay but not the meat. I thought that Wellesley looked over some of the rougher parts of my application because I went to Discover Wellesley Weekend. I never once thought I was up to par with the rest of the Class of 2020. That colleges could actually like me as an applicant. That I was good enough for them. Instead, I was scared that somebody would expose my con and send me spiraling down into darkness.
But that never came. Instead, acceptances kept rolling my way this month. I got into American University and their Honors Program. I got into Bryn Mawr College. I got into Barnard College (funny story: I found out at Holy Thursday mass and was freaking out while the washing of the feet was going on). I was relieved that I wasn’t just tricking the system. Admissions officers out there looked at my applications and actually enjoyed reading them. It’s like the colleges gave me their own verification check that said “good applicant”. I mean of course I’ve read so many times that “you’re an amazing person no matter what college accepts or rejects you”, but I felt like I’d put in minimal effort and gotten into college while my friends were on the ball all the time and gotten rejected. I just wanted to know that I wasn’t deceiving anybody or slipping under the radar. I wanted my acceptances to be real and true. This month, I felt that.
So, a word of advice to those who have gotten acceptances recently: stop doubting yourself and your abilities. Admissions officers chose YOU for a reason. You might’ve gotten in and seen that your test scores aren’t in the middle 50% so you think that you’re not as smart as others, you are. You might feel like a terrible friend because you got into a school and a close friend didn’t, don’t. You might read about the amazing things other accepted students have done and think that you’re too plain or boring to study with those kids, you are. The colleges that sent you “Congratulations!” saw something in you. Admissions officers read your essays and letters of recommendation and saw your extracurriculars and volunteering projects and picked you because you are smart enough, cool enough, and most of all, more than good enough to attend their school. So stop doubting your acceptances and just celebrate what you’ve accomplished.
To those who’ve received rejection or waitlist letters recently: stop doubting yourself and your abilities. I read somewhere that an admissions officer said that if they threw out all the accepted applicants and replaced them with a selection of students they had denied, the incoming class would be at the same caliber of intelligence and have many of the same accomplishments as the students they accepted. You are just as smart and capable with or without that school. But you’re saying “that was my dream school!”. I’m challenging you to form new, bigger, and better dreams for your future. Dreams where you flip your hair back and strut away from the schools that didn’t accept you. Leave them in your dust as you race towards your goals. Make sure those schools know what they’re missing. And when you become successful and give a lecture at the school, remember to let them know what they passed up on. Wherever you end up I want you to remember that a school doesn’t make you who you are or will become. Only you have the power to discover who you really are and what you want your future to be. No school can give that to you.
Best of luck to the Class of 2020 and to all future applicants!