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 2014 to June 2015!). 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.
Wow. It’s been a month. There’s so much that changed between the last post and this one–I applied to my dream colleges, named a Questbridge finalist (more on that later) and a Siemens semifinalist, and applied to way too many places. I’ve also noticed a negative change in my behavior that I am really shameful of: I’ve been putting myself on such a high priority lately that I have started to ignore my chores and family responsibilities. It wasn’t until my dad pointed out the other night when I finally realized how bad it’s gotten.
There is something I have to remember: college and scholarship applications are not everything. I still have a life outside of these forms, letters, and scores. Basically, I felt so bad about shirking nearly all social interactions and chores lately that on Friday afternoon (aka Halloween aka EA Deadline Eve) when I came back from my Purdue classes, I spent half an hour cleaning my room while jamming to Taylor Swift’s 1989 and deliberately spent more time with my family. It helped… A lot.
It is so easy for me to be detached from my everyone–I spend more than half a day in Purdue University for my classes and only three periods (excluding lunch and study hall) in my high school. There is a sense of what? What’s going on??!! for me tread through everyday at about eleven when I get to English class. My siblings have a lot of extracurricular activities, and my parents have to either work or stay at those activities with them. I always get caught up with the apps and forget to just relax and unreel a little. So, I’ve been working on that, and trying to at least eat lunch with my friends and not skip it in favor of getting more work done. Sometimes, work can wait. (I am not telling you to procrastinate.)
So! On to the actual part of the post that you are interested in for clicking the link: to apply or not to apply? I found that question very hard.
I am a competitive person, I blame it mostly on my very Asian upbringing (I mean, I just moved to the US five years ago, what do you expect?) and my drive to be successful no matter what. Thus, when I see a potential award listed anywhere, I tend to want to be that award winner. That means that I apply everything under the Sun.
Applying to colleges is still manageable–I have a pretty good idea of exactly what I want. The vibes, the programs, the location, the curriculum… All of these factors have been processed and few schools are left in my consideration. Writing a personal statement was a struggle all by itself (I’m already very unhappy with my Common App essay that I sent to schools during EA…), but applying to programs and scholarships is a whole other thing. Originally, my philosophy is to ‘apply all the things!’
I mean, it couldn’t hurt, right? All it take is just a couple of hours… But I quickly discovered that each takes me enough effort that I am simply dividing my strength among all of these little things and not concentrating enough to win/get anything.
I applied to Questbridge because I was a College Prep Scholar, even though I didn’t intend to do NCM for my own reasons. (Though being a finalist proved very helpful on several occasions.) I applied to Harvard FLI because I love the school and ‘an opportunity is an opportunity’, even though at the time I knew that I wouldn’t be able to go even I was (and I am) accepted because I simply don’t have any money for that. Then there’s all these conferences that I applied and was accepted to but can never show up due to a lack of travel funds… It’s frustrating to see all these wasted efforts (hours, days, weeks, even) spent applying to programs that I knew I probably cannot even benefit from. I guess there’s a limit for these kind of things. I just have to find mine before I’m burnt out.
The moral of the story? Well, I guess there’s two: 1. Spend some time with your friends and family! Relax a bit! Everyone, including you, would appreciate that. 2. Don’t apply to everything. Think before starting the app, no matter how short or long it is, it might just not be worth it.
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