It’s that time of the year. Image from StockSnap.

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.

The moment the final bell rang, officially signaling the end of first semester, I wanted to drop to the ground and let all the tears of relief flow out.

Wow. I can’t believe I survived.

I can definitely say that the first half of senior year was not what I was expecting it to be – not that I didn’t anticipate it to be difficult. But it was difficult to the point where I sometimes felt it to be impossible. Nevertheless, I, or rather, we made it.

I didn’t end up with the most stellar grades I was *hoping* to get, even if this is the crucial semester when we are all pretty much proving to colleges that we can handle a challenging workload. Still, I can say that I didn’t entirely screw up, which I was expecting about a month ago. Oh well, perfection is an illusion, everyone.

Now that the semester is over, I can finally focus on finishing my college applications to eight more colleges – in ten days, at the time of this writing. It will be a bit of a rush, especially during this holiday season with family and all, but at least I don’t have an essay paper due on the next day to constantly nag me while doing my supplements. The probability that I would be finishing supplements at the Christmas dinner table is exceptionally high. But you know what? Getting into my dream college(s) is better than any gift I would ever receive this Christmas… unless the gift is Anna Kendrick – nothing can ever beat that.

I decided to apply to about three more colleges through Questbridge, bringing my grand total of private colleges to eleven. I know it is a lot, but the organization really pushed me to aim higher than ever. After seeing a lot of people get “matched” with full-ride scholarships to the best colleges in the country, it motivated me to do my best in this process. I personally know one person at my school who got “matched” to Yale University, and I couldn’t be any happier for her. I wonder how it would feel like next year when the acceptance/rejection letters come out? I need to brace myself for that.

I must say that being genuine and sincere is an important part of this college admissions process. I think many of us try to find a strategy, a “way” that would highly distinguish us from others; although it isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it can cast a shadow on what’s the most important part of the process: us, the applicants. If you really want to write about how that one summer camp changed your life but fear it would be too cliche, go do it – if it’s genuine, it will definitely show. I guess I’ve seen too many students obsess over every single detail of their application and wonder if that one B will hinder an acceptance letter from coming in the mail. Be confident and don’t dwell in the past.

The rest of this month will feel like the drum roll to the finale, the last leg of the race, or the final chapter of a book. I still have way more things to do than I was planning to but this is it, the final round. To all my fellow seniors, be proud of what you all accomplished so far this year. Not everyone has the drive and ambition most of us have invested in the admissions process.

As we march on towards a new year, there is nothing more appropriate to say than this: On to victory!
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