Rice University - my goal! Image from Flickr.

Image from Flickr.

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.

Hello Prospies! How has your summer been so far?

Since I really can’t get a reply from any of you right now, I thought I’d share some of the craziness that happened since my introductory post and give you some insight about my college list.

After school ended, I went to the Philippines for a quick but fun vacation. Four days after coming back, I went to Washington D.C. (talk about jet lag)! I was there together with my peers for the JROTC Leadership and Academic Bowl Championships, a team competition hosted by the College Options Foundation. During our five-day trip, we stayed at the gorgeous Catholic University of America and got to tour around the capital.

I am sharing this to you because there is an underlying point I want to make. I realized, after staying at the university more than two thousand miles away, that there are countless opportunities outside of my own little world. Being able to meet other students and explore places I’ve only seen in pictures opened my eyes to the amazing possibilities stored in my future. So here comes one piece of advice I want you all to deeply consider: Do not limit yourself! It is so easy to get stuck in your comfort zone but college is really about growing as an individual. I am not saying you should apply to colleges one million miles away from your home; all I’m saying is that possibilities are endless. This is your chance so take hold of your future!

Now onto my college planning!

I will be applying to QuestBridge this year and started my application two weeks ago. If you did not know, Questbridge is an organization that helps high-achieving students from low income backgrounds get into some of the elite colleges in the country. I think it is an incredible opportunity so I decided I would take a shot at it. I highly encourage you to apply as well if you qualify. Although it’s competitive, it’s always better to try, right?

My college list consists of twenty colleges so far. It is a lot, I know, but it will be pretty doable because all UCs and CSUs require their own universal application. Furthermore, I decided I would apply to this many schools because I wanted to broaden my options and because I have a long-running fear that I wouldn’t get into a single one. If you believe that you can handle applying to many different colleges, then I suggest that you do. You certainly will widen your options and the future-you might just thank the present-you. Just to give you an idea, here are some of the colleges I will be applying to:

  • 1.Rice University
  • 2. Northwestern University
  • 3. Georgetown University
  • 4. UC-Berkeley
  • 5. UC-Los Angeles
  • 6. UC-San Diego
  • 7. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
  • 8. Amherst College
  • 9. Claremont McKenna College

I know these schools are top-notch and that I am pretty average but like my first advice, I want to try and not limit myself. As you know,  I am also interested in majoring in finance/economics or communication studies. I am still indecisive about these two, but I think I will apply to most with finance/economics and communication studies to some.

One of the biggest factor I am considering is the size of the student population. I recently read an article here at The Prospect about the implications of going into a large university. It definitely got me thinking so I made sure I included some fairly small colleges that would be a perfect fit for me. One other factor that I am considering is the location of the school. I would like go to a college in an urban setting because I am the type of person who likes to be busy constantly. Surely, we all have our own preferences, but never forget to consider all the sides of a situation.

Now here are some tips/advice while working on your college plan:

1. Have a positive attitude! During my research, I couldn’t help but watch videos of students reading rejection letters while simultaneously going to College Confidential forums. I beg of you, don’t do it! I am serious when I say you should approach this with a smile. You should blast your happy music and search on!

2. Use every resource available. I visited none but fell in love with one. How, you might ask? I read everything I can about the university (yes, I did go to Yelp once or twice). There are hundreds of resources available over the internet. Do not rely solely on college rankings. Search everything from student body and social life to weather and campus food. Read student reviews as well. One resource I found extremely helpful was Youtube. It’s common sense, I know, but it gave me a more vivid picture of the school. However, be careful because…

3. For every good thing, comes a bad thing. Keep an open mind! This is the basic yin-yang. There are no perfect school, only a perfect fit. There was one particular school that I thought would be perfect for me. However, under further research, I realized that it might not be after all.

4. Don’t ever forget about your senior year workload! Here’s the deal: you are still in high school! You might get too preoccupied with the colleges themselves and forget about the process. Many colleges require supplements and other additional reports that would need a lot of work. Plan ahead, start early, and you will be happy.

This college stuff is a huge for everyone. There will be a lot of enjoyment, disappointment, excitement, worriment, and other words that has -ment in it. Ultimately, all college-bound seniors have to go through this. We are given the chance, and now it is up to us to seize the opportunity. This is our year, so let’s make the most out of it! See you again next month!

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

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