While I hope no one followed my example, my actual college application process was hectic. I had everything in order theoretically…great grades…pretty test scores…more extracurricular and community service hours than I could list…I was in tip-top shape—ready for anything! My I’s were dotted, and my T’s were crossed. Only one more thing to do. Apply. As you’re reading this, you might be thinking that this was me around mid-November, early December at the latest.
Well…you’re wrong. This was me on December 26th. Regular decision deadlines for most schools in the country were January 1st. Did I mention that my application process was hectic? For four days, I thoroughly researched the 25-ish schools on my list and started finalizing details. A mentor had to sit me down and say, “Pick 10 from this list, and send in the materials—you have to make your decisions…NOW!” Obviously, I did make the decisions, and I did post-mark my apps by the deadline…however, it was still unnecessary stress that could have been avoided had I stopped procrastinating on FINALLY choosing my top schools. By now your applications are in, so let’s discuss what I felt like afterwards.
Three words: relieved, anxious, and tired.
I was relieved that the formal process was done. Now, all I could do was wait for the colleges to decide if I was a prospectively good fit for their school environment. I’d passed the tests, made the grades, gave back to the community… now I could breathe a little.
IMPORTANT: THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU STOP EARNING GOOD GRADES OR WORKING HARD IN SCHOOL. COLLEGES WILL LOOK AT YOUR LAST SEMESTER GRADES. THEY CAN REVOKE SCHOLARSHIP MONEY, AND ACCEPTANCE DECISIONS. BEWARE.
Now that I’ve given that piece of advice, back to my second feeling. I felt anxious about getting the responses in the mail. I liked something (or many things) about each school, and non-acceptance letters would feel like a personal rejection of me. I was worried that I could have done better on the essays, and perhaps I didn’t “sell myself” correctly.
Tired because I’d been striving for perfection for six months…in and out of class. Senior year can seem like a whirlwind of activities…I’d be lost in the next set of things to do without realizing that I’d finished the last ones. Hopefully, your year hasn’t been like that too much. However, I was tired, and I still had to find energy and enthusiasm to finish out the school year.
So, after waiting for a few months, I started receiving the college decisions in the mail. My first acceptance letter was amazing…I can’t quite describe the feeling. I was wanted…on a 4-year college campus. For someone from a family who doesn’t pump out college graduates, this was something new…a goal apart from everything else I’d worked for. All of the work…the stress…the time management…the effort…the tears and the struggling…it was all worth it.
So hat’s off to you for completing the applications. Now…sit back…relax…you’ve got amazing things coming your way!