alexis-85“I’m applying to Harvard and plan to follow the Pre-med track along with a major in Biomedical Engineering.”

I don’t think I can even begin to count the number of times I have heard a statement exactly, or very similar, to the one above. It is human nature to plan out our lives. Without some sort of plan, our lives would be chaotic! But, it’s also in most people’s nature to be extremely discouraged when their plans don’t follow-through.

It’s important to keep an open-mind when applying to colleges. You never really have full control over the process, all you can do is get good grades and try to be as appealing as possible. Perhaps the scariest part of applying to college is the uncertainty that comes along with the entire process. Will I get into my dream school? Will they offer me enough aid? Will I be overwhelmed with loans? Will I fit in?

The college application season has definitely been the most uncertain period in my life. You can make plans, but they don’t always happen as you wish they would. The toughest lesson I learned from applying to college was that, as cliché as it sounds, you really “can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you’ll find…you get what you need.”

Honestly, the University of Rochester was not in my “ideal” plan. It was the only school I applied to that was located in the state of New York, and somehow I ended up there despite being sure I would be staying in California. I was rejected by my dream school in California and began to think that all hope was lost. Once I was accepted to the U of R, I was ecstatic; it was the chance of a lifetime! I began to fall in love with the school, and now, I feel like I’m in heaven.

I can’t imagine myself being anywhere else. The Upstate New York feel, the open curriculum, the intellectual culture all have made my stay here amazing so far. There’s an important lesson to be remembered by all of you prospective college freshman, wherever you end up…that’s probably where you’re meant to be :]

“Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

-Steve Jobs RIP 2011