Looking for a college is no small task. There is so much to look for and consider. I mean I thought I knew what I was looking for in a college and I felt pretty set about my choices. But then the adults started drilling me with questions:
“What’s the teacher to student ratio?”
“What accommodations are there for entering first year students?”
“How is campus safety?”
“What do you plan on majoring in? Does the college offer that major?”
You get the idea. I’d get asked the most obscure, but still technically relevant, questions. When I didn’t know the answers I’d freak out, have a nervous breakdown and then pop out the Dreyer’s ice cream for some consolation.
In California the hype is to apply to the state universities, but I knew right off the bat that I didn’t want to go to a state university. I knew myself as a student; I can’t function well in huge classroom environments. Thanks to that little insight about myself I was able to considerably narrow down my college shopping list from public universities to private colleges.
When I was college shopping I wasn’t worried about the more personal implications that would result from a school far from home. Implications such as homesickness. Rather, I was more focused on finding a place that I could live in. I was finding a home, a home where I could thrive in, for the next four years.. After about two months of college shopping I found my soul mate of a college: Wellesley College. I was dead set on going there.
I knew this was the school for me. My reasoning was unshakeable. Adults asked me about the efficiency of local transportation, the weather, the general safety of the area, nearby attractions, internship opportunities…you get the idea, all of these minute details. This time around, I was able to answer every question with a resonating confidence.
After choosing this school I had to wait with an ever increasing agony to see if Wellesley wanted to choose me. It’s one thing to find your dream school but it’s a whole different experience having to wait to find out what your dream school’s verdict was. I had so many phenomenal friends that kept reassuring me that I would get in. My friends are awesome, have I mentioned that?
Since I applied to Wellesley through QuestBridge I only had to wait 29 days to hear back from Wellesley. Each day might as well have been a year for what it felt like. I was terrified at the prospect that I wouldn’t get in. Sometimes that cynical voice inside of me would taunt and torture me to the point of insanity. My more sane side decided to be prudent and apply to state universities , and start my applications for other colleges. I knew it wasn’t wise to put all my eggs into one basket. With all the hullabaloo of filling out more applications, my mind was a little distracted from the constant anxiety. I started giving myself some more time to relax. I watched more movies, painted my nails, prepared for my school presentation, just anything fun that could take my mind off of the dreadful wait.
Throughout the whole month my wonderful parents told me that they’d always be proud of me no matter what the response was. As the day got closer and closer I was thinking more realistically. I wasn’t getting my hopes up and I wasn’t deluding myself. I knew I was ready for either response.
Then the scary day came. I woke up and saw that it was raining. I thought that this was a bad sign and that I surely wouldn’t get it. I had my phone in my hand all day just waiting for that notification to come in.
During fifth period the notification came. I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket. My heart started beating erratically. I chose to wait until the end of class to open the notification.
Once class got out, I decided to look at the notification. My fingers were shaking as I put in my QuestBridge password. I saw my notification and screamed with delight. I’d been accepted.
Listen up kids, I know that college season is a nerve-wracking season for most if not all seniors. All I can suggest is to make the right choice for YOU. Don’t choose a big name school just because it has a longstanding reputation. Choose several schools that you see yourself thriving in. Do thorough research too.
You’re shopping for a home to live in for the next four years of your life. It is something that merits time and not something that should be taken lightly.
Put in as much effort in the application process as you put in your college shopping process. Remember that you have to convince them to choose you. I know you deserve to go wherever you want to go. If you’re reading blogs on this website then it proves that you care about your education. I know that and I know that. It’s about time you let your dream school know that.
Go ahead and toss in a cavalier attitude too (after you’ve researched and applied of course) . I’m one of those that believe that everything happens for a reason. Go easy on yourselves and remember to breathe.
Oh, and keep your freezer well stocked with ice cream.