The first date for college applications is coming up and if you’re like me, you’re probably freaking out at this point. This can be true whether you’ve already submitted all of your applications or whether you’re still working on your common-app essay.
We’re all going through the same pressure and we’re all here for each other.
We know exactly what you’re going through.
So to help out, here’s a little bit of wisdom that I learned whilst trying to calm myself down from college:
1. The biggest advantage you have when writing your applications is you.
No one can fake being yourself.
And if you try to be something you’re not, or at least try to talk about something that, okay, maybe you enjoy, but you also don’t really care about it that much, it’s going to show. And even if it doesn’t, there’s going to be someone else out there saying the exact same thing, but they’re going to really care about it, and they’re going to blow you out of the water simply because they’re genuine.
So don’t worry about trying to be what you think is the most interesting, or the most applicable to your field of study; just be you.
The worst thing you can do for college admissions is to hold yourself back
2. The academics won’t kill you if you don’t let it.
You’ve graduated from high schools and depending on how much you actually learned and paid attention in the past four years, you at least have gained a good work ethic. College won’t be about busy work and will more focus on the interaction and discussion of ideas. Go to college and actually try to learn instead of just trying to get through the next test like you might have been doing to survive high school.
3. On that note, what will you fail in college if you’re not prepared is the social aspect
You can be the best student that Harvard or Yale or whatever top school has ever seen, but you could still fail at college. And this isn’t talking about GPA. This means that if you can’t talk to your professors like regular human beings, you’ll fail at college. If you find that you’re not making friends, you’ll fail at college. If you stay in your dorm all holed away during finals week, you’ll fail at college.
Because your professors will connect you with work/intern opportunities. Depending on the college, they might still be researching in the field, and they’re just as eager to learn as you are. They’re probably a bit lonely and want to talk to some students too.
The random dorm mate down the hall that’s kinda weird; if you never befriend them, you might never realize your hidden passion for croquet.
College is less about making good grades, but more about learning, but even more than that, it’s making friendships and bonds with people while struggling to both learn and make good grades at the same time. You won’t do that hiding in your dorm alone with only Dan the Man as company.
You have to go out and learn with your friends
4. College is about discovery.
It’s not about having a plan.
Take a diversity of classes.
Every opportunity is a chance to learn about yourself. Don’t let other people steer you away to be a free spirit. The part of the joy of learning is that you don’t know professors or friends. Going to college you have so many more ideas and topics to talk about. See what classes you stay awake in. Just be self-aware and take note of how you feel, and chase that happy feeling for other things in college and in life
5. You make the college experience.
You can go across the world, country, stay in state, stay twenty minutes from where you live. No matter the choice, you will make the college fit you. There’s no wrong option, so don’t get hung up on mistakes because they’re going to happen. So if you don’t get accepted to any college and have to go to HCC, so what?! Make something out of it. You’re going to be miserable if you keep thinking about how if you just had a higher SAT score, you would’ve gotten into a better school, or if you worked a bit harder on your essay, it would have given you a better scholarship. It’s done and that part is over. Try to live in the moment. (Even though, ironically, I’m talking about the future).
6. Lastly, as my mother says:
What do they call the person who graduated last in Med School?
So don’t worry about where you are in the class rank, focus on you, and what makes you happy to learn