(12/9/2016) Day 8/100 days of productivity. I’ve got a hectic week coming up between balancing two tests, a presentation, a short paper, and the inevitably emotional early college decision reaction. Good luck to people with finals! To anyone finding out about college today, remember that you are not your college decision!
attempts at encouragement and positivity!!! yay!!!
@ everyone receiving a college admissions decision next week,
i wish you all the best of luck, y’all are great, hardworking talented people and i hope you all get the ed/ea acceptance you wanted. those schools would be so lucky to have you :)
but if any of you get rejected, please know that it’s not the end of the world. coming from someone who sometimes takes rejections personally and is currently slightly freaking out over my EA decision day (what a hypocrite lol i know, i promise that the sun will shine again and that you’ll have many more acceptances coming your way later.
with that said, i’m wishing everyone the best next week and i hope you all have the best time ever at wherever you spend the next 4 years of your life.
wherever you choose to go doesn’t define you.
you won’t be any less of a person than the people that’ll be posting their ivy league acceptances on fb or instagram.
“You just won’t get the same experience if you go there.”
Those were the words of the admissions counselor at my dream school when I called her a year ago to ask if there was any way to reduce the cost to be at least a little closer to the offer I received from another school (the one I go to now). She said she would see what she could do, because they really wanted me to be at their school (spoiler alert: she didn’t do anything). And then that’s when she dropped that line.
Now, consider this. I was a 17 year old high school senior in the middle of the most stressful moment of decision-making I had experienced in my short life. Deciding on a college is a huge life-changing decision to make, and this comment was just so… out of line. I distinctly remember getting really choked up and holding back tears until I could end the phone call. In that moment, with no distance, time, or mature perspective on the situation, it felt like my life was ending. Like, it literally felt like the life I had planned for myself just ceased to exist.
I was a wreck that week. But I also started to become a more mature person. After many serious discussions with my parents, and a lot of soul-searching (ahem, crying), we came to the conclusion that it was overwhelmingly more beneficial for me to attend the other school. And after a week of reflection… I was okay with it? Once the other shoe dropped, it gave me time to let the fog of the idea that my “dream school” was the only place I could succeed fade away. I was still disappointed, but felt very sure when I made my deposit, and sent in the letter saying I would not be attending my dream school.
So now to the point I want to share with you. Your success does not ride upon the sole factor of you attending your dream school. Whether you are turned down or are financially unable to attend, it doesn’t matter. There are so many different paths to take in life. The notion of needing to attend your “dream school” or the school that is “perfect for you” to be successful is simply false. Humans beings are wonderful at adapting to situations- it’s possibly our best skill.
An an important point to note is that I know it doesn’t help that you are seeing people from your high school posting on facebook about committing to their dream schools. And the fact that every peer and adult uses college decisions as a main talking point for those months of your life. But never let those be influences in your decision. I promise you those things will pass. Completely. Don’t let jealousy or embarrassment hinder you in making a decision. When I was making a decision, I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that the kids in one of my classes had been trash talking this school for months. What was I going to say to them? Turns out nothing. No one really cares, and if they do they’ll keep it to themselves. It isn’t their life. Also, the truth is that you’ll probably all blissfully forget about each other in a couple months anyway.
Attend a school that fits your financial situation. If a school is “perfect for you” except for the price… it isn’t perfect to you. (this also applies to location) Even to those with a good concept of money, loans can seem like free money. Even if you understand that you have to pay them off later. But is that really the position you want to put yourself in? Personally, the two schools I was debating between had a $100k different in total cost (including my scholarships). ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS. That’s… more money than I will make for many many MANY years of my life. Considering the facts of what I was majoring in (art), and that I knew I wanted to go to grad school (also for art), this was more than enough to convince me, honestly. The idea of my parents and I paying/taking out loans to pay THAT MUCH MORE for a comparable education was… ridiculous.
But, I was… In love. I had attended a precollege program at my dream school, and it was one of the most influential months of my entire life. That was were I met my best friend, fell in love with being in the studio, and came into myself as an artist. I romanticized the idea of this art school and this place so much that I didn’t even realize, crazily enough, art school is kind of a universal concept (this is actually crazy to me in the most wonderful way- art school is a cool phenomenon). I was dead set on going there, and I had this feeling deep in my heart that it was the only place I would become a successful artist.
A year ago, I slowly came to accept that this was logically not the truth. But now, looking back even just a year later, I can tell you that it is completely and utterly false, which I know from the bottom of my heart. Now is the part where I tell you how amazing of an experience I have had going to my school this year…
I came to realize that my peers here care just as much. They’re just as creative. The professors here are just as amazing and inspiring. And just as crazy stuff goes on here as I would witness there (sigh… art school). But more than the fact that it’s just as great, I also want to emphasize how amazing the differences are. If I hadn’t gone here, my art wouldn’t be going in the direction it’s going now. I wouldn’t have met the peers and professors who are going to shape my art.
The experience of going to this school was something I had never expected, and because of that I think it changed me more than my dream school would have. I had to grow up a lot. I had to learn that I needed to be the driving force behind my personal success, so that environment was not the largest factor. But I also realized that the school I go to is an AMAZING school. I have already experienced so many things that I wouldn’t have otherwise, and have even more grand things lined up for the future, none of which would have happened if I didn’t go here. I got to continue marching band (my high school passion), go to school in a new city, meet people from all kinds of backgrounds with all kinds of interests (not just art). I got the resources and energy of a giant university and the quirky, awesome, and intense art school all wrapped up in one amazing package. And now I’m part of an awesome honors program (as an art student!), and have the amazing opportunity to study abroad in both TOKYO and ROME (coming soon spring of 2017 and 2018, stay posted), things that never could have happened otherwise.
You know when you look back to see the line of actions that lead you to meeting a certain person, getting to a certain place in the conversation, or to getting to a certain place in your life and just stopping to think about how crazy it was that it happened that way? That everything clicked into place in just the right way? That feeling is most likely going to happen to you no matter what decision you make. Because yes, deciding on what college to go to IS a huge decision. But it’s not a life or death decision. It’s more like, choosing between two really good foods you want to eat and no matter which one you choose, you’re going to have a great time. Alright, okay, that’s not a very good analogy, but do you know what I mean? So if you can’t go to your dream school, it’s okay. Maybe cry a little. Talk to your parents a lot. Know that it’s going to be okay. But allow this door closing to become a chance to really open your eyes to see what other opportunities are waiting. I keep having these blissful moments of happiness that I would love to share with past me, and by writing this I hope I can help at least one person who is in the same place I was a year ago, the closest I’ll get to that. I promise you that you will find your way no matter what path you take.
I wanted to make a post of helpful college websites, tools, etc that I use, to share with everyone else.
Don’t know if your ACT or SAT scores are better? Check out this link that shows you a chart comparing ACT and SAT scores
Want to read honest reviews of a college and not just Student Profiles on colleges’ websites? Check out this website that has ratings in several different categories from current or past students. Make sure to check each one, a C in drug safety may mean there aren’t drugs and people don’t like that, or it could mean there are drugs and the people reviewing are unhappy about it. Just read it all.
Aren’t exactly sure how you stack up to be admitted? Check out this website (it’s the same one, I know) that allows you to create a simple profile and then ask what your chances are. Please remember, this is not 100% accurate nor is it done by admissions counselor. It just gives you a ball park.
Have an interview coming up? Be prepared by reading this article that details how to prepare for an interview. Just don’t forget, be yourself, be respectful, and be enthusiastic!
Can’t decide which application is best for you? This can be a tricky topic, so to get the full scoop, check out this helpful guide that breaks down the pro’s and con’s for each type of admissions plan.
to everyone receiving college decisions really soon:
1. breathe.first of all, forget everything your jaded intuition (plus scores of other classmates/adults in your life who think they know it all because they read some WSJ article about how ~colleges never accept anyone anymore~) is telling you - it's so easy to assume the worst. there’s no use in this. there’s a lot to be criticized about this system, but you are in control - up until the second you get a decision, anything can happen. embrace the freedom & possibility that comes with that until you can’t possibly anymore.
2. don’t even think about those countdown apps & try not to look at the clock.no matter which way it ultimately goes, you’ll look back at the time you spent chewing your fingernails in dread of an email as wasted. it also fosters bad anxiety & you are fabulous and don’t need that toxicity in your life!!
3. remember in a year, you will struggle to remember how this process evenfelt. it will be a blip on your radar. hell, i’ve had my decision for several months and i can barely remember how it felt to fill out the application & wait…
4. you *will* get in somewhere. you *will* find a home. this really goes without saying.
5. anything can happen. i get that everyone says this and can never back it up but um. seriously. my transcript is littered with B’s. i’m not a genius. i’m not even in the top 20% of my class. and i’m going to oxford university next year. SERIOUSLY. anything can happen. (the contrapositive of this is unfortunately also true - but if you don’t get in to your dream school, it is not (NOT NOT NOT!!) down to you personally. this process, while as holistic as it can be, can be notoriously lottery-esque at times.) trust that you will end up where you belong because if you’ve worked hard, you really will.
6. don’t let anyone tell you you’re notamazing. seriously, if you’re reading this, you’re likely blogging your life, interests, curiosities, and passions on a website like tumblr in addition to juggling classes, extracurriculars, and (as a teenager) raging hormones that often leave you without the motivation or will to keep on going. being a young adult is so hard. you’re, quite literally, figuring out how to live, and in the case of things that go on a resumé or record, how to get it right the first time. the pressure is enormous, and it’s okay to be sad, angry, disappointed, and/or overwhelmed. just remember you are doing so well and don’t take any shit, even from yourself - you’re a boss-ass bitch.
I was on the Georgetown University Class of 2016 Page on Facebook and a student made this incredibly amusing post. (It’s a college rejection letter, one that you could send to all the schools that you are denying)
“Dear X University,
I have thoroughly reviewed your school and I am very sorry to inform you that I am not able to offer my enrollment to X University class of 2016.
This year, I had a record number of college acceptances and had to turn down many schools that I would have like to attend in the past. I would have thrived in great majority of my schools academically and socially. I, therefore, was faced with a tough decision of choosing the best school from a pool of very competitive schools.
Please understand that this decision is not a reflection of your school’s academic excellence and potential. I am very confident that you will find other students who are willing to attend your institution.
I appreciate your interest in me and wish you the very best in your future endeavors.
(Student’s Name) Director My College Decision Office”