My application journey began in the summer before Year 13 – I had already compiled a list of 30 + schools in a table, recording everything from weather to academic programs to the quirkiest clubs at any particular college. Now, I was about to travel to the US from the east coast to the west, with a quick detour in the south, to see the colleges in person. Going to visit colleges is definitely not required, but it really helped me realize what I didn’t want: a big school, with classes over 20 people and a student body over 5,000. When I returned home and went back to school for my final year, I was panicking because I had completely ruled out the 15-20 schools that I researched… it seemed like I had truly exhausted the entire college options of America! However, knowing that I wanted a small school, my counselor pointed me towards liberal arts colleges and I started the research process all over again. After Facebook message-ing current students, emailing admissions counselors, drafting my essays and having interviews, I applied Early Decision to Claremont McKenna College and was accepted in the middle of December. I also applied Early Action to Tulane University and heard back earlier, so was feeling some relief before the end the year about my college journey.
I get it. It’s hard to think that everything will be okay when someone tells you: “everything will be okay!” I’ve had parents, counselors and graduate students all spout the same messages of encouragement, and though it might seem like I’m following in those footsteps right now, I trust that whatever happens in your college application journey, it will be the right one for you. Whether this journey involves emailing college admissions counselors every day, writing your essays a few weeks before or planning to delay college to do something else, at the end of the day, it’s your application and you can do what you want with it. With that remember to mold your application to best fit your needs and good luck.