When I say, “It will all work out,” I have to really convince myself of that because sometimes I doubt it completely. My parents always tell me not to stress out, but somehow I always manage to get a knot in the middle of my stomach twisting and turning as I try to get by. I can normally manage my stress, but these past few months have been like no other for me. Since August, I have been working on getting into college, only the most crucial thing of my life to date. It is a strenuous process if I do say so myself.
First, one must decide on what schools they want to apply to. As simple as this sounds, it is hard because you have to ask hard questions. For instance,
- Do you want to go to a northern school, southern school, east coast school, or west coast school?
- Do you want to stay close to home or move away?
- Do you want to go to a public college or a private college?
- Do you want a small, medium, or large size school?
- Do you want a party school or an academic school?
To name a few of the questions one must ask themselves when deciding on a college. After asking myself these questions, I had a list of thirty schools I wanted to apply to, but I knew realistically that there was no way I would be able to apply to all thirty schools. So I had to narrow my list down.
Second, one must consider their ACT and/or SAT scores and see if it fits the college’s average ACT and/or SAT score range. If not, one must try to retake the standardized tests, or they should probably consider a different school because the likelihood of getting into a school with a below-average ACT and/or SAT score is slim to none.
Talking about the need for determination during this step of the process is an understatement. Let’s say I sat for the ACT more than once. I took two prep courses and did over a hundred hours studying on my own while missing sleepovers, birthday parties, and other fun festivities. In the end, it was worth it, though, because I was able to improve twelve points. Twelve points is an astronomical amount for this exam. To put things in context, most people are only able to improve four points at best. But because of my determination, I could not worry so much about this step of the process holding me back, so I persisted with my list of thirty schools.
Third, one must check if the schools they want to apply to have their major. I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised at how many schools I was thinking about applying to that did not have what I wanted to study.
At this point in my college search process, I knew I wanted to go into business finance and management; therefore, the school I would attend had to have a phenomenal business program if the school would be the perfect fit for me truly. This meant no liberal arts schools and basically no ivy League like Yale, Harvard, or Brown. This, for me, was a game-changer in eliminating schools. I managed to cut my list in half – only fifteen applications!
Fourth, once someone finally decides where they want to apply and that it is the right fit for them, it is finally time for the application process—personal essays, supplemental essays, personal statements, resumes, transcripts, recommendations, interviews, etc.
In applying to my fifteen colleges, I went through six drafts of my personal essay, write thirty supplemental essays (each with at least one or two revisions), one personal statement, two resumes, two transcripts, seven recommendations, and eight interviews. By the end of the process, once I submitted my last college application, I experienced complete and utter burnout. But sadly, the worst was yet to come.
Fifth, the waiting part. Once all of the physical work is done, the mental work begins. All one can do after all of the applications are turned in is wait to find out their future fate. I would chat to myself, “It will all work out,” “It will all work out,” “It will all work out.” As many times as I would chant this catchphrase, there was still a small part of me anxious about my future. I kept saying, “There is no way I am going to get into my top school.” And thoughts raced through my mind like, “Why would a college want me?”
As a matter of fact, I am still waiting on replies to seven of the fifteen schools. I got into four schools so far, I got deferred from two schools and rejected one school. But, through this entire process, I keep saying to myself – “It will all work out!”
I think that applying to college is a lot like Compumatrix. There is always something to do to continue looking toward the future, and the waiting process can build up anxiety. But we must all say to ourselves, “It will all work out.” And in the case of Compumatrix, it will more than work out. It will make waves when the system opens to the public. People work day and night to ensure everything will run smoothly when the system gets up and running. Until then, we all need to say to ourselves, “It will all work out.”