All of the members of SAAB have written or will write a “common blog” pertaining to admissions process. As kids who have already been through what you’re going through, we’d just like to give you our perspective of the process, in hopes it will help you with the ever-important college search.
The college admissions process: scary, terrifying, and horrifying. All of these words come to mind. But don’t forget that it’s also exciting, mind-blowing, and thrilling. You’re sitting in front of the Common Application, awkward, unsure, criticizing every move you made in high school. Were you in the right extracurricular activities? Should you have taken that one extra AP class? Were the numerous hours you volunteered enough to impress them? So many emotions result from this mix. It reminds me of a situation I’ve been in before. Just as terrifying. Just as exciting. And definitely just as awkward.
Let’s be real; in middle school, every pre-teen activity is like a big mind game. From your friends to your clothes, everything makes you feel unsure. The college application process is rather similar. So here is what I have to say about middle school…*coughcough* I mean the application process.
1. Only be friends with people who like you for you.
Admit it: at one time or another, you tried different clothing, got blonde streaks in your hair, or changed the colors on your braces to please someone other than yourself. You’ll probably try to do something similar, such as be more formal during your interview or emphasize certain extracurriculars more than others on your application. The biggest piece of advice I can give you is to resist doing that. You should have the college pick you for who you actually are. Otherwise you’re going to end up at a college that may not be a good fit for you. Or worse; you could end up with hideous blonde streaks in your hair like I did.
2. Don’t be scared of bullies.
Now when I say this, you may think I mean that you shouldn’t be scared of the admissions committees. Mind you, you definitely should not be scared of admissions committees (I’m on two clubs run by two different admissions representatives, and they are both the bomb!). I’m talking about college-crazy kids. They can be found anywhere, including your school, your neighborhood, and silly sites where people try to scare you from across the country. NEWSFLASH: these kids have no idea what they are talking about. They have no idea whether or not you have what it takes to get into a top-notch school. But if you let them rattle your brain, all that will happen is your blood pressure will raise exponentially until you finally hear back from your colleges.
3. Everyone is just as awkward as you are.
It may seem like you’re the only one with the bright blue clownish eye-shadow and the knobby little pre-teen knees, but you’re not alone. And you may think that your application will come off as less experienced or refined than other applications because you don’t know what to write since you’ve never applied to colleges before. Well, this may be a bit shocking for you, but nobody else applying knows exactly what they are doing either, so everyone is a bit unsure about their apps. So don’t sweat the small stuff like whether or not your essay would be more effective if it were written about your childhood hero or your favorite piece of literature. Nobody knows what they are looking for, and the admissions people know that every kid has no idea what to do. So don’t worry about whether you come off dorky or like an awkward high school senior: everyone else is an awkward high school senior, too.
So if you haven’t learned by now, I’m trying to tell you to NOT be that person you were in middle school. Resist the blonde highlights. Ignore the bullies. And don’t worry about your dorkiness. The right college will like your natural hair and find your quirks irresistible. And those ridiculously competitive, college-obsessed kids? Yea, they’ll just look on in envy of your cool, collected, I’m-not-an-awkward-middle-schooler self.