Common Blog: The College Application Experience (The Hopkins Interactive students have been posting blog posts as a part of a common blog. The theme is the college application process and our take on it)
Happy Friday everyone! Today is November 5th! It has been exactly 1 year and 4 days since I applied Early Decision to Johns Hopkins! As cliché as it sounds, I cannot believe how quickly time has passed since I was a senior in Wissahickon High School.
I moved to WHS at the beginning of my sophomore year. I had just moved from a gigantic high school in Michigan, and was surprised at how small WHS was. During my time there, I made a lot of cool friends, joined a few clubs, and took challenging classes that I was interested in. A year went by, and I started to think about the schools I wanted to apply to, and what I needed to do to get in. Then came the ABC’s of exams: SAT, AP, PSAT, SAT 2, ACT, etc. (soooo painful) Another year went by and I realized it was time: everything I had been doing up until then was supposed to pay off- right?
And that was when the uncertainty kicked in. The summer before my senior year, I was in India visiting family and researching in a lab. I was essentially working on my college applications from thousands of miles away from the schools I was considering, so I couldn’t even visit them during the summer. And I did what anyone would do: I started to freak out.
I became so unsure of myself that I completely rearranged my “college list.” I added and dropped so many schools to the point where I had to ask myself the question: Where do I want to go to school? I realized that I needed to look past my insecurities, choose a school I knew I would be happy to go to, apply there, and see what happens. I had to stop exhausting myself over deciding where I thought I could get in.
I feel that that is the single most important thing for prospective students to know when applying to schools. You can’t ever be sure that you will definitely get into any school you apply to. All you can do is put as much genuine work into your application to make sure that you speak to admissions. You are much more than your GPA, your clubs/organizations, etc.
And I can speak from experience- I know how painful and stressful this ordeal can be. However, if you choose a school (in my case) or multiple schools that you can genuinely say you would like going to, then you at least have starting point. From there, you can worry a little bit about your application (some stress can be a good thing). I remember that I spent my lunch periods in my English teacher’s classroom tweaking my essay.
I applied Early Decision to Hopkins, and had two other “early” schools I applied to: one was Early Response, the other an early application to an Honors School. For some reason, I had my heart set on Hopkins. I couldn’t explain it; I just knew I wanted to go there. After all my research, and my brief freak out, Hopkins remained my top choice. It is important to have a plan and be clear about where you want to go, all you can then do is make sure that you “shine” through in your application (because admissions does want to know how you would add to the college campus).
Nevertheless, when December 15th rolled around, I was a hot mess. I was so nervous for the email that I was going to get at 7:00pm that I had been pacing all over my house. I had a scary movie on in the background, hoping some good old Alfred Hitchcock could distract me from my worrying (not that it worked…).
7:00 pm: NO EMAIL
7:01 pm: still pacing
7:02 pm: biting my nails (a habit I never had until that minute)
7:03 pm: BAM! “Congratulations! You have been accepted Early Decision to the Johns Hopkins University!”
7:04 pm: PARTY
The next day…senioritis kicked in. After a month and a half of waiting, I realized that I had underestimated myself. I had what it took to get into Hopkins all along- there was no point in being so stressed out.
Overall, the application process can be very stressful, however, putting things into perspective is the only way to stay sane. Moreover, asking questions directly to admissions, or visiting our Hopkins Interactive Forums to get direct answers is the best way to have a clear picture of Hopkins.
On a lighter note, Halloween was last weekend- and the FFC had pumpkin decorating supplies! I was a hippie for Halloween- and it was really fun to see all the interesting and inventive costumes people came up with!
Have a great weekend!