14 Year Old Me
In these next few weeks, all of the bloggers on Hopkins Interactive will be writing entries about our individual experiences with the college admissions process.
My experience applying to college was basically like an online shopping binge. I visited two schools before application time (neither of them being Hopkins), and I went crazy with my Pappa’s credit card (six random schools = too many).
I made important decisions based on pictures from college websites, from silly Huffington post “best colleges” slide shows, and gossip
I lucked out big time, however, I would highly recommend visiting as many schools as possible so you don’t end up with that floral non-returnable, overpriced romper from Top Shop (which could have easily happened to me). Instead, even if you don’t have the resources available to travel all around the country (or world?!?!) to find the perfect fit, you will have a feel for what a small, liberal arts college feels like versus a big, research university, versus America’s best party universities.
Now, to better exemplify how different people are from the beginning of the college process versus the end, I thought it appropriate to include a letter I wrote to myself as a freshman in high school. In my ninth grade English class (very early in the college process), I was given the assignment to write a letter to my future high school senior self. Placed in a typical “time-capsule” filled to the brim with mementos of my little hipster self and inside jokes that I no longer understand, this letter reveals little besides what a tool I was (thus why I am providing “excerpts”). However, what it does reveal about my college plans at the time of my freshman year in high school, is PURE GOLD. I present, 14 year old Tyler D.:
Hi Tyler! You are (hopefully) graduating high school very soon. There are a few things I know for certain: you are definately [GREAT spelling, Tyler!] wearing a pretty white BCBG dress for graduation, you will certainly get a lot of applause when you walk across the aisle (otherwise you’ll be that unpopular loser), and you must have a better haircut than the bob you have now (MISTAKE). Otherwise, I know you’ll have just received your acceptance from Stanford business school, and you’ll be starting in the fall, so CONGRATS. Just remeber to stay kind when you are CEO of a fortune 500 company!
So, I obviously excluded some of the most embarrassing parts of the letter, but you get the idea. But let’s go over these “goals” I had back in the day. First of all, BCBG? Really Tyler, that’s some real high aspirations/high fashion. Second of all, that bob was cute back in the day, you jerk. Third of all, you CANNOT go to Stanford business school as an undergrad, GREAT RESEARCH! You never even applied to Stanford at all! And finally, a CEO? Really? You do not have the ability to fire anyone.
When I think about how different I am from the version of Tyler above and how much I learned, it makes me very nervous. I think about how I could have made so many wrong decisions based on shallowness. In the end, I lucked out because I came to a school that has lots of different options. So even when I discovered I didn’t want to study International Relations, I had options for potential other majors . The most important advice I have: be cognizant that your mind may change. You may not know what you want to do for the rest of your life, so make sure the college you choose has a back-up plan. And while today I say that I am a Sociology major who wants to become involved in education, I can look back at this blog post in six years and LOL.
Best of luck with this whole process. Remember, don’t take this too seriously. The college you attend is not the most important thing in the world. CIAO!