The Best Advice I Got During The College Process
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The Best Advice I Got During The College Process

Two pieces of solid wisdom that helped me through.

The Best Advice I Got During The College Process
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As application season slowly but surely begins to transform into admission and decision season, I've been thinking a lot about the fact that I am settled into life on the other side of all that (until grad school, at least). This has only increased as the admissions office at my own school hosts events like open houses, bringing swaths of wandering families and tours all over campus. So, for anyone in the middle of this process, I wanted to share the best words of wisdom that were given to me during my own experience.

It's important to remember to look for a place that feels good to you. To put it in the words of one of my choral directors, it's like looking for a house. It may be a grueling path to get there, but eventually, you'll know when you've found your next home. I talked about this a little in my music-specific article on college applications, but it's so important to consider in any area of study. Yes, academics are hugely important, but they aren't 100% of the deal you get. Especially if you're looking to live on campus, you should find somewhere that you feel is a place where you'd enjoy spending several years living and learning.

Take me for example- after narrowing down my list of possible schools once acceptances and financial aid came in, I was left with two places. Both had good programs for the major I chose, and while I had pre-existing personal relationships with the faculty at one school (let's call it School A) and none at the other (School B), I'd only visited School B's campus. So, in the last few weeks before May 1 rolled around, I visited the campus of School A twice- and it was very clear for a few reasons that I didn't feel as comfortable or happy in that environment as I did at School B. By lunchtime on the second day, my dad could see it in my face. I remember picking up my sister from school and telling her I'd decided on School B (yay Ithaca!) and it felt like everything had finally fallen in place. Now, I couldn't be happier. Pick a place where you will thrive. Feeling good about yourself and your life can only help you in your academics.

But the best advice I got was from my voice teacher back home: "You'll end up where you need to be." Throughout the process of applying, auditioning, waiting, and deciding, I was constantly worried about making the wrong decision or not giving myself my best chance based on the list of schools I was sending applications to as well as what I was showing them in my performances. Once my teacher told me that, however, it really carried me through to the finish line.

It was so simple but so powerful. I felt so much better knowing that I was going to do what I myself could, but after that, it was out of my hands until the list narrowed itself down. There would, of course, be a few extra things to do and disappointing denials to deal with, but I would figure it out. I am someone who believes that the things in my life happen for a reason. It would stink to end up at a school that didn't think I would be a good fit for them or one that didn't think they'd be a good fit for me. Yes, it's totally valid to be bummed out by being denied from schools or by being given not enough aid to attend. But I knew the right place would find me eventually- and it did. It will for you, too.

So go out there and give this your best shot. Don't over-stress about it or overthink it (take it from someone who definitely did). Do your research and do the work, but know that things will fall into place if you let them. Best of luck!!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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