Things I Wish People Told Me About Applying to College (Q&A + Video)

Things I Wish People Told Me About Applying to College (Q&A + Video)

This time shouldn't be as emotionally and mentally draining as it is for most people.

I believe that the college application process is a time period that should not be as emotionally and mentally draining as it is for many people. In all honesty, when I wasn’t worrying about the smallest detail on every part of my applications, I had a genuinely fun time with the application process and I loved being able to write about things that mattered to me.

I reached out on social media for people to send me all the questions they had about the college process and was overwhelmed with how many questions people had and how stressed they were going into the application process. I’ve picked four of the ~80 questions I received to answer in this article, and I narrowed down the rest to answer in a more lengthy video, which I’ve linked at the end of this article.

These questions are also ones that have definitely crossed my mind at one point during my senior year, and I hope that the things I learned through my experience can help others as well. So let’s get started!

How much time should I spend on each application? How did you allocate your time?

Honestly, it’s all about priorities. I applied to 15 schools so I had to dedicate a large chunk of time to my applications, which was doable, but the difficult part was deciding how much time I wanted to dedicate to each application.

Every other weekday, I would allocate 30-60 minutes to just sit down and write some essays, and then I would work for at least an hour on Sunday. I would never force myself to write anything; I only wrote when I was feeling inspired.

I tried to start every application at least a month and a half in advance and finished a working draft of the application by a month before the deadline. I strongly recommend leaving a few weeks for revisions because sometimes, you need to just let things sit before you start working on them again. I tried to play it as safe as possible, and I don’t regret it one bit; I never had to go through the frantic last-minute submitting situation and I prevented a lot of stress.

What topics are good to write about in my personal statement and will help me stand out?

I feel like there’s always a debate about what topics are “good” topics for the personal statement, and I will always tell people the same thing: write about what you think is important to you and what you think will show colleges what kind of person you are.

The main purpose of a personal statement is to show your growth and development and show how you’ll continue to grow. Your personal statement is supposed to highlight your strengths and development through personal experiences, so I believe it’s more important to be genuine than to spend time worrying about whether or not your topic is “cliche” or “generic.”

I feel like there’s a common misconception about the personal statement and that it’s always about overcoming adversity. There are multiple prompts and you’re free to write about whatever topic you want, as long as it shows some sort of growth and highlights a part of your life. Although I chose to write about overcoming adversity, a lot of my friends wrote about an intellectual discovery that they made that helped change their outlook on life or helped spark a growth in thought.

Going back to talking about only writing when I felt inspired, I strived to put only genuine content with genuine emotion and passion into all my essays. Especially for my personal statement, I wanted to write about something that I held really close to my heart and I wanted it to be 100% me. So, I didn’t try to force anything and only wrote when I felt inspired, which resulted in many nights typing away at 3 am.

Does being below average for some stats/scores for a school put me at a big disadvantage?

The numbers are only one part of the application. Yes, it is a disadvantage, but there is so many more opportunities to make up for that one part of your application.

Instead of stressing out about your scores, put your all into your personal statement and your supplements and try to get the best recommendation letters you can. There is plenty of room to show college admissions that they should take you, so be confident! Make them want to take you, and let them know that you want to go there too.

I feel like the “ideal candidate” for a school is changing recently. It used to be the student with a 4.0 GPA, leadership, sports, extracurriculars, etc. but colleges aren’t looking for that perfect well-rounded student anymore. Colleges want to admit people who are going to be successful one day, and success is now defined by passion, motivation, and drive instead of raw intelligence like before.

How do I deal with college rejection?

In all honesty, there’s not much you can do besides facing it and moving on.

Yes, rejection hurts. But everyone experiences it. It’s important to be supportive of others around you and be sensitive during the time where people are getting decisions back because everyone is going to feel let down at least once.

What’s more important than where you go is what you make of the experience. You are lucky to have had the opportunity to apply to college, and you are even luckier if you have the opportunity to attend one. I know it sucks to not be able to go somewhere you really wanted to go, but there are so many opportunities ahead of you. Don’t let this one roadblock determine your future and the way you approach the next four years of your life.

However, if you really feel like you deserved an acceptance, you can appeal your decision. Make sure to check the school’s website on how to take the appropriate steps to appeal, but don’t get your hopes up too much.

In conclusion, don’t let this time be more stressful than it should be. Have fun with it! You don’t get the opportunity to show yourself off like this often, so work your hardest and things will work out in the end.

Here’s the video below!

Cover Image Credit: Christy Oh

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Getting Straight A's In College Is Not Worth Failing Your Mental Health

A's are nice, but you are more than a letter.


The idea of getting an A on every paper, every exam, every assignment, seems great. It can be known as a reassurance of our hard work and dedication to our 4+ classes we attend every single day.

Losing sleep, skipping meals, forgetting to drink water, skipping out on time with friends and family; these are the things that can occur when your letter of an A is what you are living for.

You are worth more than the grade letter, or the GPA number on your transcript.

Listen, don't get me wrong, getting A's and B's definitely is something to feel accomplished for. It is the approval that you did it, you completed your class, and your hard work paid off.

But honey, get some sleep.

Don't lose yourself, don't forget who you are. Grades are important, but the true measurement of self-worth and accomplishment is that you tried your best.

Trying your best, and working hard for your goals is something that is A-worthy.

Reserve time for yourself, for your sanity, your health, your mental health.

At the end of the day, grades might look nice on a piece of paper, but who you are and how you represent yourself can be even more honorable.


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Martha McSally Could Still End Up In The Senate

Yep, you read that right. Martha McSally, who lost the senate race a month ago, could still end up in the U.S. Senate next to her former opponent, Kyrsten Sinema.


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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is lobbying hard to get her in the Senate. Other possible situations could arise such as Governor Ducey appointing himself to fill the seat. This one seems unlikely, however, considering if he does appoint himself, the next person to take the governorship would be Secretary of State-elect, Katie Hobbs, who is a Democrat. McSally is the strong front-runner for the seat and could end up next to her former opponent. We'll have to see how it plays out in the end, and we will certainly know who will or will not be filling this seat within the next few weeks.

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