Dear Aspiring College Student,

Almost three years ago, I was you. I was someone trying to get into college. Three years ago I was taking SATS/ACTS. I was trying my hardest in school. I was taking the tests I had to take and pass to even graduate high school. I was struggling with my grades in school. I was playing sports as I had my entire time in high school. I was volunteering at various places to get service hours. I was touring colleges, so many I cannot even remember how many I saw.... I just know it is more than I can count on my hands and toes. It was the most stressful time of my life. I was so scared that I was never going to get into college with any of my grades, or scores.

Then about two and half years ago, it was Senior year in high school. I was almost free from the suffering of high school years. September until about December, I was stressing about which colleges I was going to apply to because I was not able to apply for every college I visited because application fees were crazy! I applied to the colleges who gave me a fee waiver, so if you ever get the chance to have one, use it because what is the harm in trying? I ended up applying to ten colleges in total. After submitting all my applications, I was so relieved to have the pressure off my shoulders. I, of course, had a top college I wanted to attend, but the more I thought about it, the more I just wanted a college...any college. I am sure you all feel about the same at this point in your life; trust me I understand your feeling.

I was a student who did work as hard as she could to get good grades, but I was no valedictorian. I am a student who along with many other teenagers and people in the world who suffer from ADD. Some may not see that as a disability, but they don’t know what it's like to have the right to say whether it is a disability or not. I have to work twice as hard as everyone else to even get an average grade. However, that is not the point here, the point is that I was a student who just had a 3.0. I was also a student who was really bad at standardized tests, which made my SAT/ACT scores not what they should have been. I am not saying that if you’re someone like me you are a failure in any way, because grades do not define who we are. As much as colleges want us to think that grades are the end all be all, they are not. So know that even if you aren’t the best student it is okay. Do not sweat it. Colleges really do look at everything you do. Get involved in school, sports and volunteering events if you aren’t already. Still try in school, even if you know you aren’t the best student because there is no harm in trying to have better grades. The best part about applying to college is the essays you have to submit to colleges. As much as it is annoying to have to write an essay. You should use it to your benefit. For my college essay, I wrote on the prompt of ‘Share your story’. I chose that prompt, because I felt that if I shared my story it would make my application seem more personal, and cause it to stand out among other applications. My biggest advice is to use the college essay to your benefit.

Since I was little, I had always wanted to attend Boston College. The school is beautiful and the education is amazing. While I did not get in, I think that getting rejected by Boston College taught me something very important. At first, I was so crushed, I was actually in tears for days. The more I thought about it, the more I wished I could change my grades to get accepted, the more I realized that as much as I wanted to be there, Boston just wasn’t meant for me. Although I got rejected from my top school, I got accepted to nine other colleges. Yes, NINE! I only applied to ten colleges, so I started to realize that instead of looking at the one rejection I got to look at the ones I got accepted into. When the deadline came for me to choose my college, I choose to got to Seton Hall University. I am now only thirty minutes from home when I really wish I was farther, however, your college experience is not defined by distance but by what you do with it.

My first year at Seton Hall was an absolute disaster and, for that reason, I really regretted choosing the school. I wanted nothing more but out of there. I applied to transfer schools, but it didn’t work out. I was stuck at Seton Hall, for at least another semester, or so I thought. I am now currently am a second-semester Sophomore, and I really enjoy it here now. So if you don’t end up where you want, don’t close off your mind to the place that you do end up. You never know what could happen, you could end up loving it. Trust me, I understand the pain of not being able to go where you wanted to, but sometimes life goes where we don’t expect it to take us and that is the best part about life.

Sincerely,

Somone who survived the college process