Column: College Application Process

Senior year is stressful. And it’s not because of physics, AP “Lit”, standardized tests, playing a sport, working for this newspaper, extracurriculars or anything of that sort. It’s because I’m applying to college.

Around this time four years ago, college was an alarming concept that I thought I would handle and think about only when I had to, but I couldn’t help myself. Ever since sophomore year, I’ve been focusing on what colleges I would like, what they look for, what their acceptance rate is, etc. College has been unhealthily hovering in my mind for a long time now, but now I actually have to act on it, and it oddly seems to be less prevalent in my mind than ever before. For some reason, now that I’ve actually started to fill out applications, college is not as stressful as I thought. I don’t exactly know what I was so worried about throughout all of high school, but none of those worries have manifested themselves into reality just yet.

For the last few years, I would worry about my fate every time I got a bad grade on an assignment. If I were to get a grade lower than an A in a class, I would wonder where that would put my GPA. I would then wonder what colleges would accept that GPA, and what I would have to do to make up for it.

I would also worry about how involved I was with school. At the beginning of sophomore year, I made it a goal to get involved, because colleges like that, right? Well, after extensively looking into extracurriculars and what colleges liked, I’m glad I got involved. Get involved.

The real question is this: why am I not stressed out about college anymore now that I’m applying for it? Why do I no longer constantly have these worries?

Maybe it’s because I know where I stand. I’ve always wanted to be able to get into the best colleges, but now that I’ve gotten my test scores, now that I know my grades and now that I know where I stand regarding extracurriculars, I know that I probably can’t get into those schools, and I’ve just had to think my way through that. I’m not bummed out, I’m just aware of  what types of schools are going to take me, and that’s comforting in a way. Now that I’m a seniors, most of the “what ifs” have been answered.

Maybe it’s because I know where I want to go. After taking tours and strongly considering certain schools, I’ve set my mind on Wake Forest. After touring many schools, I realized that I like the small environment at Wake that promotes figuring out what areas are best for its students. Also, I like that I can have a team that I can support for my whole life, which is something I’ve always considered in a college. My family sometimes wonders why I want to stay in town, but with all of the traveling opportunities, getting out of Winston shouldn’t be a problem.  

Maybe it’s because I feel like whatever is meant to happen will happen. If I was not meant to go to Wake, perhaps I won’t be admitted at all. For some strange reason, I now feel the school I’m going to has already been decided.  

Photo from The Ivy Coach