Friday, April 13, 2012

Applying to College- What I wish I had known


This past week has been spent reinventing my room. The posters and magazine clippings had to go. They will forever represent the bright-eyed enthusiasm of adolescence, but it's time for a more adult space. While exfoliating my walls, I wondered what I would tell my sixteen-year-old self if we could speak. After some deliberation, here it is- the advice I wish I'd had six years ago:

Yes you are unique, but so is everyone else! The only thing that will set you apart is hard work. As you stare down the barrel of the college application process, remember that it's all about selling yourself. Unfortunately good grades and interesting extracurriculars don't guarantee admission anywhere. Rather it's the way you communicate your accolades that matters.

Play to your strengths. Even if you don't have a stellar academic record, focus on the positive. Realistically, even if you'd volunteered every weekend since you were born, won every award your school has to offer, or hell- cured cancer, it wouldn't mean diddly-squat without a compelling argument for admission. Especially for the overachievers, DO NOT make the mistake of thinking that hard work throughout high school replaces hard work and strategy on your college apps!

Please also remember that failure breeds success. Learn from this process even if things go horribly awry. It's harrowing, but throw yourself in and you'll be the better for it.

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