I still remember the day I got my college acceptance, almost as clear as if it was a merely seconds ago (as cliche as that may sound). I was sitting in AP US Government, counting down the minutes until the seemingly never-ending discussion over senate majority decisions and ratified amendments would end.
Finally, the bell rang releasing me from my momentary prison as I was packing my things my phone vibrated, only slightly, the way it does for those of who are just ‘Type-A’ enough to always want to know when they’re getting an email. But I digress. Half aware I opened up my email app, while giggling to myself over a meme my friend had just shoved into my face, and there in all its glory was the email. BOSTON UNIVERSITY ADMISSIONS.
In those 5 seconds all of the blood drained from my face, and my heart rate sped up so fast I couldn’t breathe. To all of you to which this may seem excessive, have probably not endured the toture and heartbreak that accompanies college applications. Or maybe you’re just a whiz kid, who after inventing the first self-regulating space rocket, can now get into each and every school, but hey I’m not that kid genius and after all this is my story.
Maybe I should backtrack a little, and introduce myself to you all, in order for you to understand what I was working with. My resume read like most overachiever’s, and when I describe myself I hope none of you will take this as a sign of big-headedness or an over-pumped ego, because I’ll let you in on a little secret I didn’t think I was getting in. I was your run of the mill college-bound high-schooler with lofty expectations. I can get into the nitty gritty of my course load, extracurriculars and other details in a different blog post, but in order to not over exhaust this one ill keep it short and sweet.
I applied all over the country, to schools which I had no shot of even gracing the maybe pile of, and to schools to which frankly I need not have wasted my time doing supplementals for. As the decision period grew near, I began to accrue a combination of acceptances and deferrals (which for the untainted reader is exactly what it sounds like). I had a mixed-bag, but I was still awaiting my top choice- Boston University.
I can get into why BU, another time (if you all wish), but truly this was the one for me. And back on that day when I shakily opened my admissions portal, I was whole-heartedly preparing myself for a let down, for the “we had a record breaking number of applicants.. and we cannot offer you admission” like sure haven’t we all heard that one before.
Alas, weighed down with this pending rejection, I walked to a secluded area of the library and opened up my laptop. As the rotating loading wheel brought the page into view, my heart nearly stopped when I read the first-word.
I can detail how I screeched in a silent library, and how I called everyone in my contacts screaming, and how I almost fell down the stairs trying to get to my friends to tell them the good news. But eh, who cares about that.
So where do you fit in?
I’ve told you my story, and how I’m living my dream (Hannah Montana would be proud) but now comes the reason why you probably clicked. I’m not a liar so I’ll give you my most 5 basic tips about GETTING INTO YOUR DREAM SCHOOL.
#1- BUILD YOUR RESUME
- Yea I l know, not a quick fix. But truly when is something worth having ever quick? (Insomnia cookies are the ONLY exception)
#2- Take all your exams!
- SAT, ACT, Subject area etc. and really try, don’t just take them to get a score and go, I mean really study and apply yourself.
#3. Find a passion and expand upon it
- This is one of the most important tips
- All of that”well-rounded student stuff” is a bunch of crock– I mean to an extent. Many people hear that and join about 16 clubs and organizations and think there is their ticket right there.
- Well I’m sorry to say at most top universities they don’t really care about that, I mean applying yourself is a great indicator of academic/social promise but this sporadic involvement is not as attractive as highly focusing on one area of expertise.
- For example, I am very passionate about STEM and eventually going into med, so my extracurricular revolved around that and I worked in a hospital as one of my extracurriculars.
#4- Take your classes seriously- SERIOUSLY
- In the words of Britney “Work B*tch”
- If you want to show your academic prowess challenge yourself!
- Dont settle for an “A” in an basic class rather than a “B+” in AP course
#5- NOT EVERTHING IS ABOUT YOUR GPA
- While having a high GPA is integral to a strong application, having good grades in difficult classes is MORE important than acing easy classes
- This seems like a given but people continue to take simple electives in the hopes that these courses will boost their GPA with minimal effort.
- Well, lemme let you in on a little secret, some schools recalculate GPA’S based on their own standards, taking out electives they deem inconsequential
- Yup, so next semester when you choose your classes maybe be a little mindful of that.
All in all this isn’t to scare you, while the college process seems like a heartless monster breaking havoc on our lives, the truth is you can work the system and get into your DREAM UNIVERSITY!
Feel free to comment any questions you may have, or details to be expounded upon and don’t forget no matter what school you go to, you’re still you and that will never be defined by some title.