My Take on the College Application Process

Gwynnie Ball, GW Staff Writer

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College is scary. No, scratch that- terrifying. In theory, the idea of leaving everything behind and starting a new, more independent life is fantastic, but the reality of that idea entails a process that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. The college application process is a nightmare to put it lightly, and I feel lucky that I have made it through the brunt of it.

Let me preface my story of applying to college with a fun fact: I am a procrastinator. I will admit it, loudly and not so proudly. I put things off until the very last minute nine times out of 10, and although generally they have tended to turn out in my favor, it does create some unnecessary stress in my life. A word to the wise: DO NOT PROCRASTINATE ON YOUR COLLEGE APPLICATIONS. You’ll thank me later.

I realized beginning of October that I had a problem when I would tell friends that I had yet to start my Common App (the application that most colleges use) personal essay and they in turn would start yelling at me. Although my friends’ reactions were very stressful, and should have motivated me to begin much sooner, I didn’t actually start writing until Sunday the 22nd of November, a measly 11 days prior to the early action deadline for OSU.

Writing is hard, I get that. I like writing and a lot of the time it’s still hard for me to actually get started. The best advice that I can give to you is something that my mom has said to me time and time again: “just write.” Even if you think that what you’re writing is absolute garbage and you hate every single word, you’ll at least have something to build off of so you can create a really great essay. Trust me, I hated my essay when I started it, but I was able to craft it into something that I was actually proud of.

The fact that your writing is essentially determining where your future will continue is intimidating. I froze up when writing my essay. A lot. The words would stop coming as doubt crept into my mind. The only thing that I can say is that when this happens, you just have to believe in yourself. Know that whatever you do will be good enough; you’ll end up where you need to be.

Getting into a college doesn’t define who you are as a person. As I wait to receive notice as to whether or not I have been accepted to the colleges I applied to, I try to remind myself that it’s just one step into the maze that is my future. It’s not the end of the world if I don’t get into my top choice; I’m confident that I’ll be able to find happiness wherever I end up. The application process itself was absolutely horrendous, but that’s the worst part of preparing for college and it is behind me. The best part is yet to come.