“We regret to inform you…”
As soon as you read those first few words, your heart drops. And though the rest of the letter is spent reassuring that you were among the most competitive pool of applicants, that the school so very wished it could take you, you still can’t help feeling hurt.
First, vent. Cry for a while, scream outside, maybe even rip up that offending college’s advertising material. (For me, I deal with rejection like I would with a bad breakup: lots of junk food and B-movies.) After all, you’ve invested months, maybe even years, thinking about college, and it’s finally time to release all your anxieties and frustrations.
What you shouldn’t do is think that because you were rejected, you are somehow less worthy of a student or person. You’ve spent so much time and effort crafting your application that it almost seems like a horcrux, a piece of your soul, but remember, the application is only a superficial introduction to who you are. What makes you unique, interesting, and wonderful cannot be constrained to the limits of a 750 word essay. Who you truly are is so much more than your application.
Plus, at the end of the day, admissions officers are just a couple of complete strangers who make decisions based upon very subjective guidelines, like your geographic location. Do not let their decision be the final judgment of who you are as a person.
Another thing you shouldn’t do is compare yourself to others. You might be thinking, “So-and-so got a lower SAT score but he still got in!” But unless you’re familiar with all of that person’s essays, recs, interviews, and more, you are not one to judge who deserves to get into a certain school and who doesn’t. And until you let go of this bitterness (and I know just how hard it is to do so), you won’t get over your rejection.
Here’s the most important thing to remember: whether or not you got into your top choice, where you go to school does not matter nearly as much as what you do. As long as you remain hard-working during your college years, you will find success no matter where you graduate from. The Wall Street Journal posted an article a few years ago about how highly successful people were rejected from colleges too. I also have many friends who did not get into their dream schools and still found prestigious jobs, entered top grad schools, and are extremely satisfied with their college experience.
Perhaps in the end, you’ll even come to realize that rejection was a good thing. Maybe you didn’t get into your dream school, but the school you end up attending might actually be the best fit for you.
Whatever happens today, remember that where you go to school matters far less than what you do at that school.
Sorry for not updating last week. Been really busy with life (lol jk I have no life, only school work).
Anyway, last weekend I got a text from one of my friends who’s still in high school asking about whether or not it’s worth it to self-study for AP econ. It inspired me to write a post about AP tests. Forget what why your teachers or CollegeBoard say you should take the AP test. (“It tests your aptitude!” or according to College Board, you’ll “learn from some of the most skilled, dedicated, and inspiring teachers in the world!”)
The real reason why you should take APs is for credit.
1) In college, AP courses can place you out of many intro classes, which in my experience are dull 400 people lectures that move fast but have poor grading curves.
2) It can also fulfill requirements, either for graduation or your major. For example, engineers at Princeton who have AP credit for chemistry, biology, and physics have fulfilled most of their requirements in those respective subjects. And considering that those courses are pretty hard, it’ll save your time and GPA if you take the tests in high school. Also, a lot of schools have a foreign language or writing reqs that can be avoided with AP credit.
3) Finally, you may even graduate early. At some colleges, if you take enough APs, you can graduate in as little as three years.
However, all AP tests are not created equal. From my experience, colleges most often accept credit from math and science AP tests, rather than AP tests in the humanities and social sciences. Also, don’t forget that most schools require you to score at least a 4. That being said, I’d recommend that you take:
- Math: Calc (try BC!), Stats
- Any science besides environmental science or psychology: Biology, Chemistry, Physics (try C!), Computer Science
- Economics: Macroeconmics, Microeconomics
- English: Lang Comp and Lit (some schools require both for you to get out of a writing req)
- Foreign language
But these are just a general list of the most commonly accepted AP credits at college; for a more accurate list, check the schools you are applying to, since every school differs.
Also, some myth-busting: APs don’t really make you stand out in the admissions process. I only applied to college with 2 AP tests (lang comp and APUSH). And while it seems like everyone else is applying with a string of 5’s, I know plenty of people who got into great schools without a lot of APs. What’s more important is that colleges see that you are taking AP classes, not necessarily the tests. Remember, you should be taking the most challenging courses offered at your school, even though your senioritis makes you not want to.
champion-of-excess asked: One of my parents won't be able to submit the IDOC until well after it's due. What can I do about this if I already applied for financial aid?
Hey sorry for the late reply! I would call the financial aid office of your schools directly. The schools I applied to let me submit an old tax return and told me to directly fax my new tax returns to their fin aid offices when my parents completed them.
Anonymous asked: How do you motivate yourself to do scholarship applications and essays? I always feel like I don't have time and the deadlines keep passing me by.
In order to motivate myself, I viewed applying for scholarships as the only job I’ll ever have with such a high “hourly wage.” In other words, if I spend five hours on an application and win $1,000, I’ll have just earned $200/hr. This might make me sound really money-hungry, but the thought of earning that much per hour (compared to my minimum wage part-time job lulz) motivated me to put aside time for scholarship applications no matter how busy I was. And to be honest, I don’t think anyone is so busy that they can’t apply to at least one scholarship a month.
As for making sure deadlines don’t pass you by, search for a few upcoming scholarships, make a list of the ones you want to apply to and their deadlines, and post that list on your wall to remind yourself. Fastwebs and other scholarship websites also email you reminders. Most local scholarship contests have just started, so it’s not too late to begin applying now.
You sent those college apps in, those FAFSA forms are almost done, and it’s second semester!
All of the above sound great, but they also make up the formula for senioritis. And as fun as it is to slack off, if you slack off too much, it’ll much harder to get back into the habit of working hard as soon as college starts. Bad news is that you’ll need a good work ethic in college because no matter what college you attend next fall, your new workload will make high school look like a breeze.
But even if you tell yourself that succumbing to senioritis will hurt you come next fall, it’s hard to resist rewatching all six seasons of Lost on your laptop. (Trust me, I know.) You’ll need some concrete, outside incentive.
Fellow tumblr-ites, KEEP YOUR GRADES UP FOR SCHOLARSHIPS. Yes that deserves all caps. Every scholarship I applied required my GPA and most even requested my transcript. Since you can apply for scholarships long into the summer, even your last semester grades matter.
Using scholarships as an incentive to ward off senioritis will not only prepare you for an intense college workload in the fall, but you’ll also be going to school thousands of dollars richer.
Check out Fastwebs or any other online scholarship database. Also Google scholarships specific to your state or county. Your school’s guidance department is a great resource as well.
F*ck senioritis, get money! (Ok, I’ll stop.)