I wanted to write a post about my entire college application process because honestly if I knew what I know now, the whole process two years ago would have been a lot less stressful. My senior year was easily the most stressful time in my life to date. I know so many of you are going through the exact same thing and are probably stressed out of your minds trying to meet deadlines and hearing back from the schools you applied to early action and early decision. I’m here to tell you that everything is going to be okay. I had the worst college application process and here I am, a sophomore in college and I couldn’t be happier with where I ended up.
Let me start off with a little disclaimer. I went to a very smart school- by that I mean that everyone had 5.0’s and were going off to Ivy Leagues. I never tried very hard in high school, and though I regret that, I am so happy with where I am now. However going to a very prestigious high school made it so that I was up against some tough competition when it came to who colleges were going to accept from my school.
Okay, now without further ado, here are the schools I applied to:
- Ole Miss
- Florida State
- James Madison
- University of Tennessee
- University of South Carolina
I know some people apply to like 15, but I didn’t feel the need to apply to schools that I would never go to even if I got in.
My top school in the fall of my senior year was James Madison. I was OBSESSED. I had visited twice, had a meeting with the admissions counselor, and owned just about every shirt from there. I had the grades and the scores and was so sure that’s where I was going to end up. When I got deferred early action I was not only crushed but also so confused. So many people from my school had gotten in that were using the school as their “safety school”. The way James Madison does their selection process is that they look at the applications by schools, so they were looking at my application against people with 5.0s and perfect test scores. It just didn’t seem fair to me.
Nevertheless, I knew I still had a chance with regular decision. In the mean time, I got accepted to Ole Miss, Florida State, University of Tennessee, AND South Carolina. I was so happy, but honestly didn’t care that much since my heart was still so set on JMU. I was looking more and more into Tennessee as a back up and fell in love with it. I honestly was starting to like it more than JMU, but was still so set on it. March came around, aka regular decisions, and I remember the day so clearly. I was driving home from poms practice when I got a text from someone in my grade who also had James Madison as their top. He texted me saying that he had got in. As soon as I saw the text I pulled over so fast and anxiously went to check my email. The words waitlisted came up onto the screen.
I cried for hours. I was so sure I’d be accepted and it felt like my entire world was coming to an end(I know I was so dramatic) but when you’re in the moment things seem SO much bigger than they actually are. I can proudly say that good truly does come from the bad. After that, I visited Tennessee and fell in LOVE. It was the perfect school. It had everything I wanted- greek life, football, an amazing surrounding town, great job opportunities. I ended up taking my name off the waitlist of JMU and accepting my decision to Tennessee and am so happy.
Moral of the story, don’t stress so much over what seems like the “perfect” school. Where you end up is where you’re meant to be and hey, if you don’t end up liking it, you can always transfer! Just make sure you really give it a chance because everyone has a tough time in college at first, no matter where you are. Don’t stress about where other people are getting in, this is all about YOU and where YOU are going to feel happiest. College is about preparing for your future, so pick somewhere that is going to push you and make you the person you want to be.
I’m always here if anyone needs any advice at all! Feel free to email me with any questions or if you just wanna talk!