Seniors, I bet you’re eye rolling at this title. It’s fine. I get it. You’ve re-written, read and re-written your essay a billion times. You’ve created applications, probably have about a dozen username and passwords by now and if we logged into your email it’s most likely flooded, like really flooded, with emails about colleges, reminders, programs and pretty much everything else a college could send.
You’ve logged into your apps and checked the small things, over and over. You’ve neurotically studied admission rates, academic profiles, blogs, reputable and some…probably more than some…not-so-reputable opinions that leave you filled to the brim with information. SO. MUCH. INFORMATION.
Your family members, friends and pretty much anyone close to you have given you reminders, unsolicited advice and questions like “what are your plans for next year?”
Let’s not forget that your faith in self and confidence as to why you’re even doing this in the first place is at an all time emotional peak.
Ya, it kind of sucks. It’s kind of daunting. So why in the world is it a good thing?
There are so many insights, nuggets and teachable moments in the college process. So many.
Learning the value of marketing yourself
- Welcome to the world of adulthood. Where it’s up to you to boast about your strengths and present them in a way that ultimately lands you an opportunity. It’s super tough to do this. And through your essays and lists of activities and awards (in multiple formats by the way) are all testing how you own your skills and talents and present them in an enticing way. Not to mention the process of requesting a letter of recommendation. All things you’ll need to do for a career.
Learning how to process the minutia
- How to process a transcript, submit test scores, follow directions for requesting supplemental materials, etc. The list of tiny details is RIDICULOUS. But it’s kind of awesome that you learn how to do it. I’ve had to submit taxes, research and purchase a car, figure out health care, submit an application to rent an apartment, request a transcript as a part of a job application, process student loans and way more than I can think of. It’s all these tiny details of what website to go to, to email it or officially mail it back, to call and ask for help if I have no idea what the heck I’m doing. The minutia is literally adulting at it’s finest.
Learning how to access resources when you get stuck
- You will get stuck. That’s just what happens. And you’ll want someone you trust to provide feedback so you can present the strongest application for the best chance of admission. During the app process you humble yourself and build a support team to answer any questions you may have. This may be your counselor, a family member, a teacher or a coach and even an alumni. Gathering your team of mentors and advisers is KEY to continuing growth in success throughout life.
Learning how to own your truth
- The college process is one that’s pretty biased and judgmental. Everyone has an opinion and if you’re going against the grain at all the responses are pretty candid and sometimes baffling. “Why are you applying there?” “I’ve never heard of that school.” It’s all a bit invasive if you ask me. But you learn to OWN your truth and be okay with it. Something I didn’t really confidently figure out how to do until my 30s. Owning your truth sets you free. You are the only person who will be actually heading off to your dorm, to your classes and ultimately the next step after college. So do yourself a favor and own it. Humble that ego and remind yourself of your why.