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The Stepping Stone: Facets of the College Admission Process

College admissions - it’s one of the most stressful times for teenagers around the world. Millions of students work day and night on their college lists, essays, activity lists, and more. Regardless of how burdensome it may feel, it is important as college applicants to remember how blessed we are for simply having the opportunity to pursue higher education; scores of people in less fortunate situations will never even have the opportunity to go to college, and many may not even finish high school. We have all surely heard of the millions of success stories of the “perfect child”  with perfect SAT scores, ACT scores, and perfect GPAs getting into the colleges of their dreams, and some of the top colleges in the world. However, it is critical to remember that this is only part of the full story.”.Many of these students also are involved in other extracurriculars in which they allow their passions to shine through in more creative, abstract ways. It is extremely important to remember, especially when we are under so much stress, that everybody is on their own journey, and that everybody has different interests and things they find appealing and want to do.

It is more important for college admissions and your peace of mind, that you find one or two things that you truly enjoy doing and you work to be your very best at it. Colleges want to see that whatever you truly enjoy, you can bring change to the world in that field. You are not required to be amazing at everything. More often than not, when you spread yourself too thin doing this and that, you are not able to give your full attention and power to each of the things you are doing, impeding your results overall. Even though devoting all your efforts to one focus may seem like you are not doing as much as you can, in reality, you are giving that one thing so much time and attention that you will be able to yield amazing results if you truly love that one thing. Just as you often hear the phrase: “Do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life,you must love whatever activities you engage in before college. Only then will you want to work on them and strive to make yourself better in that field every day. This will also show that you truly do have an interest and passion for this field, one of the major traits that colleges look for. Even though it may not seem like it, it is very easy for a third person to tell when somebody is doing something at the surface level for the sake of writing it on a college application, versus when it is something that they truly have a passion for and that brings out the best in them. Finding this passion is often easier said than done, and one of the best ways to find out what truly excites you is to try as many things as you can for a little while, one at a time, and then see which one excites you and makes you want to wake up and further your ability in. Whether it be sports, or, music, science, math, or more, it should be something that, without it, you wouldn't feel like you. When you have such a strong connection to your subject, the results will show themselves naturally. Further along in time when it comes to the college admissions process, it is important to know that you don't always have to know what it is that you want to do in the future. Numerous students get into the top schools and go in as undecided.  

Another very important thing to know about college admissions is that while top schools such as Harvard, Stanford, and MIT, may seem like the goal to always reach for, that does not always mean that they are the best fit for you. A smaller, lesser-known school may have a better program for your field of interest or may be full of people and students that you see yourself getting along with better or feel more comfortable with. While top schools such as Stanford and Harvard may have a well-known name, that does not mean that they are perfect for everyone, even those who seem like a perfect fit on paper.  Many people spend a full 4 years of their life at their undergraduate school and even go on to pursue graduate degrees, thus it is imperative that you find comfort at the school which you attend, and enjoy the city and the surroundings of the school and its campus.

Another critical part of the college admission process is your essay. Colleges want you to write about something that makes you who you are. They don't want to read something that was developed with the intention of pleasing the college, but with the intention of showing the writer's true self. There are numerous resources around, which can show you the types of essays that colleges are looking for. Many colleges such as Johns Hopkins publish the essays which they have truly enjoyed reading over the years - all of them gave them a clear idea about the type of student that was applying and who that person was beyond their statistics. With all of this said, remember that these admission decisions do not determine what type of person you are. You can only control your actions, and there may be numerous other factors which influence an admission officer's decisions.

At Teens 4 Teens, you can find support from hundreds of other students going through the same processes as you around the world. You can communicate with them through the pen pal programs, and even learn from some of the members who have been admitted to top colleges. Please reach out to learn about their experiences through the admission process, from finding schools that are right for you to finding your roommate in your dorm. Always feel free to reach out and join the community of teenagers around the globe, with Teens 4 Teens.

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Edward Forward
Edward Forward
Aug 10, 2023

Amazing content!

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