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Post College Apps: Expectations vs Reality

Hannah Jaros, Staff Writer

Hopefully, the most stressful time of year (for seniors) is over! With college application season nearly behind us, you must be thinking, What do I do for the next few months while I wait for my acceptance letter? While you may have some ideas for what you should do, we often find ourselves regressing into bad (and obsessive) habits.

Expectation: Apply For Scholarships!

Scholarships are an amazing way to make more money for college. The average American has a student-loan debt of $37,172 (don’t let this be you!). You can apply for a variety of reasons like being tall, left handed, a twin, a minority, having a 3.0 gpa, etc. Many scholarship websites are super simple as most only require you to write a short essay. Some don’t have essays at all. Personally, my favorite website is GoingMerry.com (https://www.goingmerry.com/) . They group several scholarships together with a single essay prompt, and once you submit, you’re automatically entered into multiple scholarships! It’s tremendously quick, easy, and it’s free money!

Reality: Panic About Your Choices

This time of year, there are so many things to panic about. Whether or not you’ll get in, how college life will be after you get accepted, housing choices, debt, your major. This is the point in your life when you’re faced with so many decisions (as an incredibly indecisive person, this is hell). Fortunately, we’re all going through the same thing and we’ll get through this together.

Expectation: Distract Yourself

Whatever you do, try not to think about your results. Letting go of this anxiety will make time go faster, and before you know it, you’ll be getting a huge envelope in the mail. The past few months have been incredibly stressful; relax, you deserve it! Catch up on a Netflix series, spend time with your friends, go to school clubs, do anything that keeps you occupied. It will make everything better and prevent you from obsessing and having a mental breakdown.

Reality: Obsess Over Your Application Status

Unfortunately, we don’t always take our own advice (I’m writing from experience). Refreshing your college application page seems to be the only way to get your results faster. It’s absolutely unhealthy and seems to drag things out longer, but it’s torture waiting for months to find out if we got accepted or denied.

Expectations: Fantasize About What College Life Will Bring

With your applications submitted, it means you’re one step closer to college life. You start imagining the remarkable adventures that you will embark on during your time at your university. You’ll make amazing friends, get a great education with your intended major, maybe join some cool clubs or sports, maybe have an Instragramable travel abroad experience. College will no doubt bring great memories that will last throughout your whole life.

Reality: Anxiously Anticipate Leaving Everything Behind

While college will be a fantastic experience for all of us, it can be nerve-wracking leaving our whole lives behind as we go off to an unknown place with nobody we know. As we await our college acceptance, the terror of going onto an unfamiliar path drives us crazy. Thoughts race through our heads, What if I hate my roommate? What if I don’t like my major? What if I don’t make any friends? I’ll miss my dog!

Going off to college will be an exciting (terrifying) time in our lives, and it’s okay to have a wide range of emotions. The time spent waiting for our letters is brutal, but everything will work itself out in the end. Try to spend your senior year doing something meaningful, and sooner or later college will be here!

 

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Student_debt

www.commonapp.org

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