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The Road to College Admissions: Hello, My Name is Megan

Everyone seems to have their life figured out. I continue to get asked the dreaded “college question” and usually respond with the same three colleges that I think that I like (sometimes I’ll throw a few “I-couldn’t-even-dream-of-getting-in-here” ones in there just to see how they react). 
I’m the oldest of three, so, unfortunately for me, this is my parents’ first rodeo. I also go to a relatively large public high school where counselors are assigned to hundreds of students, half of which are juniors and seniors going through the college application process.

This basically means that I quite literally could define every term in college admissions lingo for you—if I didn’t know it, I consulted my dear-friend Google! While parts of the process have been confusing at times, I’ve found that someone is always willing to help if I just ask.

Yet, even armed with all this information, I still don’t know where I’m going next year. I’m afraid to get my heart set on a school that may not even accept me. While I definitely do have a few favorites, I’m cautiously optimistic—you never know until you get that final letter!

I feel like many people don’t generally use ‘high school’ and ‘great’ in the same sentence, but I’ve really loved high school so far. While we have about 400 students in my grade, I’m part of a specialty center made up of about 50 students. I have had 2-3 classes each year with these 50 students and have loved the close-knit community that we have formed. Not everyone gets to have a high school experience where they have both the ‘big school’ and the ‘small school’ combined into one, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

As for extracurriculars, I always thought I never did enough. One thing that I’ve come to realize in the college admissions process is that the number of activities doesn’t matter—it’s how much you put into them. If you really like what you’re doing, it will come across in the application. I’ve run cross country and track the past four years, I was a staff writer and now the Design Editor/Center-spread Editor for my school newspaper, and I also have a lifestyle and fashion YouTube channel.

I’ve had so many unique opportunities over the past four years. Just this past summer, I interned with a local public defense attorney, and it dramatically changed the way that I looked at the legal system. I also had the opportunity to go to ALA Girls State and learn about local government—an experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life! While I’ve enjoyed my time in high school, I’m so excited to see where college will take me.

I just submitted my first few applications, and I feel so relieved to have a few of nine off my plate! However, let’s be clear—I definitely don’t have it all figured out. You won’t find me lying on a beach somewhere not worrying about a thing. While the process can be stressful, confusing, and frustrating at times, it ends with finding a great path for my future, new friends, new opportunities, and best of all, new experiences. As long as I keep the end-goal in mind (which can be really, really hard sometimes), then I know the process will all be worth it!

Feeling a bit stressed about your college applications like Megan? Here are some resources from Sara to help you out!

Facebook Live Recap and Bonus Questions: Early Decision & Early Action

5 Tips for Writing College-Specific Essays

The Foolproof Way to Order Extracurricular Activities on Your College Application

Is More Information Better in Your College Application?

10 Tips for Alumni Interviews