Molly - Vassar College - Class of 2016
Hometown: Montclair NJ
High School: Public
GPA: 4.0 / 4.52 (weighted)
Goal: Figure out my goal
I knew from the start that I would apply early decision just to get the process over with. I would know where I was going early in my senior year, and the rest of school would be a breeze. Or so I thought.
Early decision meltdown
After touring about 40 colleges, I knew I wanted a small school. I had no idea what I wanted to study, so liberal arts schools also appealed to me. I wanted to be at least an hour away from home—but not a plane ride away. After touring Bowdoin College, I chose it as my early decision school because it is one of the most selective of the small liberal arts colleges, I loved the campus, and I wanted an academic challenge.
Of all days, I found out that I was rejected from Bowdoin on my birthday. It was the worst feeling in the world, and it only got worse after hearing how others got into their early decision schools. I entered the regular decision round with little hope and no expectations.
Definitely not getting into Vassar
Because I was interested in running at the college level, I got in touch with track coaches at some of my schools. The Vassar coach expressed a lot of interest in me, and invited me down to visit. I had an amazing overnight at the school, but I didn't want to, once again, fall in love with a school and then be rejected. I knew that feeling, and I never wanted to have it again.
Then I was waitlisted at one of my top schools, Hamilton. Since Vassar was even harder to get into than Hamilton, I lost all hope. On top of that, 22 kids from my school had applied to Vassar, so the odds were definitely not in my favor. Vassar released its admissions decisions later than the other schools, so I had to wait for the inevitable bad news. I was shocked when the acceptance letter popped up on my screen! Although getting rejected from your favorite school may be the worst feeling in the world, getting accepted to a school you really want is the best feeling in the world!
My ups and downs
I had an amazing guidance counselor. She was kind and accommodating, and she made sure that I was on track for applying to all my schools. I could not have done it without her. My mom also helped me out. She was always on top of things and put so much effort into helping me choose and apply to colleges. She spent countless hours driving me to college tours, overnights, and interviews.
I was surprised by how challenging and stressful the admissions process was and by how difficult it was to get in. I considered myself a fairly strong candidate until I heard back from schools. I found myself wondering, "What else do they want?"
Another "down" actually turned into an "up." I realize now that Bowdoin may not have been the right school for me. It was nine hours away from home in freezing cold Maine, and it had no appealing majors. What was I thinking?
What I learned
Looking back on the whole process, I would tell myself not to take things so personally. It gets harder and harder every year to get into selective colleges, and for every person who has been accepted to their dream school, there are ten others who have been rejected.
In terms of my application, I wish I had focused more on my SAT scores. They were decent, but below average for most of the competitive schools I was applying to. They didn't match my GPA, which was above average for most of those competitive schools.
The money factor
My parents are paying for the majority of the tuition, and the rest will be paid through scholarships and student loans if necessary.
Applying to college is a little like falling in love. You search for years to find the perfect school for you, you fall in love with one, and you can only hope that it will accept you and love you back. But all too often, it rejects you and your heart is broken. You feel vulnerable, insecure, and depressed. But what's important is that you keep on pursuing love. You can never give up because eventually you will fall in love with a school that loves you just the way you are.
Also, don't let the college process ruin your senior year! Live in the moment and enjoy the last few months with your friends!
ROAD TO COLLEGE
Student Stories - 2016
- Ally - Ohio State University - Class of 2016
- Emma - College of William and Mary - Class of 2016
- Jess - Binghamton University - Class of 2016
- Leyth - Pomona College - Class of 2016
- Michael - Northeastern University - Class of 2016
- Molly - Vassar College - Class of 2016
- Shaquilla - Harvard College - Class of 2016
- Tlalli - Yale University - Class of 2016
- Pablo - Amherst College - Class of 2016
- Kathleen - UC Berkeley - Class of 2016
- David - Vanderbilt University - Class of 2016
Student Stories - 2015
- Brenna - Iowa State University - Class of 2015
- Candace - U. of N. Carolina at Chapel Hill - Class of 2015
- Andrew - Penn State University Park - Class of 2015
- Nick - Georgetown University - Class of 2015
- Stephen - University of Pennsylvania - Class of 2015
- Stephanie - Stanford University - Class of 2015
- Jeremy - Boston University - Class of 2015
- Amy - Hillsdale College - Class of 2015
- Maggie - UCLA - Class of 2015
- Joseph - University of Vermont - Class of 2015
Student Stories - 2014
- Alexander - U. of Colorado Boulder - Class of 2014
- Alexandra - Indiana U. Bloomington - Class of 2014
- Gabrielle - Furman University - Class of 2014
- Linda - Grinnell College - Class of 2014
- Mario - Cal Poly Pomona - Class of 2014
- Matt - Carleton College - Class of 2014
- Michael - University of Maryland - Class of 2014
- Monica - Hiram College - Class of 2014
- Obianujo - The College of New Jersey - Class of 2014
- Philip - American University - Class of 2014
- Leslie - Wesleyan University - Class of 2014
Student Stories - 2013
- Jessica - Wellesley College - Class of 2013
- Jason - Univ. of Michigan - Class of 2013
- Daniel - Yale University - Class of 2013
- Melanie - Colby College - Class of 2013
- Anthony - University of Pittsburgh - Class of 2013
- Claire - Johns Hopkins University - Class of 2013
- David - University of Chicago - Class of 2013
- Eric - UC San Diego - Class of 2013
- John - Pomona College - Class of 2013
- Umbar - Cornell University - Class of 2013
- Kira - Swarthmore College - Class of 2013
- Joelle - Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison - Class of 2013
- Mark - Union College - Class of 2013
- Uddit - U.S. Air Force Academy - Class of 2013
- Julia - University of Florida - Class of 2013
- Justin - University of Georgia - Class of 2013
- Stacy - Cal Poly San Luis Obispo - Class of 2013
- Briton - Hobart College - Class of 2013
Student Stories - 2012
- Roy - Calif. Maritime Acad. / UC Irvine - Class of 2012
- Kirsten - Chapman / UC Davis - Class of 2012
- Ashley - Mount Holyoke College - Class of 2012
- Marquis - Princeton University - Class of 2012
- Pauline - Seattle University - Class of 2012
- Sundiata - Univ. of Mass. Amherst - Class of 2012
- James - Villanova University - Class of 2012
Student Stories - 2011
Student Stories - 2010
- Daniela - Bates College - Class of 2010
- Renata - Brown University - Class of 2010
- Megan - Denison University - Class of 2010
- Catlin - Harvard College - Class of 2010
- Catherine - Reed College - Class of 2010
- Matthew - Syracuse University - Class of 2010
- Danielle - UCLA - Class of 2010
- Stephanie - University of Illinois - Class of 2010
- Sam - University of Washington - Class of 2010
- Jeffrey - Washington and Lee Univ. - Class of 2010
Student Stories - 2009
Live Well and Prosper
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