Finding the Fit: 24 and Overboard

Name: that part was easy. Date of birth: June, 1989, which made me a few months short of my 25th birthday the first time I applied to transfer to a 4-year university. A lot older than my perfect cousin, who at my age was a college graduate and a newlywed, and eons older than my mother who at 24 had been married for 3 years and in a whole new country. No, not me. I was still living in the same house where I had my 5th birthday and only a few feet away from my childhood bedroom. Where had I gone wrong? I wanted to escape and see the world. College was my answer except I was still at a community college 7 years after my high school graduation, and I would be there one more. This story doesn’t have a happy ending so if you are looking for that I’m sure you will find it on some of the other pages. You have now officially been warned. I had one more class to finish in order to transfer, and unlike thousands of other college students crashing classes I had been able to enroll … [Read more...]

Lizzie Bennett

The college process has a lot of fairy tale-like aspects. Like Cinderella, I've had to research, visit, and perform all sorts of tedious tasks before being able to show up at the ball, or the Common App. My fairy godmother came in the form of my high school counselor who tirelessly read all my essays and suggested other schools at which I should look. While there is no perfect analogy to the waiting period, I now take on the role of Prince Charming as decisions are announced. The clock has chimed midnight and the university of my dreams has slipped by leaving only a glass slipper. Just as Prince Charming went around trying out all the maidens’ feet to find the girl of his dreams, I have been making pro/con charts, visiting campuses again, and most importantly, imagining myself at each school. My choices came down to a prestigious public school twenty minutes from my house and a very small women’s school in Massachusetts, all the way across the country. I decided to make all sorts of … [Read more...]

Reflecting on My “Freshman Year” as a College Counselor

It hasn’t quite been a full year for me as a college counselor, but with the school year drawing to a close (20 school days til graduation!), it’s time to look back on how my 'til “freshman year” on the high school side went. I started in the fall like most actual freshmen do—wide-eyed, optimistic, and ready to get to work. We started out the year with college night events for seniors and juniors and I quickly realized that managing the various application deadlines, different types of applications, and coordinating teacher recommendation submissions would be a lot to keep track of. I quickly filled out my own mock applications for the UC’s, the Cal State’s, a Common App, and I think I even started applications to Arizona, Indiana, Washington, and countless other universities so that I could help my students troubleshoot the issues they came across in their own application processes. (By the way, sorry to all the colleges who thought I was a prospective student! And in case you … [Read more...]

Driving Into the Future

My Options Now to explain how I have narrowed down my options I have to explain all of my options. I was accepted to three schools: all Catholic, four-year institutions. Two of them are in-state and one is two states away. Even though only these schools accepted me, I was wait listed at two other schools, one of which is another out-of-state Catholic school and the other is an in-state public school. I also have the option to stay home and attend the community college for a year and try for the very prestigious schools that rejected me this year, once again. I feel conflicted. Of the schools that accepted me, the school I had been the most interested in attending, is out of the question. I had visited the school my sophomore year of high school and loved it. I cried a few times because the problem wasn't that I hadn't been accepted, the problem is, and seemingly always will be, money. I simply can't pretend that I can attend a school where I am expected to contribute more … [Read more...]

The Mad Dash to May 1

When I worked in admissions, the only thing that got me through countless admitted student events all spring was the countdown to one thing: MAY 1. Now that I’m on the high school side, I don’t have that same feeling of, “Can May 1 hurry up and get here already so I can have a break to get my suits dry cleaned/get home from work before 9pm/have one day to just sit at my desk and stare at my computer in peace?” It’s hard to see the agony some seniors put themselves through as they struggle to decide where to commit to attending for the next four years. Some students heard from a specific college and put down the deposit right away; others were denied at their top college and can’t imagine going to college anywhere else; and still others are seemingly in complete limbo. Most of the students coming by my office these days have endless questions about comparing financial aid awards, which housing option to apply for, how to decide where to go, and many other questions that are equally … [Read more...]