The Crisis of Choosing: Which Box Do I Check?

We here at USC recently became members of the Common App family. During the summer, our staff takes the time to fill our test applications; to help our processing center make sure the system is working, but also so that we as admission counselors can see what students are actually going through as they apply to be a part of our institution. I strangely love filling out forms and enjoyed the task until I reached the ethnic identity questions. Suddenly, I had flashbacks of being young and confused, thinking to myself “which box am I supposed to check?” Things have changed since the days when I had to fill out these forms. Now, students have the option to check all that apply, or not disclose this information if they so choose. This obviously reflects the quickly changing demographics in which more and more, people are embracing their multicultural identities and are finally able to recognize their diversity. But I always found one thing to be difficult about choosing how to identify: … [Read more...]

Waiting to Hear Back From Colleges

I turned eighteen on March 1, which for me marks another challenge I'm trying to face with as much courage as possible: a statement of intent. May 1 is the deadline for many high school seniors across the nation to send in an enrollment deposit to a college they will attend in the fall. My birthday reminded me that all I have worked for, all my parents have worked to help me with, is turning a new page for me. After I submitted my last college application on the 15th of January, I wanted to crawl into my covers and forget that my applications were in the review process in admissions offices across the nation. I am done with the application process and I can no longer change anything I did or did not do in the course of my lifetime to try to better impress college admission officers. It is a difficult thing to accept. Ultimately though, I understand that it is impossible to try to change anything at this point. Hearing Back From Colleges I received my first college acceptance … [Read more...]

Finding the Fit: 24 and Overboard

The spring semester brought new adventures including being Editor-in-Chief of our campus magazine, The Bull.  But, in the back of my head I knew that above all else, the spring would be nothing like the fall - or would it? Especially because I took a deep breath and  opened up yet another rejection letter.  There is a high chance that I will be no farther from home than I am now come this fall, and THAT makes me want to cry.  I have to put on a brave face for my staff at the magazine and they comfort me saying that it wasn't meant to be or that I would have hated the weather anyway.  My rejection from a Cal State in Northern California came via email in February letting me know that more competive applicants had been considered.  It was the nicest way to say that I wasn't good enough, but in all honestly, at least I got an explanation, all I got from another Cal State was "admission denied."  The funny thing is that I contemplated the "what if's" last night. Not over a pint of … [Read more...]

Finding the Fit

The waiting game Day 114 of my time in application purgatory. There is still no response from any school to which I applied. Every day is the same; I check my application portals and get disappointed by “Application Pending” messages. Sometimes I sleep, most of the time I don’t. Morale is at an all-time low. Family and friends seem to have given up on me because they hear about freshmen acceptances and don’t realize that transfer students are supposed to hear later. Maybe they are right to be giving up. Update: got accepted to a couple of UC schools so far. The struggle is over, all is light, and the future looks bright! By Cali Boy … [Read more...]

Finding the Fit: Lizzie Bennett

Sometimes it seems like bad news, and good news, travels in waves. Extremely high emotional points can lead to periods of great sadness just a few weeks later. Life has a funny way of working itself out, and that’s something to be remembered in the coming weeks and months to come. Looking back, there hasn’t been a single situation that didn’t work out eventually. March is often a month where a majority of students are stressed out about something, whether it be prom, AP test sign ups, or college admission letters. For many high school seniors, March marks a new transition from the comfort and familiarity of high school to a mysterious new place to call home for the next four years. There has never been a more stressful March. It’s difficult to wait for the imminent letters, with your heart racing with every new email. Over the weekend, I met one of my childhood friends who still remains close despite the years and the geographical distance between us. Through conscious effort we … [Read more...]