Volume XVIV, No. 8
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Class of 2010 goes to college: decisions and college map Page 2 & 3
San Rafael, CA
Perspectives on college from current students Page 4
One - Oh, We Go...
May 27, 2010
Man vs. wild: college application process style Hossain Albgal Staff Writer For seniors, November-February may be a period of exploration and contemplation of one’s future and maturity as a person. For most, however, it is the time of extreme pessimism mixed with a modicum of self-doubt and a hint of insanity. As one senior told me last year after I asked him why he was so stressed: “I’m trying to write this [expletive] personal statement. There’s nothing interesting about me. What kind of question is ‘What world do you come from?’ The same world as everyone else! Should I just lie and say that my best friend passed away or something?” The process has the ability to make people abandon morals and common sense, and often I hear seniors in March reviewing the process saying, “Did I really do that?”. People often conclude that the college application process stripped them of self-worth and self-confidence, but after witnessing the process for three years and participating for one, I found that it is not the process itself, it is people’s handling of the situation that makes it unbearable. Here are
some tips: 1. Don’t have a dream school. Have a dream type of school. I have seen many aspiring Stanford students spend hours on the infamous Naviance website. They check the website daily in hopes that their position among formerly accepted students has changed, only to find that – to no surprisethey are exactly the same students they were yesterday. So why do these students torture themselves with dated statistics? Because Stanford is their dream school. That is the problem. They strive to attend the prestigious school for its renowned academics, its beautiful weather, and the fact that Zac Efron sang in that tree on their campus during High School Musical 3. They sucker themselves into believing that the only place they will be happy in is Stanford. Instead, what these students should do is identify exactly what they like about Stanford and aim for that type of school rather than that specific school. By expanding their targets, students are expanding their chances of success
gling to come up with a topic to write about for the question “What world do you come from?”. You come up with different options and are trying to decide which to write about. So you call up your friend, who must respond to the same prompt, and ask what he is writing about. He tells you that he is writing about how he saves baby dolphins in Australia every summer with his church group to fulfill the dreams of his deceased grandmother. After you hang up and return to work, you realize every idea you came up with falls short of your own expectations. You compared every idea to that of your friend and this only serves to increase your self-doubt and frustration. Focus on your story and your personal statement, and don’t ask that goodie twoshoes best friend what he’s Amanda Levensohn writing about. 3. Rejection: Don’t take it personally. himself. How does one do that? I have a friend who began By asking the one question that studying for the SAT’s when she never ever results in any good: was eleven. That same friend is What are you writing about for the only person that I know who your personal statement? was accepted into every college Imagine this: You are strugand eventual happiness. 2. Avoid asking the question that will instantaneously strike a blow to your mental stability. The application process is stressful enough without the applicant playing mind games with
she applied to. Coincidence? I think not. Nearly everyone who applies to more than three colleges will be rejected from a school. The postrejection period may be the hardest time of the process to experience and is even harder to witness. The applicants who did not follow step one can probably relate to what I am talking about here. After receiving many a 4 a.m. text that reads something like “Havnt eatn since ystrday. Listning to Blink 182 CD. Y dnt they wnt me?”, I have concluded that the best way to deal with rejection is to realize that colleges are rejecting you as a student and not as a person. Claremont McKenna thought that your SAT scores were not adequate, not your personality. Boston University decided that your GPA wasn’t high enough, not your potential. UC Berkeley concluded that you might not succeed at their college, not in life. Understand that colleges evaluate you on a series of numbers and words on paper, and unless that is how you define yourself, rejection should be nothing more than a scratch to your self-worth.
Sacrificing the high school present for the college future Max Weiss Sports Editor It creeps in the peripheries of my subconscious, unbidden. It lurks behind the shadows of my every decision—almost ready to leap out at me, but not just yet. What is it? College. As a sophomore, the full dread, stress, and worry about applying to college has obviously not hit me quite yet. Still, in recent months I have come to realize something: whether I like it or not, college has a grip on what I do. I came to this conclusion recently when I was trying to figure out what to do with my summer. During the decision-making process, I became focused on not only choosing a summer-time activity that would be enjoyable, but also
one that would end up looking good on a college application. Gone are the days where you can enjoy a summer for no real reason at all. Why should I let what goes on my application affect my potential present happiness or satisfaction? Maybe because where I go to college could determine my future happiness. In the end, it comes down to that singular point: sacrificing the present for the future. It is a compromise that most students choose to make, whether consciously or not. Unfortunately, it is also a compromise that extends itself beyond summer plans. It determines our extra-curricular activities, where we invest our time, and what classes we choose to take. I am currently involved in choosing
what classes to take for my junior year. I desperately want to take
Ceramics 300, but I did not have room to fit it in my schedule. After realizing these unfortunate circumstances, I have also decided to attempt something new: doing what I like. I think what we have to realize is that there are ways to do what we like and, in the end, still be able to have an interesting college application. We need to release ourselves from the ever-present idea of college and just focus on the journey—not the destination. We’ll get there in the end.
Tips for Staying in the Now 1.) GET. ENOUGH. SLEEP. 2.) Hang out with friends and relax at least one night a week. 3.) Try to have at least one stress-free block in your schedule. (Either a free or a creative class.)