Grace has sent out all her applications and is getting notifications back. Last month she got some good news, but she also had to deal with the feelings that come with getting denied. Read the full interview below.
Meet the Class is an opportunity for parents, educators, and admissions professionals to get a look at individual seniors and what they go through to find their college.
It’s updated monthly from September to May. Each month will feature an interview about both the facts and the feelings of where the student is in the process.
Interviews may be edited lightly for clarity and grammar.
This is the seventh interview with Grace. Grace is a senior in the Houston area. She attends a public magnet high school.
Let's start with the news. Have you heard back from anybody else? Where we left off was:
Baylor: accepted, 50% scholarship
UT Austin: CAP
University of Houston: accepted, full scholarship, stipend
What can we add to the list?
Trinity University gave me a no, which surprised me. It's personal when someone rejects you, and I started to go through a cycle of thought, "Were my grades not good enough? Was my essay too cheesy? Typical?" Trinity threw me in for a loop because I had always assumed it'll be a school that would have gladly accepted me, and I went through a phase of self-doubt. I started to think that if I couldn't get accepted into one place, that I wouldn't get into Lafayette or Bryn Mawr. Like everyone, I got over that small slump, and events like these should not scare people from applying. Moments like these as very frightening to students because it's one of the times in our academic career where our admission may be a toss of the coin.
Texas A&M responded back and gave me the option of Gateway: a program which students are asked to stay two weeks before schools start to take classes and ultimately show that you are prepared for the rigor. I see this more of an opportunity to get a head start in adjusting to college life, and might consider this as an option depending on financial aid. I have no hesitations to attend Texas A&M and even getting my banner has made me excited for the school, but I want to weigh my options before I jump into something. I know that if I take the offer, I will be given more resources than other students: mentors, introductory session etc. But I would also have to pay for that time during the summer.
How will you go about making your final decision once all the responses are back? Who do you go to for advice? What are your primary factors?
My final decision will be the college that offers the most financial aid, and ultimately what is the most cost-effective. I know by taking this route, I would be sacrificing some rigor but at the end shooting for medical school is where I want to end. Over these past two years, I have gotten different kinds of advice from people. Some people say that the name can carry you when it comes to graduate school, and prestige translates to success; others tell me that it doesn't matter where you go at first, as long as you end up somewhere good at the end. To me, I think of my college journey as stepping stones, and my undergraduate is the transition phase for what I want to do.
Based on the news you've got so far, what would you do if you had to make the decision today? Explain your thinking.
Lately I have started to look at my options, assuming that I get full ride to Bryn Mawr and Lafayette, and it seems to me that UH is the best way to go. This thought scares me because ultimately, where I go, I want it to be a place where I will thrive and be genuinely happy, not some place that I had to fall back on because I can't afford anything else. UH isn't so high up on my preference list and I know I will be missing out on opportunities if I stay in Houston, but ultimately if I know I will have some financial burden, I am not going to try to stress myself and my mother if it could be avoidable. My mentality when it comes to UH is that I will be trying the best I can, and be utilizing what they give me as much as possible.
Spring Break was last week. What were your plans?
I used Spring Break as a time to enjoy myself and explore a little. I went to NYC for the week, and honestly it was a much-needed trip. I don't travel much and being able to go out and relax without any worry of school work has reinvigorated my energy. It also made me realize that I love traveling and that I have made it a goal for myself to travel around as much as I can.
Has "senioritis" hit you? How's your day-to-day motivation holding up?
Senioritis very much a real thing (no matter how many times I tell myself I don't have it), yet I try my hardest to work to maintain my grades. Interestingly enough, my grades have been higher this semester. Is it because school has gotten easier? Or has my stress level decreased? Either way, I feel better about going to school, and I have been scoring higher on my tests and being able to retain more information. My energy levels have dropped to the floor, and I often take naps during my Teachers Assistant period in the library :(
Other than make college decisions and pass your classes, what else have you got to do this spring? Which AP exams are you taking? What's your deadline on the yearbook? How's work? Can you give me a sense of what all is going on right now?
This spring is will have a light load of work, but of course, with any spring semester, I will have plenty of testing. This year I will be taking all of my AP's (students may opt out of testing), which include English Literature, U.S Government, and Macroeconomics. I am not able to opt out of any of my tests since I only have three, but I am not complaining since some of my friends have way more. The yearbook is looking amazing, but it has also stressed me out since I have to rely on a staff that is tired and bored of the same routine of interviews, and proofs and photographs. Although we are so close to finishing, I feel like we are so far away from hitting that publish part and the deadline is next week. Today we took our Colophon photos (the yearbook staff gets two pages to themselves since they aren't allowed to be in the yearbook itself) and I will genuinely say that I will miss the staff, we had so much fun making poses and laughing at Jack for running through the prairie to make it in time for the picture.
Work has become very emotionally stressful and has made me appreciate the amount of time my mother has spent working with me to develop a good work ethic. I tutor two students, one in middle school and one in high school. The freshman in high school is incredibly smart and tutoring him has become such a joy because I can discuss scientific discoveries with him, and explain algebra to him. The seventh grader, however, gives me a hard time and sessions can go on for hours since I have to spend time chasing him down and try to get him to focus to even read the instructions on the page. Don't get me wrong, I get paid for those hours, but sometimes I will get home at 10 and stay up late eating dinner, doing chores and finishing homework. A girl needs her sleep!
Thanks for reading Apply with Sanity! Please share this with people who would like to read it. If you have questions for Grace, leave them in the comments. I'll be interviewing her again in a few weeks. Follow Apply with Sanity on Facebook and Twitter, and sign up for the monthly newsletter.