Kati attends a comprehensive public high school in Texas.
You have some deadlines coming up on the 15th and 18th. Are you ready?
Yes! I have applied to one of my schools, and have applications nearly done for two others. I plan to get all of them submitted by Thanksgiving, and the rest of the break will be spent working on scholarships.
Did you get to go on any visits like you were hoping? If so, where did you visit? How did it go? Any insights?
I did not. School itself has given me a full plate! Between working weekends with rehearsals every Saturday, nightly homework, and getting various other things ready to actually graduate, I haven’t had any time to tour campuses. The only college I have not been to on my new and improved list is Carnegie Mellon, and it’s something I still would like to try to do.
How did The Wizard of Oz go? Is that your last high school play, or will there be more later in the year?
Wizard of Oz was wonderful! It’s always a great time going up on stage and performing. I definitely shed some tears on the last night. However, it will not be the last high school play I will participate in, for we have our UIL One Act Play in the spring. As a plus, I’m also going to be directing a 30-45 minute show in our blackbox for the very end of the year. I’ll be my high school’s first ever student director and we will perform for the first time in our blackboxes, so I am absolutely thrilled for that.
You're interested in both Science and The Arts. Do you find a lot of overlap in your activities and interests?
Sadly, no. It’s been really difficult to find colleges that have programs to support both STEM and Theatre majors. When I auditioned for theatre-based scholarships, I had a few schools tell me flat out that I could not double major with their program, which was a bummer for me. Sciences are normally easier to double major with theatre, because they’re in the same vein in a really remote way, but because I am interested in engineering I had to turn down a lot of offers. While they don’t overlap now or even hardly in college, I’m still passionate about pursuing both and will try to obtain, at the very least, a minor in theatre.
Do the schools you're applying to have a lot of supplemental writing prompts, or is it mainly the Big Essay you've had to do?
UT had three additional short answers, all 250-300 words, on top of the essay that was required. Carnegie also requires three similar questions on top of the big Common App essay. TAMUCC does not require any additional writings.
How do you prepare for essays like these? Do you have a pre-writing process or any kind of writing rituals?
I definitely have to be in the mood to write an essay. If I know I am going to be prone to distractions for whatever reason during a given time period, I know I will have to try a different time. However when I finally DO reach that point, I normally start with the prompt. I’ll write out everything it is asking as its own question and then answer those separately in a brainstorm. After brainstorming, I’ll try to find patterns and similarities in the things I answered so I can connect them and form a cohesive essay. I’ll fill out the bodies, write a conclusion, and then spend another day or so coming up with a creative introduction. Afterwards I’ll reread, revise, get a peer’s opinion, revise again, and then the essay is complete. It’s definitely a long and winding process, but it’s the only way I can be sure I have all the t’s crossed, i’s dotted, and know I’ve said everything I want.
Do you mind sharing a brief summary of your Comm App essay? Or at least tell us which prompt you're tackling?
I plan to write about the “Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time” prompt, and I want to write it about directing and theatre. I haven’t gotten enough written to give any kind of solid summary yet, though!
Monthly check-up on your List. As of last month, your list was
UT Austin (top choice)
UC San Diego.
Any changes to that?
Yet again, my list has changed. However, I feel confident that this is how it will stay. I have applied and gotten accepted into the University of Texas at Austin (Hook ‘em!). I will be submitting applications to Texas A&M Corpus Christi on the chance that I want to solely pursue theatre and Carnegie Mellon before Thanksgiving, which are my safety and reach schools respectively. My list has shrunk considerably, but this way I spend less on applications and I am only applying to schools I can actually see myself living at.
Read Kati’s earlier interviews: