Going Through The College Admissions Maze This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   My hands felt clammy and my mouth was dry. I could hear the rapid beating of my heart and prayed that the admissions interviewer in the next room couldn't hear it. But there was no need for me to feel like this. I was prepared. In the last few months, I had become well-informed; I had learned about many colleges, and more important, I had learned about myself. I began to relax as I waited to be called into the office; I recalled the preparation I had put into the college admissions process.

Since I was the first in my family to apply to college, the process seemed overwhelming at first. In the spring of my junior year, a friend told me that she had worked with an educational consultant and found this had eliminated much of the stress and anxiety. I was not sure what an educational consultant did, but I contacted College Focus in Wellesley to arrange for an appointment.

Two counselors met with my mother and me to get to know me - my needs, my strengths and my desires. Together we came up with a list of colleges and universities for me to look into. Since I had gotten an early start, I was able to request viewbooks and catalogs and review them leisurely over the summer.

By the end of the summer I scheduled interviews and visited colleges. It seemed that an urban university offering challenge and diversity appealed to me. Having a mock interview and seeing a video tape of other seniors in actual college interviews made me feel more confident. My fears about openly presenting myself to a stranger were alleviated.

The next few months were hectic. I might have felt lost among all the personal data forms, applications and essay questions, but my educational consultant helped me organize and avoid many mistakes.

I did keep my high school guidance counselor informed about my progress. He was interested in my decisions and was always willing to help. Yet, with so many seniors applying to college, it was not possible for him to give me much individual attention. I made the final decisions myself, but the consultant gave me the confidence to do so.

I had always thought about attending Harvard/Radcliffe, but it seemed an unattainable dream. College Focus encouraged me to apply under the Early Action Plan. By the middle of December, the letter of acceptantce or rejection was scheduled to arrive. Each afternoon I would rush home to check the mail. With each passing day, my excitement and anxiety mounted. Await-ing the arrival of the letter became the beat of my existence.

When the letter finally arrived and I was accepted, I was ecstatic! The months of planning and preparation had paid off.

I am overwhelmed by the outcome. In fact, I don't think it has completely sunk in yet. My friends are waiting to hear from colleges. I feel I got an early start and was well-informed about the whole process. I smile as I think back to that admissions waiting room. No more clammy hands, dry mouth and rapid heart beat. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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