Let’s face it. College application season is one of the most stressful parts of high school. Not only are you trying to figure out what you want to major in or where you want to live for the next four years of your life, but you also have to consider finances and where you’ll realistically get in with your grades. Above all else, you have to consider these factors while everyone else around you is thinking about the same things. It can be hard to not compare yourself to everyone else and get jealous over every acceptance that someone else may have.
The most representative artifact from my application season is the Princeton Review book of the top colleges. I poured over that book for the entirety of the summer between my junior and senior years. I knew that I wanted a school located in an area with things to do off-campus, one that cared about their sports teams, had good financial aid, and had a strong focus on academics and socializing. I ended up applying to 15 schools which, looking back, was way too many. I had gotten an application fee waiver but spent hours and hours filling out applications and writing essays. The University of Michigan was the only in-state school I applied to and wasn’t even close to being my first choice as I did not want to go to the same college as a lot of the kids from my high school. My guidance counselor at school had even told me that I would probably not get in.
When acceptance and rejection season came around, I was rejected by my first-choice school. I remember caring so little about the University of Michigan that I opened my email alone in my room while my mom was running errands. After my warnings from my guidance counselor, I was shocked when it said accepted and called my family to let them know. I specifically remember saying, “Even though I probably won’t go there, it’s cool that I got in.” As I got into more schools, I realized that I would be getting the most financial aid at Michigan. I decided to visit the campus and stay with some friends. I stayed in the dorms for a weekend, went to social events, ate in the dining hall, and studied with my friends. When I got back, I gushed to my family about how much it felt like home and how much I loved the school. I accepted my offer later that week.
My point is this: Michigan was not my dream school like it was for many of my peers. Since coming here and being on campus for 3 years, I genuinely can't picture myself anywhere else, not even what I thought was my dream school. I love cheering at football and hockey games and walking around Ann Arbor. I rarely see people from my high school that I don’t want to see. This campus is now my home, and I hope you can call it yours too.
Keeping you informed and Go Blue always,
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