Elise writes articles for the Magoosh SAT blog to help teenagers during an exciting time in their lives. Despite residing in Southern California, where she attends San Dieguito Academy high school, she has no surfing abilities whatsoever; it’s actually rather sad. She is your typical senior high school girl who sword fights daily, and is pretty much convinced that bananas are a food sent from heaven. Elise will attend Columbia University next fall to study environmental science.
There’s something of a precedent set for how to “succeed” in high school extra curriculars. Step 1: sign up for everything. Step 2: somehow attend all of the meetings (spoiler alert: you won’t be able to). Step 3: try to run for president of all of them because that’s what’s “expected” if you want a chance at getting into a “top” school… (side rant: a top school should be the school that’s best for you – not what the likes of Princeton Review deems worthy).
The holidays are finally coming up! Which means, for better or worse, so are the last of the college application deadlines. Given the unprecedented amount of energy that you’ve surely been putting into the process – you are probably not too keen on thinking about the new work that lies ahead.
If you are reading this post, you deserve a huge congratulations! You’ve been accepted into more than one college, and regardless of what those schools are, it’s an accomplishment to be proud of.
I’m going to start this one off with an anecdote. I was at a fencing meet with my team just the other day, and there was this whole incident in which one of our fencers was fencing a girl from an opposing university (who shall go unnamed). For one reason or another, the referee was refusing to call anything her way; this went on for awhile until, at the end of a frustrating 3-minute period, she lost 4-5. Said fencer form my team then proceeded to be relatively riled up, exclaiming, “I swear that referee is out to get me.”
It occurred to me, as I was working on a couple academic papers for school, that there’s a lot about my writing process that has substantially changed just in these past few months. And while, of course, a personal statement for a university application is far different from a research paper on [insert any classic Greek text here], there are skills I’ve learned for approaching the latter that can easily carry over.
I can finally say I’ve finished my first round of college finals. And to be honest, I went into it thinking I was utterly and completely doomed. I figured, over the course of the two testing weeks, I would lose all sense of self. Pull so many all-nighters that I would pass for a zombie. Cry in the shower as I cracked under the pressure. It is with distinct pleasure that I can affirm none of these things actually happened.
Now that we have survived the first couple of weeks of January, you might be thinking towards some of your 2016 goals. Make it to the gym more. Spend time with the family. Pick up meditation. The possibilities are endless, and you might as well try out everything that excites you.
We’re about a month into the school year which means, ideally, you should be about a month into writing your college application essays.
I’m officially a “college student.” Actually, let me rephrase that: I have moved in and started orientation. Classes will be up and running in no time, though. And as someone who had zero clues, I thought a brief synopsis of my experience could help give those of you yet to leave a better idea of what’s coming.
It occurred to me (as I was fighting sleep in Gen Chem on Monday morning…) how utterly ignorant I was beforehand about the differences between college and high school class environments. (About the differences between college and high school everything, for that matter). Consequently, this marks the first piece within a developing series that will tackle the “College v. High School” knowledge-experience gap, created in the hopes of easing your transition (because, boy, does it come quick!).