The Common Application

by Anonymous

This past year, I have cycled through considering countless careers — medicine, academia, industry, teaching, you name it. Thankfully, there is an obvious trend here regarding my interests: science.

I adored freshman physics and enjoyed biology this past year — physics, however, is incredibly challenging, and I have been told by many that it is one of the hardest college majors. If possible, I would like to avoid another four years of sleepless nights studying for tests. 

While I am interested in biology, most of my extracurricular activities have been devoted to physics, my main interest, and I worry this will hinder my chances of acceptance. Currently, I am trying to mesh these two interests by searching for schools with a biophysics major or majoring in biology with a minor in physics. 

Trying to balance my interests has been my biggest concern throughout the entire process because if I choose a major that I end up not enjoying, I will have to work harder to figure out how to change my major and catch up on all of the graduation requirements. 

One constraint I have had to come to terms with during my college search is my parents requiring me to study in Massachusetts. They want me to stay close, which I appreciate, but it’s disappointing to be restrained to this area since college offers a chance to explore the world.

Luckily, Massachusetts has amazing options for schools. I have persuaded them to let me apply to one out-of-state school: Johns Hopkins. I am looking for schools with study abroad programs, though, so that I can have the option to travel for a semester. After only three months of intense persuasion, my parents agreed to this..

Another excruciating piece of the college application is the personal statement. I just started writing my own essay, which is making me realize I am probably the most average person to ever exist on the planet. After having others read it, I now realize that I have never once had a unique experience. I keep writing new drafts and then watching as they get obliterated by my friends, and the worst part is that their edits make sense. I have now changed my idea maybe five times. It is a pain.

Apart from the normal pressure when it comes to the essay and other parts of the application, there is the added stress of South’s characteristic toxicity. It feels like a main focus at South is preparing us for the college process — parts of the school, in my opinion, seem structured in such a way that the point of going to classes is more to get into college rather than to actually learn. 

I plan to apply early decision (ED) to my favorite school: Northeastern University. I think it has an amazing campus, community and education. I do plan to apply early action to schools like Tufts and Johns Hopkins, but in the end, I just want to get into my ED school so that I can put these tedious applications behind me. 

Writing essays is probably the last thing I want to do in my free time, so I am incredibly excited for the day when I submit my final application. Regardless of all the pain, I hope that wherever I end up will be the right place. If not, I will already be a pro at transfer applications thanks to my irritating experience with the college admissions process.