The College Application Experience

In May 2022, I graduate from high school and have to think about the next four years of my life. It seems surreal when I think about it. What college will I attend? What will my major be? How hard will it be saying goodbye to EDS and my friends? These are all questions that I think about as I try to fall asleep at night. Searching for the perfect college is stressful for both students and parents; when I was looking at the vast number of colleges available, my parents and I were overwhelmed. We would look through the mail and always seem to find a new college that had new opportunities. However, Evansville Day School’s College Counseling program, led by Ms. Kanetkar (Ms. K to us), helped me find and apply to schools that are perfect for me. Without her help, I don’t know where I’d be in the college searching process. 

Beginning my sophomore year, my mom already had me looking at colleges. I was hesitant to look at college information because I wanted to focus on the present, but my mom would say to me, “It’s better to prepare early than to prepare too late.” By my junior year, her encouragement paid off, and I had four schools in mind: Bellarmine, Butler, Belmont, and Xavier. However, I was still wondering about what other colleges I could explore as bigger schools like Louisville and IU began sending me mail about the benefits of a larger school, which was enticing at the time. As I received this mail, a variety of questions began to enter my head. Would I want a larger school? Would I want a school that was close to home? Through conversations as part of our school’s college counseling program, I was able to figure out what I wanted from my college experience. 

Yes, being at a big school might be a great social experience for me, but it doesn’t match my introverted personality. I need a place where my professors will know my name because I am used to the direct access I have to my teachers at EDS. Through this process, I had narrowed down my list to two schools, Belmont and Butler, while firmly stating that I was ready to major in sports journalism. Once I made the decision, Ms. K and I collaborated together on the application process, and it was reassuring to have someone helping me navigate it. As a student, it can become overwhelming to navigate the complicated college application process. It isn’t one simple step or decision. It takes weeks of communication and teamwork between the student and the college counselor, and that communication and teamwork with Mrs. K was easy because at EDS, the teacher knows every student. 

The first step for applications was creating the perfect college essay. I wanted to submit something that combined my love of writing and sports. Around the time Ms. K gave us this essay assignment, Gonzaga vs UCLA had recently played an amazing game at the Final Four of the NCAA Basketball Tournament. Making that my subject, I wrote a first draft, and over the course of two months, she and I edited the essay so that it was to both of our likings. Because of this communication, I felt ready to apply to colleges. However, I had to wait until August 1, the day that college applications open. Applying to college is not that difficult if everything is organized. Most applications will ask for a resume and essays so that they can get a better understanding for the applicant, so once those are all completed, the process becomes easier. Colleges also request that you send in other documents such as letters of recommendations, test scores, and transcripts. In partnership with Ms. K, we ensured that all necessary items were sent, meaning I had just applied to my first two colleges. Now all that was left was to anxiously await answers from Belmont and Butler. 

Around late September, I first learned about my admittance to Belmont. When I received that package, a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. One of the first people who congratulated me was Ms. K, which was nice because we had worked together to get me to this point. As I awaited my Butler response, she was always working to help me find scholarships. It was nice knowing that even though I was admitted to college, she was still looking out for me. I was recently admitted to Butler and its sports media program, and Ms. K was again one of the first people to congratulate me. Without her help, I’d be a mess right now. Some of my friends from other schools are freaking out, still unsure of where to apply to college. I’m calm and admitted into two colleges, ready for my future. 

Now when I get asked, “What college are you thinking about?” I jokingly respond with, “It’s a school that starts with a B.” Simply put, I have no idea where I am going to college yet. I am awaiting responses from both schools as to whether or not I will be accepted into the tuition exchange program. I also am waiting to see how much scholarship money both schools give me after reviewing my FAFSA. I know we all have big dreams and important choices to make. I feel confident I’ve done everything I could to this point, and I know that it will all be ok because I am surrounded by a supportive school and a supportive college counselor. 

 

College application being filled out near a computer