Macalester College , Class of 2021
DESCRIBE YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH THE COLLEGE APPLICATION PROCESS:
When I first began the college application process, I was stressed about getting good ACT scores and finding the right school. I ended up taking the ACT twice, but once I was happy with my score, it relieved some of the pressure and I could fully focus on applications. Narrowing down my school list took awhile because I visited quite a few schools. Once I decided that a liberal arts college in an urban setting was the right fit for me, the most challenging aspect was handling all the essays and applications. Chenoa helped me stay very organized in juggling college applications and school work, which made the whole process less stressful.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY IF YOU COULD?
If I were to go through the college application process again, I would brainstorm and jot down possible essay topics well ahead of even starting to think about them, let alone write about them. I think that would have freed me up to write more authentically about myself right from the start, instead of focusing so much on the essay prompts. In hindsight, I would have tried to keep a list of experiences or observations that were important for me, which would have made writing much easier.
WHAT'S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU CAN GIVE TO UPCOMING SENIORS/CURRENT JUNIORS?
The best piece of advice I can give is to write your Common App essay about something you want to write about. Parents and tutors are very helpful in providing ideas for your essays, but it comes down to writing about something that excites you. Don’t write to impress or to showcase the very best sliver of yourself; write to reveal the real you.
OF WHICH ASPECT OF YOUR APPLICATIONS ARE YOU MOST PROUD?
I am most proud of my Common App essay. This turned out to be the most challenging aspect of my application, and it took me many drafts to write an essay I was proud of. It was hard to toss out several first drafts and start all over again from scratch, but in the end, I felt my essay displayed my personality and my passions. As for those earlier drafts, Chenoa helped me “repurpose” portions of them for supplemental essays.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT FOR NEXT FALL?
I will be attending Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota, next fall. I’m really excited for everything, especially the opportunity to delve into academic interests that I haven’t been able to study in high school. I’m also excited to live in and explore the Twin Cities, and to have the chance to continue playing soccer!
IF YOU WERE IN CHARGE OF COLLEGE ADMISSIONS FOR A DAY, WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE?
If I were in charge of college admissions for a day, I would add more ways for college admissions staff to talk directly with prospective students. I think college admissions could get more creative about meeting students by adding interviews through Skype or video chat for those who cannot interview in person. A college can learn so much more about a person through conversation than a resume, grades and even an essay can reveal.