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Admissions Admissions season (Undergrad)

  1. Mar 24, 2012 #1
    Hi everyone. I wrote a little about the pressures that I am facing right now. I know that many of you here have infinitely more wisdom than I have, and have the clarity of hindsight, so perhaps some can provide some good advice.

    This time of the year is one of the more stressful for high-school seniors. Many of my classmates are already reviling and gloating about their successful acceptances, but unfortunately, I cannot share in their happiness. In fact, it almost seems like they are laughing at me, remarking how "stupid" I am in comparison to them.

    For example, in my economics class, I am literally the only person in my corner of the room that has not been accepted to college. I can do a quick count. 1 Yale, 2 Cornell, 1 Princeton, 1 Columbia, 1 Northwestern, 3 Williams, 1 MIT and there are probably even more. This is out of a class of 30. As you may have noticed, I come from a school that has excellent success in college placement, and so it feels that I am being left behind.

    So far, what has happened? I was rejected from Caltech, and waitlisted from Lehigh and Northwestern. I did not feel so sad about Caltech, because I knew that it would be very difficult to gain acceptance, and I was probably not the best candidate. For Northwestern, however, I was really disappointed about the decision. I really thought I had a chance, and since it was my “first choice,” I was really bummed by the fact that I don’t have the chance to go. Sure, it is a waitlist, but last year, 0 people came off of it. It’s as good as a rejection.

    What comes to mind? First is the inevitable pressure from family, classmates, friends, and myself. On a personal level, I really wanted to attend NU, and it just seems very sad that I cannot attend. I really did not want to tell my parents, but they found out for themselves, and are giving me a hard time. I knew they would give me terrible advice and consolation, and so far they have. My brother, for example, tells me that I was “accepted” to NU, but I was not offered a spot simply because there were too many people, and my application was reviewed later than the acceptees. He said that I am guaranteed to get off the waiting list (what terrible advice!). I tell him, I was not accepted because someone who was better than me was accepted, and thus I am only the backup. If I was accepted, I said, then I could choose to pay my deposit now. My parents have told me to simply “forget” about it, and go to another school. Then they give motivational speeches like “without bad news, how can you have good news?,” and then say to let it go. The problem is, I just found out about it yesterday, and it’s not so easy to let go. Just an hour ago, my parents were arguing about how stupid I was for not letting go.

    I’ve always had a problem with self confidence, and I guess that my upbringing has a part in that. My teachers (at least my two closest teachers) have always said that I don’t give enough credit to myself, and that I am smarter than I think I am. I am trying to gain this new perspective about myself, but I have been unable to battle my self-perception. The way that the college admissions game is turning out doesn’t seem to be making me happy. In fact, it is making me think that perhaps I am even less intelligent than my already low perception of myself suggests. More news is coming out next week (some are in the mail right now), but I am not sure how I will take it.

    Another pressure is the pressure for success. My family lives in very poor conditions, and my parents have put tremendous pressure on me to get out. As the first generation to go to college, there is even greater pressure for me to succeed. I want to do engineering in college, perhaps either CivilE or MechE (my brother is doing ElectricalE). I do it because I find it fun, and I like designing things.

    One thing is for sure, however. I am beginning to understand who I really am, and I’m not willing to change myself just for college admissions.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 24, 2012 #2
    Many schools come out with undergraduate admissions on April 1st, there's still a good chance that you will get in somewhere, so don't give up hope so easily.
  4. Mar 25, 2012 #3
    The week before most of the acceptance letters are sent out is generally pretty worrisome. It gets better, though. The first week of April is much more fun, because you have definite offers and get to decide which school that you like best.

    Best of luck!
  5. Mar 25, 2012 #4

    Vanadium 50

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    First, you should (re)read the responses to your thread of January. Lots of good advice there, and there's no point in having everyone retype it. Maybe this time you'll take it.

    Second, did you only apply to three schools? If so, that was foolish. If not, there is no point in worrying until the decisions come in from your other schools.
  6. Mar 25, 2012 #5
    Hi Vanadium. Thanks for referring me back to my other thread. I must admit there was very good advice there, some which is more difficult for me to accept now, but I realize is true.

    I guess that because it is now actually happening, my reaction to these pressures are even stronger than before. Above all, I am personally the most disappointed. Sure, pressure from friends/family add to it, but I think it is really an internal sadness.

    I did apply to more than 3 schools, and the results are coming in this week (some are in the mail now). Perhaps there will be some good news.

    Also: another question. I know I want to do engineering, but I'm not sure which field of engineering I want to go into. Do students generally take the same core classes, and then pick later, or is it a decision I must make before entering?
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