Saturday, July 20, 2013

Intro to The Struggle

Well, it’s here. After waiting for it for the past few years, the college application process is here for me.

I’m a relative newcomer to the game that is college admissions - I’m gonna be the first in my family to graduate high school, let alone apply to college, so to me and my family, this is all uncharted territory for us. Of course, I’ve been reading as much as I can about the process - books, magazines, blogs - but still, it’s gonna be an experience.

That isn’t to say that I don’t have help though. My parents are generally enthusiastic about it, and although they know the process of college admissions is gonna be exhausting at times, they’re generally excited about it. I’ve been on a few tours with them, and they have enjoyed it all. I have also have a few other people helping me out with the process, taking me on tours, and offering me to help me with my essays - help that I will definitely take advantage of as the process heats up.

My biggest fears is one, will I get into my top choices? Two, how will I pay for it all?

As of now, I’m still narrowing down the list of schools that I’m applying to -  the only ones that I know for sure that I’ll be applying to as of this moment are several CUNY and SUNY schools, and the University of Chicago for Early Action. Besides that, the other schools are a toss up, depending on campus visits (if I can make it) and my own research. So far, I’ve visited Yale, Columbia, UPenn, and Swarthmore - and I was impressed by most of them (I’ll be posting up reviews of each respective visit soon).

My stats are pretty decent - my overall average hovers at a 90, and my AP Scores are pretty good - I’ve taken two AP’s so far, World and U.S. History, and I’ve gotten a 5 in both. My SAT II scores are also pretty good as well, with 800’s in World and U.S. History, a 730 in Spanish, and a 630 in Literature. SAT I wise, though, my scores are average, with Critical Reading being my highest with a 690 and Math being my lowest, with a 540. Writing is in the middle. I’m studying up to improve my scores, especially my Math scores, although admittedly, I’m not that good at Math. Extracurricular wise, I’m solid in that area, having done a good amount of community service at my local police precinct and holding internships at the City Council and at a non-profit, as well doing several activities in my school, such as Moot Court/Mock Trial and the history club.

The biggest fear I have, though, is being able to pay for it all. My family is generally poor - my parents combined make about less than $36,000 for a family of four, and being that we live on New York City...well, expenses can cut deep. I want to go to the school of my dreams, but I don’t want to put myself or my family in a hole of debt, of which we can’t pay ourselves out of. Already, I’ve already swore to myself that I’m not gonna take out any loans to pay for my education - and neither will my parents (despite my dad’s offer to do so), so that means I’m gonna have to be scrambling for financial aid. This means a lot of research, and maybe a bit of luck.

So there you have it! This marks the start of the struggle that is the college application process, but also, a new stage in my life and parent’s. This also marks the start of a new blog series on Pointz of View, The Struggle, in which I will periodically blog about my experiences as the application moves on, from start to finish. It should be a fun, yet whirlwind journey. Welcome along, and thanks for joining me on the journey that is the college admissions process.