My College Decision Process

The graduating class of 2020 is currently undergoing the notorious college application process. This has me reflecting on my own past experiences with college apps, as well as the people and experiences that got me to where I am. In this article, I will go through exactly where I got accepted, rejected, waitlisted, and the curveball that was thrown in just three weeks before my graduation. 

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I began by applying to six schools - the University of Notre Dame (ND), Loyola Marymount University (LMU), University of California Irvine (UCI), University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Oregon State University (OSU), University of Portland (UP), and the University of Washington (UW). I chose these schools because they are located on the west coast - with the exception of the University of Notre Dame. I applied for early acceptance to OSU, as it was my safety school, and I wanted to be able to head into my Winter break with the comfort of knowing that I had at least one option. Next came UP, which I applied to as another safety. I mainly considered UP because I had received a fee waiver for the application. Then, I applied to ND, UW, UCI, and UCLA all before Thanksgiving. I hesitated until January to turn in my LMU application because I actually found it to be the most difficult. 

Out of my six options, the only schools that I considered attending were LMU, UCI, and UW. Although I liked all of my options and would have been happy anywhere, ND and UCLA were reach schools, and OSU and UP were mere safety schools. My dream school was the University of Washington - I loved Seattle, the campus, the large class sizes, and the overall vibe of the campus. Image result for college gif


Once I turned in all of my applications, the rest of the process was a waiting game - my future was in the hands of six colleges. I ended up being accepted into LMU, UCI, OSU, and UP! I was denied from UCLA and ND, and waitlisted at UW. After receiving this news, I limited myself to two options: LMU and UCI. I ended up choosing LMU because I preferred Los Angeles over Orange County, and I was attracted to LMU’s small class sizes. Having gone to a small private school from the seventh grade on, LMU felt the most comfortable to me in terms of community.

Although I was happy with LMU, I was still disappointed and unsure of my decision. I kept telling myself that it was okay and that my UW admissions decision did not define my worth. I even kept telling my parents, “wouldn’t it be crazy if for some magical reason I got off of the waitlist?”, even though I knew that my chances were very slim and highly unlikely. Until one day... 

By this point, I had given up any hope of being removed from the waitlist, and was planning to attend LMU for one year and then transfer. Three weeks before graduation, I got home from school and was sitting on my couch watching TV when I received an email from UW. I had been taken off the waitlist and given a spot in UW’s class of 2023. By now, I had already found a roommate at LMU and my parents had gone to countless meetings with academic advisors at the school. In the following weeks, I got into countless arguments with my parents. They wanted me to stick to LMU, while I really wanted to go to UW. Being someone with a steadfast will and a strong personality, I was not just going to let go of my dream school.

Obviously, I’m writing for HerCampus LMU, not HerCampus UW. I stuck with LMU for the sake of my family who would not have been able to afford UW. This was the first time that I ever truly had to sacrifice for my family - I had my dream school and the rest of my life in front of me, and I had to throw that all away for the people who made me who I am. This was a tough pill to swallow, and because of one email, I was forced to mature and become a real adult in a time that was supposed to be so exciting. I was graduating in three weeks! I should have been enjoying time with my friends and blowing off homework (Senioritis is real). Instead, I was in bed trying to reconfigure my life and questioning who I was. I questioned whether or not I was a bad person for resenting my parents for taking away my dream. I always say that it sucks to not get what you want, but it’s even worse to receive it, and then not be able to have it. 

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I’m a firm believer in fate and that everything happens for a reason, and I believe that for some reason, I was meant to go to LMU. Although five months ago I was completely devastated by my college decision, I am extremely happy now to be on the bluff in sunny LA, and I do not regret my decision at all.