‘Tis The Season for College Admissions

It’s that time of year, and no I don’t mean fall. It’s college applications season.

I remember being a senior in high school, looking through different blogs and websites trying to get an inkling of any advice that I could. I would spend hours figuring out the best ways to get into my dream colleges.

Here’s the thing: I thought college was the end all, be all. I thought the place that would so graciously accept me would determine the outcome of my life. I wanted to get out of Florida. I wanted to be at an Ivy League school because I thought that was what determined success in life

For those going through college admissions right now, know this: you are going to end up exactly where you are meant to.

I used to be really hard on myself because I knew I wanted to make a difference and change the world. I thought that could only happen if I got into Ivy Leagues or other elite schools. Now that I’m at UF, I realize that change can happen anywhere. If you are someone who is passionate about robots, social justice or sports media, you can still make a difference and change the world wherever it is that you go. You are not limited by the college that you attend.

I know it feels like whether or not you get into your dream school will determine the successes or failures in your life, at least that’s how it felt for me. That’s not the case. As I’ve grown up, I have learned that there are multiple paths in life. There is no one road to success, as much as a cliché that is. I have met so many amazing people here at UF — people who I know are going to change the world, and yet we are not at Harvard.

College will shake up your world in the best and worst ways possible. You are going to meet some of the most amazing people who are going to change this world, and you are also going to meet people who are going to break your heart into pieces. But once all of this happens, you are not even going to remember what your college application essay said.

To be fair, I’ve only been out of high school for about two years now. It seems like forever, but being out of high school and the admissions process has given me perspective.

It’s easy to define yourself by your GPA, your extracurriculars and your letters of recommendation. Those things are tangible representations of who you are, at least up until this point in life. But humans are complex and multilayered. When we define ourselves by those things, we can lose sight of who we are when we fail at those things or don’t live up to the standards we set upon ourselves. You are not a failure if you do not have a perfect GPA or if you do not have as many extracurriculars as the person next to you. You are not your acceptance or rejection letters.

You will change more than you could possibly imagine when you get to college. Write those essays. Pour your heart and soul into them. Let the admissions officers see who you really are. But do not get discouraged if you do not get into your first choice. Whether or not you end up right here at UF or Boston University or New York University, you will end up exactly where you are supposed to be.