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Crowd Wisdom: The Worst Part of the College Admissions Process

January 22nd, 2008 · 10 comments

Share Your Wisdom

I’m working on a post about the college admissions process. I need your wisdom to help pull it together. Specifically, here is my question for you:

From your experience, what part of trying to get accepted to college was the most time-consuming and/or caused you the most stress?

Some example answers:

  1. Taking a course load that my guidance counselor would describe as “very difficult.”
  2. Trying to keep my GPA in the top 10% of my class.
  3. Trying to build an impressive extracurricular resume.
  4. Attempting to deduce what the hell “passion” means.
  5. My convoluted plot to kidnap the admissions director and replace her with a meticulously constructed, realistic looking robot programmed to sway the decision in my direction.

I’m interested in your insights. You can either shoot me an e-mail or leave a comment on this post. If you could, mention where you went to high school and where you currently attend college. All answers, as always, will remain anonymous.

10 thoughts on “Crowd Wisdom: The Worst Part of the College Admissions Process

  1. Jordan says:

    I would say “Trying to build an impressive extracurricular resume.” I realized how important they were junior year but for freshman and sophomore year I had nothing to write down.

    ~Jordan, High School Senior just finishing with the college admission process

  2. Val says:

    Everything was pretty smooth except the guidance counselor at my upper secondary school (high school). When I wanted to apply to some well known american universities she thought I was joking and it took about 2 months of talking to her once a week before she actually realized I wasn’t making her read the instructions on the international application forms just for fun. Sure it was alot of work on her side (alot of your US stuff are very different from over here). I decided not to move abroad due to social stuff, so I didn’t lose my mind when at the end of school she came to me and asked when she was supposed to post those applications, and I answered “4 months ago”.

  3. Jason says:

    I never really had problems with the admissions. Granted, I never really wanted anything Ivy League (or similar). For me, admissions weren’t the problem. It was money. I spent more time trying to raise scholarship and grant money than I did on college applications (more money, as well).

    The lack of funds deep-sixed my college plans before I even graduated high school (in Southern California). But it turned out well, so I can’t complain.

  4. Jose says:

    Figuring out what makes you unique. Trying to feel that your “unique thing” is really unique and that few or no people have done anything like it. It’s hard to feel that way sometimes when you know that there are other people out there who have almost the same or better high school resumes than you. I went to a middle college high school (which is basically where you attend community college and get high school credit and college credit at the same time). Not many of these types of schools around, but be warned this is COMMUNITY COLLEGE, so don’t get the wrong idea about “college” at a community college. The worst part though was putting in the low SAT scores and B+ average GPA, feeling that I could’ve done better.

  5. Study Hacks says:

    Thank you everyone who has responded so far. I’m gaining some interesting insight here…

  6. Julia says:

    I’m a high school sophomore, but the worst part is looking at how much time has already elapsed and knowing that I have just under 2 years to try to pull together some impressive extracurriculars. Underclassmen hate hearing about college planning, but starting early is preferable to a junior-year scramble.

  7. Terrol says:

    I think the hardest part of the admissions process was a combination of things such as partaking in the right extracurriculars and finding ways to go above and beyond the norm in order to make you an attractive applicant such as doing
    AP classes independent study and taking on meaningful volunteer opportunities. Strategically planning essays to give a complete picture of who you are was also difficult. Apart from this the process was smooth as I was very organized and did not procrastinate.

  8. Study Hacks says:

    @Terrol:

    So was it the time this required that was difficult, or the complexity of the planning, or the worry about not doing enough?

  9. Sonny says:

    Believe it or not, at most, if not at all Canadian schools it is very easy to get accepted! No SAT, what is the SAT? lol

    I can’t imagine having to compete against other students to gain a spot.

    Good luck my American friends,

    Vote well,

    Sunny

  10. Rowan says:

    The hardest part, so far, has been trying to maintain the high standards that I set for myself. I am a definite overachiever, and I try to maintain an average of 96+ in every class. I have failed to do this in a few classes, and I wish that I hadn’t gotten so many B’s on homework. You see, I look as anything under 95 as bad, and anything lower than an A as failure.

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