1. What are you doing to prepare for college? It’s mostly getting into the mindset that I can do it. I’ve had friends and family sending me tons of stuff about where to go and what I'll need to best be prepared. I’ve watched my brother go through it, and I have my experiences from high school.
2. What are some of your strengths and weaknesses as a student and how do you see them manifesting in a college setting? A strength of mine is my relentless ability to not give up until I've tried everything. I’m able to finish my work, no matter what, and know that it will help me in the long run. My strength is also my perseverance during new experiences, which college will obviously be. My biggest weakness is not asking for help, or asking for help too late. I know I have a problem with grammar and getting my point across, and that might come into play with writing papers in college and not being understood. I knew I needed a smaller college environment to thrive as well as a place that offered one-on-one support. My education was my top priority in my college application process.
3. What have you done/what will you do to prepare for college that has differed from your peers? In what ways do you think this will influence your transition to college life? I'm fortunate because I have been surrounded by different groups of people and learned to be independent. I do not take things for granted. I think the biggest thing is that I accepted that whatever path I end up on is going to be okay, I just have to make the most of it. Whatever happens is going to teach me something and I'll learn from it.
4. Describe your experience applying for college. What did you find helpful? What did you wish you had known going into the process? My experience was a whirlwind. I started mid-junior year, and looked into different schools with my high school guidance counselor. I started with schools that offered riding (horseback) and that was my focal point. My mom was sitting the corner of the room shaking her head and gave me an area to stay in. I toured Mount Holyoke, UMass—and learned what would not work for me— Simmons, and Skidmore. The actual application process was not hard for me. The hardest part was deciding on schools to apply to and then writing the essay. I was concerned that I wasn't writing something that the schools were looking for. I used the Common App and in the end only applied to three schools as I ended up doing Early Decision to Mount Holyoke. That acceptance, of course, shortened my college application process. I'm so happy to be going where I am, but I do wish I had started the process early to learn about more schools and narrow down my search. I could have even worked with the team at LAC! As I know you do with students, I wish I had spoken with more current students at schools to get a better sense of the community and see how the campus functions. That way, I could have gotten a feel for if I fit in.
5. What influenced your decision to commit to your particular college? A lot of things. Location was a big one. My brother ended up in Minnesota, and flights are expensive, so we only see him about three times a year on holidays. My parents told me that they hoped I'd stay within a five-hour car ride. Money was another big one, but I certainly wanted good access to resources like professors and support services. There’s a career center and writing center, at Mount Holyoke which i plan on using. The campus there also feels like home. There is a diverse community, similar to my high school. I could see myself on campus as an applicant, while I felt like a fish out of water at other schools. In addition, my interests don't fall into a specific major, and Mount Holyoke also allows you to design your own major and take classes at any of the schools in the five college consortium.
6. How has being an athlete influenced you as a student? How might your goals as an athlete stay the same, and how might they differ transitioning from high school to college? I think it has made it harder, but I'm up to the challenge. Time management has been a big thing with swim practices that start early or meets that go late. It is still a huge weakness. I do procrastinate, but push myself because my studies come first -- I'm working to be more organized and to not procrastinate any more. I have high expectations of myself, and my parents have high expectations of me too. I think my athletic goals will be more team-based in college. I am going to continue to push myself, and gain confidence in my abilities, and find my happy place in the sport.
7. What are your expectations of college life? What do you consider successes and failures of your college application process? More freedom, not having my parents looking directly over my shoulder -- ha, though they'll still be looking. I want to find students from different backgrounds to become friends with. I will rely more on myself and be more confident. As far as successes, I finished my applications on time after I had narrowed down my college search. I know that I should have started the college application process a lot sooner and didn't see enough schools. I know that working with LAC would have had my more than comfortable and prepared. I did it, and I'm happy, but I know the road could have been smoother. I'm nervous and excited for my next steps!
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