COLLEGE GUIDE: TOURING SCHOOLS AND REJECTION
I thought I would do a mini post on something that I WISH I had read/had access to when I starting to look at colleges a couple of years ago. I was SO lost, had so many questions and really didn't even know where to start. Before we start, you need a little background.
(Side note: GREAT BACKPACK BELOWS, if you need a great, trendy backpack for your new school)
I grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina and lived there my entire life. I absolutely loved growing up in Charlotte but I knew it was time to leave the south and go explore, get out of my comfort zone and challenge myself. I always felt a little out of place & pretty much thought what the heck, let's look at schools SO far out past what I have ever known to be normal. I didn't really know how to go about this so I honesty took a map, crossed OFF the states that I knew I 100% didn't want to live in, and went from there.
Once I had a general idea of where I would live, I decided to just start applying, blind as a bat. I applied to about 10+ different schools ALL across the country from New York to The University of San Diego. It may seem like a hassle at the time to write all those essays, pay and apply over and over again to schools but take the time to apply to multiple universities because OPTIONS ARE GREAT and you never know. There is NO harm in applying to many options. My mamma always told me not to put all my eggs in one basket :)
Breaking it down, simple and to the point: Here are the kickers.
- Rejection Sucks: There is nothing or no one who can prepare you for rejection. Rejection from a safety school, a dream school, any school. It may or may not happen to you, but it sucks and I've been there and I'm here to say you will be okay. Go through the rejection , deal with it but know you have loads of options and schools that will be LUCKY to have you attend. Rejection doesn't mean you aren't good enough. Rejection doesn't mean that you are a fail. Rejection means there is a beaming, amazing school out there that wants you and boy are they lucky! I got rejected/waitlisted/asked to defer a semester from my dream school. I understand. But i never would have ended up at Arizona State if it wasn't for that life learning moment.
- TOUR TOUR TOUR: You don't know if you fit into a school until you visit, until you walk around with the students and picture yourself physically there. When you're touring, make sure you look at the students around you. See what they are wearing, their style, what they are doing, their whole demeanor. Are they all high (Hello, Colorado) or are they hanging in the quad doing homework, passing the football? Picture yourself there. There were plenty of schools I applied to, visited and left the tour early, ending up at the campus Starbucks because I simply knew it was not for me. Thank you mom for leaving college tours with me.
- DONT BE EMBARRASSED ON THE GUIDED TOUR, ASK QUESTIONS: I was that kid. In the back of the guided college tour with my mom, head down, trying to listen but seem totally cool at the same time. THEY DON'T CARE. I wish I wish I wish I would have asked the questions I had, the weird questions that come to me because they are there to provide you with real student answers and will not remember you 5 minutes later.
- Don't Feel like you have to FOLLOW THE CROWD: This was a big one for me. All of my friends were going to the same schools, together, somewhat close to Charlotte. They had a "squad" and at the time, I felt so left out. I would ask myself "what am I doing eliza?" BUT don't be afraid to break the mold. Go where YOU want. Go where your heart is pulling you. Don't be scared to leave the pool and swim somewhere else. You should not determine your future based on a squad of high school friends. There is nothing wrong with trying something new, I promise you will surprise yourself!
I had to grow up FAST. My mother dropped me in the middle of the desert where I knew one person at a school of 90,000. I had to figure it out. I had to break out of my shell and make friends. I had to do a lot of sh*t I was not comfortable with. But I grew from that. One day at a time. I learned more in the first year of being away than ever. Explore the unknown. Challenge yourself. Embrace Change! and NEVER forget your worth. A college, a rejection, a degree, an SAT score, a GPA, none of that determines your worth as a person. NONE of that determine your character, your heart, your values or the bada%s DIVA I know you have inside.