From One Senior to Another

December 13, 2019
Andrea Reino

Dear Prospective Students:


Take a deep breath. I know that college application season can be a stressful time.  I’m actually going through the same process⁠—law school⁠—so I feel your pain. 

You’ll end up where you’re meant to be. You’ll be happy. You’ll be successful. Everything’s going to be okay. These are phrases we hear all the time during the application season. We hear them so often that we don’t end up paying enough attention to them. Looking back on my undergraduate applications, I’m realizing that everyone was right. You shouldn’t take it personally; your application is a very small representation of who you are, and the admission decision is not a reflection of you.

Princeton University's Nassau Hall

That being said, it’s difficult to actually internalize such an ideology. There’s no trick to surviving the application season. There’s no trick to being the perfect applicant. All you can do is your best, and after that, it’s a waiting game. What I can tell you is that you should enjoy your senior year as much as possible. Next year, your slate will be wiped clean and you’ll be left to find your own path, most likely without the help of the people you’ve grown up so close to. College is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced, and that’s both scary and exciting!

Take the time to appreciate the little things. The homecooked meals, the familiar hallways of your high school or the ability to go home after a long day. Appreciate the same faces you see, day after day. Take time to be thankful for the neighborhood you grew up in, your siblings who may annoy you at times, your pet that you love more than anything in this world. The distance that comes with most college experiences tends to complicate these things.

But at the same time, look forward to meeting new people, getting to know a new place or making new friends. Look forward to becoming more independent, discovering new interests and exploring a side of academia you’ve never experienced before. Application season is so, so stressful, but it’s also momentous; the decision you make will affect you for the rest of your life! So no pressure…

Take a deep breath, and good luck.