Mental Health Blog

The College Application Process takes Self-reflection and Maturity that Anyone can Achieve

As we are getting into the groove of the school year, many of us will be striving to achieve our full academic potential through schoolwork and exploration in passion, to pave the way for our future and possibly higher education. 

If you are considering pursuing higher education, it is 100% possible. So let us rephrase, do you want a higher education? 

If your answer is yes, think about why you came up with your response. Is it because of societal pressures? Familial pressure? Just for yourself, for the long term? Or is it a mix of most to all of these factors? 

If it is one or none of the listed factors above? Let’s dive deeper. 

Here in California, when we refer to public and private universities that are on the higher tiers of competitiveness as “impacted”; this phase is not used for the entire United States, solely California, due to its high volumes of college applications to a wide variety of institutions. 

The schools in California are so “impacted” because of the norm of the word “success” that correlates with “higher education,” which is a misconception. Success is within yourself, finding that drive to achieve what you want. 

Whether it is here in the United States or in Canada, to get started with the college application process, you must vet yourself in understanding what you want to do in the future. The time for exploration may be in high school or college – you don’t have to decide now. Be honest and loyal to the values that guide you in life; if they align with your drive and passion. Are you willing to hustle for the opportunities to achieve your goals?

While you are working on self-reflection, it can open up ideas and recollections of your experiences that can translate into your “Personal Statements” required in the application process. 

While you might know the general applications you might be filling out, whether it is for UC schools, state schools, private schools, etc. When it comes time to choose which schools you want to submit an application to your senior year, make a list of schools you want to go to, schools that you can see yourself progressing at, and will best fit for you. Although there might be an overwhelming amount of choices, proceed by researching colleges that are right for you: class sizes, private or public college, athletics, satisfactory department for your major (if you know what major you want), etc. 

Don’t make decisions about your life to please others and conform to those decisions and values. You are your person. Don’t invalidate your values and decisions – they are just as important. Pleasing others for the long term could have a backlash in a sense that one will be reliant on a third party external approval, which in turn may manifest into a motivation mechanism. Your motivation is becoming your self-starter. 

Your friends may comment or make suggestions on your decisions and choices, and you should hear out their perspectives and take some or none of their advice because you ultimately know what is best for you.Parents will learn to understand and support your decision into adulthood. Unconditional love is all around, radical acceptance is a process, and the Universities you choose will celebrate your authentic self – paving our way into our future lives and careers.

While applying for universities, it can be stressful, so planning and sticking to the schedule will ease the processes. Just know that the willingness to apply for college is the first step into adulthood, and it takes maturity to write about yourself and stand out while being part of a large-scale community, university. Although we are in a pandemic, you are not alone. There are so many resources at the tip of your fingers: High school Career Center, your teachers, mentors, a trusted adult, etc. 

In summary: 

  1. Sit in a quiet place.
  2. Write down your values in life.
  3. Write down your goals in life. 
  4. Reflect on how you can achieve these goals.
  5. Write down non-negotiable aspects of what you want from your college career, including environmental factors too.
  6. Make a list of schools that meet your values.
  7. Listen to people’s opinions and see if your values match with those opinions and make adjustments as needed.
  8. Make a game plan of how you will complete each college application.
  9. Gather your self-reflection writing pieces and translate them onto your statement on the college application.
  10. Have a 3rd party proofreader.
  11. Be confident in your choices and be proud of your achievements to becoming an adult when you press submit!