November 1st is coming up, and not too long ago, it was my fingers typing up final edits on applications, my head in the back of my parents’ closet looking for their financial information, and my stomach that was full of jitters before I pressed that submit button. I was a QuestBridge finalist, and the period of time between being selected as a finalist and November 1st was swift, tedious, stressful… but two years later, I can tell you that it was worth it.
Finding out I was selected as a finalist lifted an incredible weight from my shoulders. I remember running around my apartment with my little sister out of excitement until I ran out of breath, only to realize there was still so much to do. There was the Common App, the CSS/Financial Aid Profile, submitting SAT scores and finding my parents’ tax returns. If you read this and nod your head saying, “Wow, this sounds like me right now,” don’t worry, because I can tell you that this feeling does not last.
I found that each daunting task I had to complete was never a lasting worry. Bit by bit, I got every piece of my application done. However, it took a lot of determination and focus to get these tasks done. I planned out when I would complete a task each day and asked for help from my guidance counselor and parents whenever they could have helped me in the slightest bit. Help didn’t always come in the form of getting things signed; it also came in the form of moral support and uplifting words when I thought I couldn’t succeed. I found that asking for help, having the support of others and moving forward gave me the foothold I needed to get everything done. I had memorized my Yale ID and my QuestBridge ID and written it down a million times on all the different documents. The essays I had submitted without fear to QuestBridge had shared who I am and what I am passionate about, so I trusted that I could do the same when sending them to Yale. As I submitted each thing, the energy and excitement of hearing I was a finalist came back.
Pressing submit was a sign of trust in myself, something that seemed so impossible until that single moment. Everything was sent out and I felt weightless, reveling in the fact that I had worked so hard to get where I was. The scariest part about applying to college is not the fear of getting accepted, but the fear that your efforts will not be worth it in the end. I can tell you that once you persevere and complete everything by the end of this week, you will feel and be successful; you will feel the relief and weightlessness that are very much deserved because all those daunting tasks are no longer on your shoulders. Putting your heart and energy out there is your ultimate success and if no one else has told you yet, then I will: you worked hard and I am proud of you.
The wait is going to be scary, but you’ll make it. I used that wait to establish what my next move would be, no matter the outcome. I used it to solidify what I wanted to do in my senior year, like what activities I wanted to try that I never thought of doing and how I would spend time with my friends before we went off to college. When results came out and I was not matched to any school, there were no weights put back on my shoulders. I stayed weightless and tried again, putting my application up for regular decision and hoping for the best. Don’t let any outcome push you back down and don’t get discouraged in the end. You applied to Yale and worked hard! When you press that submit button, go relax and celebrate.