One of the best parts of college that’s waiting for you if you want it is the chance to hit the reset button.
It can be difficult to reinvent yourself in high school even if you really want to. You become known as the drama kid, the jock, the brooding musician, etc. If it’s the role you decided to play, one you’re both happy and comfortable with, great. But if your role felt assigned to you rather than chosen by you, or if you’ve grown out of your high school persona, it can start to feel like you’re an actor who’s been typecast and keeps getting offers to play the same character over and over again. You want to do something different, but that change might feel like an intimidatingly large course correction, one that you may not even be empowered to make.
But eventually, you’ll show up to college with little to no history. Nobody knows or cares what your reputation was in high school. They aren’t predisposed to see you the same way other people have seen you since you were fourteen. The judgements, the limits, the baggage, the anchors weighing you down–you can leave them all behind and start fresh. Hitting the reset button can be pretty exhilarating, especially if you’ve wished you could do just that for some time.
Part of enjoying the college admissions process is looking forward to the opportunities waiting for you on the other side—learning whatever interests you, discovering your talents, growing, meeting new people, making new friends, and having fun in ways that haven’t been available to you before. That excitement, that eagerness to get there and take advantage of what’s available, is also an admissions advantage. It’s not enough to just hope to get in. Colleges are looking for those applicants who are even more excited about what comes after the “yes.”
One of those things to be excited about—if you want it—is the chance to start over. And like just about everything else waiting for you in college, that opportunity isn’t limited to the schools that say no to most of their applicants.
If it feels like some (or all) of high school just isn’t working for you anymore, the chance to hit the reset button is coming soon.