STORYTIME: My College Decision Nightmare + My Advice to Upcoming High School Grads

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Well, what can I say…I did it! Ya girl is officially a high school grad. I cannot believe this day has finally come, it’s so surreal to me. While I am sad about leaving the only life I’ve ever known behind, I’m so excited about what college and the future has to offer me.

Applying to college has not been the easiest process in the world for me (not sure if some of you can agree with me) but I definitely learned how to make real life adult decisions & and all that matters at the end those decisions is: doing what’s BEST for you. That’s something that has stuck with me I constantly asked myself and I hope by the end of my story it’ll be something you can relate to.

Before the Applications

I applied to 26 colleges/universities throughout my senior year of high school. Now I know that might sound outrageous, but I honestly just wanted to give myself as many options as I could. My number one goal was to go out of state. Why out of state you may ask? I am the first person in my family to attend college, and I wanted to be different. When I told people where I was going, I wanted them to be stunned, shocked, amazed, or any other word to describe how surprised they were for me being different. Growing up I wasn’t always lead with the best examples as far as people, specifically family members/friends. My parents worked hard to make sure I got the best education I could possibly get. So, I guess my biggest thing out of all this was making them proud of me and being proud of myself.

Now I was never one of those kids who had a dream school since they were like two years old. It actually took some time because my mind was always changing. First it was, Columbia in New York. I wanted to be the first to attend an Ivy League school. Next it was, UCLA because I’ve always wanted to go to California. Then, it was Auburn and Syracuse because when I was in 6th grade all of my teachers had their homerooms named after the colleges they went to, and my homeroom teacher went to Auburn. As far as Syracuse, I liked it because it was in New York and who doesn’t want to go to New York? And I think that’s actually how I discovered NYU. So that was five schools that I knew I was going to apply to when it was time.

The Dreaded College Process

As the time finally came for me to start applying my mind had of course changed. I didn’t apply to Colombia or UCLA. By this time, I wasn’t as passionate about them as was when I was a kid. The schools that I was interested in now were UGA, Valdosta State University, The George Washington University, NYU, Clemson, Berry College, Syracuse, Auburn, and now my dream school…. Howard University. Howard University became my dream school as of junior year through a zoom presentation. It was the first & only HBCU that I was considering, some people thought that was insane but that’s a story for another day. There were other schools that I of course applied to, but most of those were safety schools. I didn’t think I was going to need them but I’m sure glad I did it.

This is where the story gets interesting. So, about a month into school, we had a college fair. I didn’t really know what schools would be there but since I live in Georgia, I didn’t expect an NYU representee to come or anyone to far out west. But little did I know a rep all the way from Phoenix, Arizona decided to stop and talk to me and my closest friend at the time. I had never heard of this school a day in my life, but I was very open to it considering they flew students out on a free trip to tour. I thought wow this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and especially since I was considering going out of state. After I came back from the trip, I was so amazed, and I knew that was the school I wanted to go to. There wasn’t really a bad thing I could say about it. The in-state and out of state tuition was the same so it was very affordable. My parents told to still keep my options open and apply to all the other schools that I was interested in. And so, I did.

I officially started submitting applications during Christmas Break 2021. I know that may seem late but I was just not ready as far as my college essay, so I decided that applying regular decision was the best way to go. I was struggling to write a unique story and I wanted to be proud of what I wrote (that’s just the perfectionist in me). If you would like to see my college admission essay as an example, send me an email and I’ll kindly share it with you. My last application was Howard University and since it was still my dream school, I wanted it to be perfect. Now all I had to do was wait.

Girl, let me tell you waiting was the most torturing thing ever. Every college had their own decision dates and most of them came out on April 1st which means you had month left to decide. I was feeling the pressure now more than ever because everyone had basically already made their decisions, and everyone was telling me that I needed to hurry up and make one too. At that point I was still confused on where I wanted to go. I still had the school in Arizona in the back my head I haven’t forgotten about it, but as I started to get more and more college acceptances, I started thinking about what other schools had to offer me. My friend on the other hand was basically already saving her spot at the college but in my heart, it didn’t feel right anymore. It was hard to explain that to her because I had given myself so many options and she didn’t really do that (which wasn’t my fault). I thought applying to as many schools would give me options, but it only left me more confused because in the end I didn’t get accepted into my dream school and the financial aid (FASFA) was just a mess. I ended up getting selected for verification and a lot of my financial offers dropped so the schools I did get accepted to weren’t really an option for me anymore. So basically, going out of state was OUT of the question. The only other choice I had was going to Arizona (because it was more affordable) so it was either that or stay here Georgia. With that being said, since out of state was still my dream, I decided that Arizona was where I was headed. I at least wanted to try it out, so I went ahead and paid for my housing deposit. It wasn’t where I wanted to be, but I was still going out of state and it was with one of my friends, so I was content with that.

But unfortunately, that didn’t work either. Let me explain…

So, I had got awarded the Achieve Atlanta Scholarship. This was a $5,000 annual scholarship so basically $20,000. That’s a lot of money which is very helpful towards paying off my tuition however according to their protocols Grand Canyon University wasn’t an acceptable out of state institution for me to take my scholarship. So literally the day before May 1st (decision day) I had to rethink everything and tell my friend that I was no longer considering going to Arizona because there was no way in hell that I was giving up $20,000 especially not for a school that I wasn’t interested in anymore. I felt like after that our friendship became a little awkward. Mostly because I felt that I had let so many people down but, in the end, I had only done what was best for me. I had never been stressed or cried so much in my life. The worst part was the next day, I had to watch countless people on social media share what college they were going to and how they got accepted into their dream school. IT WAS A NIGHTMARE!!

Ultimately, I had come to a decision that staying in my home state was the best thing at the moment. I didn’t understand it, but I had to trust that this is where God wanted me at the moment and that it was all going to work itself out. Now according to the thumbnail post it’s obvious that I have come to a decision so with that being said I’m delighted to announce that this fall I will be attending…AUGUSTA UNIVERSITY!!!!

This was not an easy decision to make but after submitting two enrollment deposits, two college tours, and two overnight orientations it all became clear on what was best. To everyone reading I want you to know that it’s okay to go this extreme in order to figure what you want (I mean if your journey is anything like mine then trust me, I get it!). You don’t owe anyone an explanation on why you’re going to the lengths that you are because this is your future.

To hear more advice from me click the video below πŸ™‚

Advice Every High School Senior Needs To Hear


My College Acceptances:

  1. Augusta University
  2. Barry University (Miami)
  3. Benedict College
  4. Berry College
  5. Clemson University
  6. Columbus State University
  7. Georgia State University
  8. Grand Canyon University
  9. Hult International Business School
  10. Louisiana State University
  11. Miami University (Oxford, Ohio)
  12. Santa Clara University
  13. Syracuse University
  14. University of Alabama at Birmingham
  15. University of North Texas
  16. University of West Georgia
  17. Valdosta State University
  18. Young Harris College

xoxo,

Raegan

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