What I’ve Learned From Applying to 30 Colleges

By Jacky Huang

Everyone told me not to apply to so many colleges.

My parents, friends, teachers, and counselors tried every possible way to get me to rethink my decisions. As deadlines drew closer, my college list consisted of almost all the top colleges around the country. My anxiety over this made me add a bunch of colleges I didn’t consider in my list just as “reassuring measures.”

However, I learned the hard way during Christmas break.

With one hand stuffing my mouth with my aunt’s glorious mac and cheese and the other furiously typing up essays, I ultimately turned in a frightening number of applications at 11:59 p.m.

After hitting submit, I felt empty, not reassured. I was almost numb to all emotions and it felt as though the world had stopped.

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Raised in an immigrant household, I was constantly told that all seventeen years of my life would lead to this very moment. But my gut turned at the thought of how I put my soul on paper for strangers to judge, criticize, and pick apart. My inner thoughts were out there for the world to see and that was something I’ve always feared.

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