Applying to university can be a nightmare and a dream come true at the same time. With senior year marking the start of the end of your high school career, much thought goes into the next step of our lives, which may play into our future successes. For many, this includes post-secondary plans such as attending a college or university.

For me at least, applying to university was an experience I was very much looking forward to. And like just about anybody else in my shoes years before me, I had a ton of questions: how do I even apply to this school? How do I keep track of everything? Am I good enough to get into this school? Are my grades and test scores enough? How do I approach writing this essay? And as you can probably imagine, the list goes on and on and on.

This is just a quick snapshot of all the questions and thoughts that were running through my mind at the time. As you can see there were so many questions with answers that I couldn’t seem to find or figure out on my own. If you are a senior in high school this year, I’m sure some of these questions (and more!) have popped into your head at some point or another. It might seem daunting and a lot to handle all at once but you should know that this is completely natural and even part of the whole process.

Now, in this post, I don’t intend on going over tips and tricks on things like applying to schools in Canada and getting into T20 schools in the US like I, fortunately, managed to do: that’s not very helpful in the long-run. Instead, what you need to know and hear about is more related to not equating self-worth to your admission into a particular school. Regardless of the schools you get into, the schools you get rejected from or the schools you get waitlisted from, you need to understand that you are not lacking in any way. If you have done everything in your capacity, know that there isn’t more that can or should be done.

University Admission Officers are people too you know. They can see through the “real” applications as well as the “fake” ones. They can get a good idea of things you are actually passionate about and things that you maybe aren’t so passionate about. This is all part of the real you and manufacturing parts of yourself might be really obvious to some of these admission officers. Now, I understand that you may have worked to the best of your abilities in high school and are nervous about the outcomes but you shouldn’t worry. Where you go to university doesn’t dictate who you are and it certainly doesn’t limit who you are. If it did, then great people would only be coming from schools that you deem “good” enough. Take a moment to think about whether this is true or not. I bet you this is not the case.

Now I’ll admit, too many times during the application process, I questioned my abilities, how good I was and how good I could be, what I liked and what I really didn’t like. At the time, this didn’t seem very detrimental but in fact, it was. You see, thinking you aren’t good enough for someone or something becomes this barrier that I, myself, was just trying to overcome. And since you are almost always your own harsh critic, it can seem impossible to break out of that circular argument and appreciate all you have done and all that is left to continue working towards.

In a nutshell, applying to university is a rollercoaster ride. You may be happy with where you end up, or you may not be. I certainly hope its the former. However, wherever you do end up and wherever it takes you in life, just know that doubting yourself was never part of the equation and it was never meant to be.

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