Five mistakes I made that lead to my dream school denial


Grace Kulin, Editor-in-chief

I was denied from my dream school. I have one college credit from my dream school because I received full tuition for a summer program there. How did I get denied after that? Well I’m still trying to figure that out. But I do know some of my mistakes, thank you Notre Dame.

1. I didn’t get involved in clubs early enough. I waited until my junior year (the “make or break” year) to get heavily involved, HUGE mistake. No school will be impressed that when your junior year rolled around you joined 7 clubs, anyone can do that if they really wanted. Pick a passion or two of yours as a freshman or sophomore and pursue them deeply. If there isn’t a club or organization for it, make one. Quality over quantity, always.
2. I thought my standardized test score was enough because it met their “benchmark.” I am lucky enough to have tested into the top 5% of the United States but I assumed that was enough. News flash: it’s not. You don’t want to meet any benchmark, you need to beat it. If you and an alumni’s kid have the same benchmark score why would they admit you over them? (They won’t) Even when you think you’ve met the goal take your test one more time, you’re likely to improve, it’s worth it.
3. I didn’t realize the importance of AP. I was once told by a counselor that it’s better to have A’s than honors and AP classes. I think most students realize it’s the complete opposite now but it’s something I wish I knew earlier. Don’t take 6 AP courses just to impress your dream school but try to take at least 2 AP classes you have an interest in each year (increase as you wish).
4. I forgot about having fun. I was so incredibly focused on getting A’s that I feel I sort of missed out on the true high school experience. I don’t have solid friend group, I didn’t go to every Friday night football game and I never went to a party. School was my number one, I put it above friendship and relationships. How do you enjoy high school like that? (You don’t)
5. I doubted myself. Perhaps the most obvious answer. There was always a little voice in the back of my head telling me I was never good enough for Notre Dame and I think I listened. Maybe that’s why I didn’t retake my ACT, take more AP classes, or have fun during high school– I was crippled by the fear of not being accepted. Maybe if I believed in myself I would have done better, I will never know now but I’m guessing it will haunt me forever. Believing in yourself gets you far.

I didn’t get into my dream school straight out of high school but that’s not stopping me. I am still in contact with my admissions officer and she is going to help me through the transfer process. I stayed heavily involved. I made sure all of my freshman credits will transfer. I will continue to be involved in college. And maybe, just maybe, in the fall of 2018 I will be a sophomore at the University of Notre Dame. Maybe I won’t, but there’s still law school If Notre Dame continues to be my dream I will make it happen. Learn from my mistakes, achieve your dream. It’s possible if you work for it.