“At MIT, people are very open about what they're struggling with,” Kolli said. “For me, that was really important because I am a very vocal person about my feelings. Instead of [going to] a school where you have to put up this image of you being perfect, I'd rather just be myself and be as nerdy as I want to, and not really be judged for struggling or being nerdy.”
After receiving the offers from all the colleges she had been admitted into and joining various Facebook groups where she interacted with people from each college, Kolli was attracted to MIT in particular because of the connections she had with the people there.
“The fact that they're so involved and they care about the world so much was appealing to me,” Kolli said. “What drew me to the school was the fact that you're surrounded by all these incredibly motivated people who have ideas on what they want to do, how they want to make a difference, and they have the resources at the school. You can just go out there and use it, and the world is your oyster.”
“It was definitely a sigh of relief because I was finally admitted into a college, and I was super excited about that,” Park said. “However, I was holding my breath almost because the financial package for USC didn't come out until a couple of days later, so I wasn't sure if I was actually able to attend the college when I got my admission decision.”
Park was admitted to three out of the seventeen colleges he had applied to — Boston University, NYU, and USC. He made the final decision to choose USC because of its more affordable price and the fact that it was in-state.
While Park is tentative to choose a single dream college, he believes that USC corresponds well with his definition of a dream school.
“I would say a dream college is what you think will be the best place for you and your education,” Park said. “You expect [a dream college] to be the best place for you when you are pursuing a higher education, whether that is the case or not, we'll see if it is the right place.”
“Don't center your extracurriculars and all your time around trying to get into college, just spend your time doing something you really enjoy and that you're passionate about,” Kolli said. “At the end of the day, look back on your four years of high school and feel fulfilled, rather than using your college acceptances to be a validation of whatever work you've done for the past four years.”
Looking ahead, Kim is confident about her decision to attend UCLA and is excited to start school. She hopes to find the motivation and support she needs to grow in her new environment.
“It is a drastic change, but I don't see myself having any difficulties,” Kim said. “I don't see myself regretting my decision in attending UCLA. I can see myself fit in there very well, and I've already been talking to some people and I think the community overall is really nice. So I don't think I will have any regrets.”
Created with an image by MD Duran - "Graduation"