By Olaide Sode

I can finally let out a small sigh of relief.

These past few weeks have been pretty stressful. I’ve been trying to juggle college apps with school, extracurricular activities, and home obligations, and it’s taken its toll. But I’m resilient and it takes a lot to wear me down. When I started this college process, I had no idea what was set before me. I hadn’t realized how much work had to be put into these college supplements, especially if you’re applying to 23 schools like I am. Crazy, I know, but my dad is willing to do it.

When my parents came to this country during the ’80s and early ’90s from Nigeria, they came for opportunities not only for themselves, but also for their children. They left behind their friends and family to start fresh and achieve the American dream. That desire to have better reflects in my college search. In Nigeria, there are not many opportunities for people unless they have money, especially in education. My parents weren’t rich in a monetary sense, but they were rich in the level of support that their friends and families gave them to come to the U.S. To my parents, there are so many opportunities for children here in the U.S. to be educated that they believe that many waste it away.

“When my parents came to this country during the ’80s and early ’90s from Nigeria, they came for opportunities not only for themselves, but also for their children.”

Therefore, my parents want to make sure that I have the opportunities that they didn’t get to have in their education. That’s why I haven’t limited myself in where I’m applying, because you never know what could happen. I don’t want to live with any regrets and wonder “what if”, because that would drive me crazy. I’m so thankful to have the support of my parents because I know there are some people who are going through this absolutely on their own. I tried to do it by myself, but I realized that it’s impossible. The only time that I really have to work on college stuff is the weekends and I try to knock out one to three applications each week.

Writing supplements is harder than it may seem because most of them are not simple questions that can be answered in a few minutes. A lot of them take reflection. I remember spending four hours thinking about what to write for one of my Georgetown essays! I want to make sure that everything I write reflects who I am as a person and what I believe.

As of now, I have applied to five schools: UT Austin, A&M College Station, UTSA, U of H, and Georgetown University. Hitting those submit buttons was so freeing that I’m ready to submit the rest of my college applications. But alas, it’s not nearly over. My goal is to have all my apps done by the end of the year. That way I can ring in the new year with a clean slate, and with nothing hanging over my shoulder. Five apps done, 18 more to go…

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