Do You Have to Know Who You Are for College Applications?

Olivia Zhang, Staff writer

It’s the exciting but stressful season of college applications again. Although they’ve been preparing for this moment for three years, seniors now have only a few days left to submit their early decision and early action applications. November 1st is fast approaching with colleges sending reminder emails and red labels from the Common App webpage.

Taking tours for colleges and listing out all their longing choices motivates students to make progress on their application. Simply imagining the future lives they expect to experience after high school gives them joy. However, the process isn’t all excitement. The majority of the process is taking tests, asking for letters of recommendation, writing a personal statement or college required supplements, and preparing a portfolio or other information.


Many great colleges require a personal supplement or writing supplement from students. Because of this requirement, many students find themselves struggling to write the “perfect” essay.  Personally, I think what made writing the supplement difficult was the “self-discovering” behind the simple topics. Although we’ve already spent about eighteen years learning about who we are as individuals, is that really enough time? If somebody still remains unsure about their real interests or personality, can you really give an accurate picture of yourself?


Well, I have been struggling during high school to figure out who I am as a person. Drawing from many little things, I tried to think about how my ways of making them reflect my real self. In addition, I relied on my friends and people around me to tell me who I am because I couldn’t tell by myself. Even now, I still don’t have it figured out. When I needed to find three adjectives to describe myself for a counselor composite packet, I had difficulty finding the positive sides. High school continues to challenge me to grow and experience more, it hasn’t given me a clear picture of myself.

I’ve heard from many people that the application is a self-discovering process, and I feel the same way upon experiencing it. Following that, I think one can be confused and unsure about themselves at this point in their lives. Colleges want to know about their applicants, but it’s not certain that everyone has reached the highest level of self-realization. After high school, there are many institutions that help students develop to be more familiar with themselves. The pressure of being perfect and knowing about everything isn’t realistic, especially when the subject is a human being. Much of the stress of college applications comes from the fact that people follow the trend of the majority under peer pressure. Even though I had written my essays and have gone through part of the application progress, I am still looking forward to digging more into myself as a person and find out what my purpose of life should be. Along with that, I think self-discovery can be a life-long process that does not stop. Knowing about ourselves as much as we can now is helpful, but there’s no rush to be the best right now.