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College Application Procrastination – Scared of Rejection

I have always been the type of student who finished homework from one class during free time in another class. I never waited until the last minute. Completing my work to the best of my ability, and doing so early, was my goal. So why can I not bring myself to finish writing my college essay?

At the beginning of the summer, I took two online classes and started my own research project. I finished my work the day it was assigned – no problem. I have finished plenty of books, and built furniture for my bedroom (and classroom for this semester). Working on projects and completing tasks isn’t a struggle in general. It is just this essay.

Every few days, I update my seemingly never ending to-do list. “Finish Common App Draft” is currently at the top of the list, and it has been for quite a few weeks. Still, no progress has been made. I get easily overwhelmed when I work on anything related to college – maybe it’s the uncertainty of the future, the importance of the next few years, or the fear of rejection.


I’m having an extremely hard time planning what I want the next few years of my life to look like when everything is rapidly changing. If campus life isn’t back in person and somewhat normal for Fall 2021, does it even make sense for me to move away? Would it be better to get prerequisite credits out of the way at a less expensive school and transfer later? My parents’ financial situation has been negatively impacted, so how will financial aid change? What will going to college look like in a year? When the present isn’t stable, it is harder to adequately plan for the future.


The amount of work that will go into my applications isn’t what makes me stress. However, the weight of this one piece of writing really makes me nervous. I know the other aspects of my application will also be reviewed and considered in the admissions process, but those things are in the past. There is no need to worry about my GPA or my extracurriculars now, because I can’t change them. The essay, however, is staring me down, and it’s so frustrating. I’ve convinced myself that this essay will open the door to the rest of my life. A good essay will get me into a fitting undergraduate program, which will send me to medical school, and so on. Each time I began to write, I stopped because the idea wasn’t “good enough”. Now I have a solid idea, but I am still procrastinating. Honestly, I think there is a much larger problem – I am scared of rejection because I’ve never truly faced it.


In the past, I’ve completed applications I considered to be a long shot, but I was lucky to be accepted each time. A few of the schools I am looking at are more than a reach, so I need to accept that I will be rejected at some point. I think I’m coming around to that idea slowly. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason, even if the reason isn’t clear. Looking at the rejection I will face at some point as a turn towards the correct path, or simply an experience for me to gain strength has been helpful.

As for my college applications, I will not hold back. I will put my best foot forward in all aspects of each application I submit. I plan to work diligently, but calmly, and ask for help when I need it. Remembering to highlight what makes me unique, while being genuine is my best bet. Truly, I know that the work I complete in undergraduate school is much more important than where I attend. However, I hope to attend the school that is the best fit for me academically, and offers many opportunities outside of the classroom.

Good luck to everyone applying to college!

Aubrey Best

Hello! My name is Aubrey Best and I am an 18 year old from South Carolina. I am fortunate to have a method of sharing lessons and experiences through Girlspring, while connecting with others. I am happy to have any role, no matter how small, in empowering others to learn and love!

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