FM Diversity Coalition Student Panel Decodes The College Application Process


FM DICO panelists speak about the college admissions process.

The college admissions process is a momentous occasion for many high school students, but it also brings challenges and unknowns that may be difficult to navigate. With this in mind, FM Diversity Coalition hosted a student panel to provide insight on the college application process as well as how to manage the stress, competition, and pressure that often comes with it. 

At the event, panelists Amelia Chin, Cameron Worden, Elena Coman, Jason Porter, Miranda Zheng, Parisa Ahmed, and Peilin Lu shared their experiences and advice in regard to college applications. Having gone through the process themselves, they were able to offer valuable insight and answer any questions that attending students had. 

The panelists spoke on the process of narrowing down colleges and finding the best fit for individual needs amidst hundreds of options. “College is more than just the classroom, but also the environment you will be in and the people you will meet,” Cameron Worden explained. “When making your decision, really ask yourself where you want to spend the next years of your life.” 

That “best fit” college is something only an individual can truly decide on, as different students have different priorities when it comes to college. The panelists suggested considering factors such as location, cost, student communities, class sizes, research opportunities, study abroad options, and specialized programs.

In terms of activities and other efforts during high school, the panelists discussed the importance of spending time developing passions and interests rather than cultivating a schedule solely based on what may be considered most impressive for a college application. “At the end of the college applications process, you should be able to say that the only thing you did to get into college was submit your application,” Peilin Lu noted. “You don’t have to go out of your way to be unique, since you already are.”

Above all, the panelists emphasized that the college admissions process is meant to be a positive milestone and uplifting experience. A lot of the stress and pressure experienced comes from associating one’s identity and worth with a decision that is out of their control and subject to numerous variables. 

At the end of the day, it is important to approach the process with a healthy mindset. “Ultimately, what college you end up going to does not change your worth,” Peilin stated. “Even if you get in or get rejected from a college, nothing changes about the person you are.”