What made you want to study abroad?
For me, I knew at a very young age that I don’t fit well into the Taiwanese education system. I am simply someone who likes working with her hands more than studying for tests. I also know that I want to try different things during college. I am unsure of my career goals thus universities abroad would allow me to explore more.
What’s the toughest part for you during the entire application process?
I think the hardest part of the entire application is the mental challenge. It is really hard to go through the process. You are under pressure for such a long time. Other than that the more specific part is writing. Writing so much about yourself and what you went through is a very difficult situation. It’s also very challenging to “decide” your path when you’re so young. You have to make so many big decisions and write your life like a bibliography.
What do you think helped you the most?
For me, talking about it helped. I seeked help from therapists and psychiatrists along the way. Of course this isn’t the only solution, but don’t be afraid to seek help. There is nothing wrong with seeking help. In addition, support from friends and family helped a lot. I think before the process, understand who you are. Like stated above, it is hard to know exactly who you are. You can ask people around you for help. In addition, jotting things along the way. Jotting down big events or challenges along the way can help you write college essays later on.
What are some things you think you did well during the app process?
My extracurriculars are the strongest thing about my application. I really like doing different things and trying different things out so it was fun for me. I think on my common application I filled 9 out of the 10 spots. I don’t suggest doing that because colleges might think you’re faking it but I think you can see by now how much I love doing little things and not studying.
What’s the most regretful thing you’ve done during the process? What would you do differently?
The most regretful thing is essays for me. I think I wasn’t able to differentiate myself clearly from others which was a shame. It didn’t allow the colleges to get to know me more. Other than the college application process, I think it was a shame that I let go some of my hobbies during the process. It is important to still do what you love to let go of stress.
What do you think soph, junior, senior students should do right now?
I think for high schoolers you should find your own self. This seems very vague and abstract but it is crucial to know what image you want to put out. You can use things such as online career tests, asking friends and family, and asking yourself big picture questions to slowly understand yourself. During this process, also, explore different hobbies. I see so many people not sure of what they want to do. Use this time to explore what you truly want to do. Don’t simply go into something because it is what is expected of you to do or what your parents want you to do, do it because you like it.
University of Toronto ’24