Paul Kim ’05 Reflects on Disappointments, Challenges, Learned Lessons, Experiences of College Process

The members of the class of 2005 are breathing a sigh of relief to be done with Senior year and have the college process behind them. Paul Kim ’05 plans to attend Duke University next year. He was rejected early from Yale University (his top choice), is wondering what he could have done differently. Kim said, “In reflection, I think the application process went well. The only thing that I regret is not working as hard as I could in my Upper year and Senior fall.” Kim began the college process towards the middle of Upper year with a positive attitude. “My thoughts initially were that coming from Andover would ultimately help me in the long run. I thought that admissions offices would factor in the fact that the competition here is far above average and that I was kind of a small fish in an ocean. I believed that coming out of Andover I would be placed above others almost automatically,” Kim said. Kim found the college process exciting. He said, “It meant that I was really moving onto another part of my life.” At the same time, Kim was not excited about all the paperwork he had to do, especially since he applied to 10 different schools. “I was least excited for the filling out of forms that were just about my personal information like my address, my social security number, etc. I knew it would be tedious and unnecessary to fill out the same questions on six different forms for six different schools,” said Kim. From the get-go, Kim knew he wanted to attend a large university; he had been going to small private schools for most of his life, and he was now ready for a change. Soon, Kim settled on Yale as his top choice and decided to apply early. “Yale was a reach school for me, but it was still my top choice. I thought that if they got a chance to take a longer look at my application in a smaller applicant pool that I would have a better chance,” said Kim. Kim’s gamble failed, and he was rejected from Yale. Kim was devastated, but he had to postpone his grief for a later time, for he now needed to polish up his other applications. Kim managed to send all his applications on time, and then he settled in for the long wait. “Senior winter was amazing,” Kim said. “It was really nice to have applications out of my way and at the same time know that there was nothing more that I could do. It was kind of nice to forget about it for a little bit.” After waiting for about 3 months, Kim finally began to receive good news; he was accepted to Duke University. Once that letter came, it did not take Kim long to make a final decision. “Duke was in my top three choices, and I was extremely excited to get in. I got rejected or waitlisted at my other top choices, so the decision was a lot easier,” said Kim.