Get to know our essay coaches! We sat down to interview Teddy Allor, one of our College Admissions Specialists.
What is one thing you wish more students knew before applying to college?
Which college you hope to go to and what you plan to accomplish there may feel like an overwhelmingly huge part of your life right now, but your college experience does not wholly define who you are as a person. Think of college as a stepping stone on the path to getting to know yourself a little better. Your college experience is going to end up looking different from how you’re imagining it right now—embrace that uncertainty! Give it a big bear hug. Keeping an open heart and mind will allow you to see opportunities that others might miss.
What was the scariest part of applying to college for you and how did you get through it?
For me, I think the scariest part was being uprooted—from home, from my friend group, and from the structure I had in high school. I also ended up transferring to my first-choice school after a semester at a college I was less excited about, so I felt like I had missed all the hype that comes with that first Fall semester at your dream school. To overcome my anxiety, I had to push myself to get involved in the community by joining clubs, participating in campus programming, and striking up conversations with my classmates.
What were you looking for in a college when you applied?
From a very young age, I had my heart set on being an ornithologist—a scientist who studies birds for a living. I wanted to apply to schools that offered unique ornithological resources, whether that be coursework, lab opportunities, or a location with diverse bird life. I even had the opportunity to interview with experts working in the field at some of the schools I was interested in. As it turned out, lab work and statistics excited me much less than seeing birds up close and writing stories about them—which is how I ended up switching to an English major after my freshman year!
What’s one piece of advice you would give to a freshman at your school?
Don’t compare yourself to others. Your college journey is your own; accept it for what it is without judgment. As fun as this experience can be, it can also be scary at times. If you need help in any way, speak up—don’t wait until you’re overwhelmed. There are resources available to support you.
What’s on your desk right now?
A Bluetooth speaker for listening to calming ambiance videos while working (ocean waves, a thunderstorm, a bonfire at night), a fake potted plant (literally unkillable), some treasured stuffed animals (a ram, a bunny, an ancient and shabby cat), and a big mug of green tea.