A series of articles written by SCCO Student Ambassadors.
Finding Joy in the Process of Being a Competitive Applicant
by SCCO Student Ambassador, Kaitlyn Nguyen
Hi, y’all! I’m Kaitlyn, part of the class of 2026! I graduated from UC Irvine this past year and went straight into SCCO a few months after. Balancing schooling, life, applications, and extracurriculars can seem overwhelming, but you can do it!
I applied during my senior year of undergrad, and it felt stressful at first, but it was also an exciting time because it meant I was taking the next step! One thing that helped fight the burnout and feeling overwhelmed was getting involved in extracurriculars that I was genuinely interested in and passionate about. This kept me busy but also allowed me to explore my interests while building my resume and application. I also enjoyed putting my time into these
activities, so it never felt like a chore or duty to me. For example, I joined a pre-medical fraternity, volunteered at a COVID-19 clinic, shadowed, and worked for various optometry offices and a senior center. These all tied back to things I was interested in that I knew
would help me in the future.
I went through many moments where I felt like I should drop one involvement or another because it felt like too much, but I found a family and joy in each place I served. At the end of the day, you know yourself best. You can accomplish and balance everything as you adjust to time management! Believe in your abilities. I spent much of my time looking at others, wondering if I was good enough or doing enough on such a time crunch. I’m here to tell you, don’t worry; it will all work out. Comparing yourself to others is normal, but remember that everyone will move at their own pace on their own timeline, and it is okay to have your own timeline and work at your own pace! It may be nerve-wracking, but finding things you love to do is important because you will find joy in those activities as a break from school or life.
Alongside the workload, you should take care of yourself during the process because it is fun and
a journey. Prioritize your health and set boundaries for yourself to avoid burnout and breakdowns as much as possible. I learned during this process that it is okay to put yourself first and say “no” when needed.
Overall, remember to not compare yourself because every applicant and their process is different! Your passions will shine through in their own way! Work hard, but also love what you’re doing and keep your goals in sight!
Email me if you have any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good luck to all of you, and remember to take care of yourself throughout this process! Trust in yourself!
Categories: Student Ambassador Blog Articles