The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

Ask Nancy: Vol. 2

Ask Nancy is an advice column where I will offer my candid thoughts and advice on select topics.

Dear Nancy, how do you feel about college? And how can I navigate the college application process and it’s stresses, especially as a student at Webb?  

— Sincerely, Nervous about the future.


Dear Nervous about the future,  

Ever since the idea of college sprouted in my elementary-school brain, I have fantasized about my ideal college experience. I’d live in the big city in a minimalist apartment with my dog, Yuanbao, study in coffee shops over a perfect iced chai, and maintain the perfect work-life balance as I pursued an urban internship during the day and let loose at night.  

After I got rejected by my dream college in the Early Decision round, I was crushed. It seemed like my perfect future dissipated with the line “We’re sorry to inform…” All of a sudden, I had no future. After wallowing for a short amount of time (two days exactly, one of which was a day of retail-therapy), I began to reflect on the idea of college and my experiences throughout the past couple of years.  

I realized that the more you idealize one specific college, or your perfect experience, the more stress you put on a result that is quite arbitrary. College counselors and teachers will tell you that the college application process is past a certain point of hard work and preparation, solely based on luck — and they are right. How come so many of us base our self-worth and identity on an uncontrollable outcome?  

I think a big part of it is our environment at Webb. We are truly a community with many “try-hards” who will pull all-nighters for tests, pester teachers incessantly during office hours to round our A- to an A, and spend the majority of our free time doing extracurriculars to appeal to colleges.  

No matter if you are a freshman curious about the horrors, or a junior already starting the process, I encourage you to reflect on why you want to go to college, and why you want so bad to get into that one college or in general, a prestigiously ranked one. Is it because you’ve been told all your life that these tier-ones will make you a billionaire? Because your parents mandate a top-20 result through guilt-tripping you about putting you in Webb? Because you’re in love with that one city? Or because you are convinced that this college is perfect for you after watching a day-in-the-life YouTube video? While these may be valid reasons, they are not necessarily real. 

When entering the process, it is easy to lose sight of yourself and what you truly want. People around you will tell you what you should want, and you will begin to think you want something as a result of societal expectations and community influences. What I’ve found to be helpful is to spend time doing activities that you are both truly interested in and intellectually stimulated by.  

Ever since I began as a staff writer for the publication, I found myself really enjoying journalism — writing, interviewing, and going out into the world to find stories (definitely not saying this because I am currently writing for the WCC). So, I committed energy and time into journalism, applied for leadership, and have found myself enjoying work that also serves as an activity high on my Common App list. If you lose yourself in fabricated extracurriculars and advanced classes that simply boost your GPA, you’ll find yourself deeply unhappy in a college process that is already stressful.  

However, this is not to say that you should neglect classes or commitments that don’t bring you happiness. Hard work pays off, and a personal principle I’ve always lived by, and used heavily during the application process, is to “live with no regrets.” Think about your decision to not study hard for a test or to skip out on a club commitment; in the future, will you look back and wish you had done it? Will you feel that if you had done that one thing, that maybe, you would have gotten in that school? If so, do it. 

This mindset took me through the application process when I felt unmotivated or burnt out. Especially when I was rejected: I felt sad, but no regret. In the fall, I had counselors suggest that I pick a less competitive school for my ED choice, that I would have a much better chance elsewhere. But I knew that, despite the possibly superficial reasons I hadn’t realized at the time, this was my dream school, and that I would feel immense regret if I didn’t at least try. 

At this point in the process, all I can do is await the results. I feel at peace, because I know I gave my ALL in every endeavor. No matter the results in March and April, I will feel no regret. The future is always uncertain. You can choose to worry about what may or may not happen, or you can work on your present. Start filtering out external pressures, pursuing your passions, staying authentic to yourself, and living with no regrets — and I promise everything will be okay.



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About the Contributor
Nancy Lin
Nancy Lin, Editor-In-Chief
Passionate, open-minded, and ambitious are three words that describe Nancy Lin (‘23), and with these characteristics, she is ready to lead The Webb Canyon Chronicle as the Editor-in-Chief.  Nancy is a very involved student at The Webb Schools, showcasing her strong leadership skills as vice student body president, a source of her strong leadership skills. Nancy was first born in Shanghai, China but then later moved to Vancouver, Canada where she spends most of her time away from Webb. Nancy spends her free time in many different ways: listening to a variety of music genres, practicing golf, playing the piano, baking, and rewatching for the billionth time, The Notebook. On the days she spends at home, Nancy makes sure to visit her family, spend time with friends, and most importantly, see her dog Yuanbao!  Although she likes her sweets, like chocolate, she also enjoys a nice Italian or Korean dinner. She stays up to date on school events and is very passionate about international news and global affairs. This year, Nancy is ambitious to hit the ground running as a new Head Editor, excited to publish stories about Webb and the world beyond.   Favorite song: "Runaway" by Kanye West

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