The following article features an advisor spotlight of CollegeAdvisor.com’s Meaghan Gee (Cornell ‘19). For more information about our programming and personal guidance about the college application process, head to CollegeAdvisor.com and sign up for a monthly plan to work with an admissions coach 1-on-1.
Though she is now one of CollegeAdvisor.com’s top advisors, when she was in high school, July’s Advisor Spotlight Meaghan Gee was more than a little uncertain about the college application process.
Advisor Spotlight: Background
Meaghan was always an enthusiastic scholar. In grade school, she loved learning so much that she would give herself extra homework to test her knowledge and understanding. As a dedicated student, she often had to turn down invitations to social events. However, she always made time for extracurricular activities, for example as a top athlete on the softball, cross country, and field hockey teams.
Meaghan now admits that she wanted to excel because she believed that the more she pushed herself, the more likely she was to be accepted to a top college. When she was in high school, her older sister was an engineering student at Cornell University. Meaghan knew that her parents had similarly high expectations for her and her brother. Determined to succeed, she remained focused on becoming a top applicant at elite universities.
Navigating College Admissions
Since her older sister was in college already, Meaghan had some familiarity with the application process. Meaghan knew she did not want to follow in her sister’s footsteps of studying engineering. She understood that her personal narrative needed to have a completely different focus—one that was unique to her. As a self-described indecisive person, finding the right personal narrative was difficult because Meaghan was not sure how she wanted to represent herself.
For her, the most challenging part of applying to college was writing her personal essays. She had good test scores, great letters of recommendation, and an impressive academic record, but she did not know how to tell her story and present it to admissions committees. As much as she tried to ideate, she was never fully satisfied with her drafts. Meaghan was grateful that her father and teachers could read her essays and provide feedback. However, she still admits that they were not the strongest component of her application.
After she began receiving decision letters, Meaghan discovered that she had another difficult choice to make: which college to attend. Throughout high school, she had often thought about her future career and which major she would declare, but she never considered the type of college experience that she wanted to have. She did not know what environment she wanted to live in (e.g. metropolitan or rural) or what she wanted her surroundings to be (e.g. forests or the beach). In fact, Meaghan was not sure what exactly she liked about the colleges that she’d applied to.
This uncertainty made her feel lost. Today, she wishes that she had a third party to tell her that her test scores did not matter nearly as much as her application narrative. She also wish she’d had someone to help her define what she wanted her college experience to be.
Meaghan eventually committed to Cornell and graduated in 2019 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial and Labor Relations and minors in Business and Inequality Studies. What drew her to ILR was the wide variety of career paths that graduates pursue after finishing their programs.
From College Student to Advisor
After graduation, Meaghan was searching for a side hustle and came across CollegeAdvisor.com. Although she was no longer interested in becoming a teacher as she had imagined in high school, Meaghan remained passionate about working with students. Remembering how difficult it was to navigate the college process, she wanted to be the guide that she needed during her senior year.
Her background as a peer advisor at Cornell gave Meaghan experience with interview preparation, resume reviews, and helping people reach their goals. She brings that same dedication and attention to detail to her work as an advisor. Her favorite part of advising is working with students at the most pivotal points in their lives who have various passions and interests. As an advisor, Meaghan meets students where they are and showing empathy to ensure that they feel comfortable and empowered to define their narratives.
She believes that CollegeAdvisor.com actively helps students create the best possible candidate profiles and have great experiences during application season. She believes that the services CollegeAdvisor.com offers provide a thorough overview of the application process. In addition, CollegeAdvisor.com’s wide network means that any student from any background will be able to find an advisor who is right for them.
Advisor Spotlight: Tips for Applicants
If Meaghan could give advice to every high school senior, it would be to remember these five things:
- You are applying to college for you, not for anyone else.
- Do not listen to anyone who tells you that you cannot succeed if you pursue a particular major or career. All you need is passion and determination.
- You do not need to know everything right now. You are only applying to college, and you can still change your major or transfer to a different college in the future.
- Test scores and grades do not define you. Colleges take a holistic view of your application, so do not obsess over your SAT score or GPA.
- Enjoy high school and prioritize your mental health. You are only in high school once, so you should take time for yourself and enjoy this stage of your life.
This advisor spotlight was based on an interview with CollegeAdvisor.com Advisor Meaghan Gee. If you need help with your applications and are interested in working with a CollegeAdvisor.com Admissions Expert like Meaghan, register with CollegeAdvisor.com today.