This blog post is written by two Quest students. Johannes, who is a 3rd year at Quest and Juliana who is a 1st year at Quest. The following are their experiences of the application process.
Johannes: My name is Johannes and I am a 3rd year student at Quest. I realize that it has been quite some time since I wrote my application. So, I recently looked back through my 3-year-old application, to see the hopes and dreams that I packed into it, and further realized that I have the ability to share my perspective on what I hoped Quest would do for me, and what it has actually done for me.
Juliana: My name is Juliana and I am a 1st year student here at Quest. Having recently completed my application just a few months ago, I am writing this blog post with Johannes to provide a more recent perspective of the current application process.
Johannes: In my application it was really important for me to let Quest know what I wanted in a university. Universities are all really about fit. Will I fit into the community? Will I enjoy the academics? And because I had done some research, I knew that Quest was the place for me. I really tried to show Quest why I believed in their message. I showed them that I do well in a small class setting, because I loved engaging in class discussion. I showed them that I will fit well into the community because I had done a lot of extracurricular activities in high school. That is why Quest gave me the opportunity to submit more than just my transcript. And I really tried to use that. My application to Quest was largely focused on an issue that affected my community.
Juliana: I approached my application to Quest in a few different ways. Firstly, I wanted to provide a bit of context on something that happened in one of the communities that I belong to which deeply affected me at a personal level when I was applying to Quest. I wanted to share how this event which affected my community dramatically changed my perspective of the world. Secondly, I wanted to express how invested I was in receiving a Quest education, why I would like to be a part of the Quest community, and what I could personally contribute as an individual to the Quest community.
Johannes: The biggest tip I would give someone doing their application, is to use the creative portion of the application. I knew that I did not look that great on my transcript, but through the creative project I was able to show Quest what it was that I really cared about. And in the end, that is what really matters both to me and to Quest. Also, through the interview I had the opportunity to get to know Quest better and for them to get to know me better. I would encourage everybody to make use of the creative project and the interview.
Juliana: If I could re-do my application process, I would lengthen my essay writing process by writing several drafts with the help of edits from a peer, and a teacher, to have a perfectly polished final draft. This would have eliminated a lot of stress that I felt in the process of writing my essay, and I also would have felt more satisfied and fulfilled. I am sure that I did this in my application, but I would like to greatly encourage every applicant to be as sincere as possible! It sounds cheesy, but be yourself!
Throughout my university career I have noticed a couple things about university that might be helpful to future students. First, your grades do not matter a lot. Whether you got a B- or an A- in a course, is irrelevant to most professionals I have talked to. What matters is the amount of learning you got from the course and your ability to demonstrate that. At Quest it is often encouraged to take a harder course, where more learning can be done, than get an amazing grade in a less challenging environment. That is the reason why we look at more than just a transcript, because the letter you got doesn’t really say much about the learning that has taken place. My second thing I have noticed, is that life outside academics is extremely important to your development in university. It is important to feel comfortable studying, but also to know when work is over and playing can start. That balance can often be hard to achieve, but your university should be able to offer both. And lastly, as mentioned previously, a university is really all about whether or not you like it and you fit in. You can be in the best ranked school in the world, but still be miserable. And there is nothing worse than the feeling that something should be the case (“This school is so good”) but is not (“but why am I not happy?”).
So, to summarize all of the above, Quest cares about you as a person and tries to look at the person as a whole. I suggest you use that and in your application, you show Quest all of you, not just your grades. Because if you feel like we would be a great fit for you, and you show us that, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to join our community!
Johannes & Juliana