We're super excited to introduce you to Hannah Ajibola, a freshman at Georgetown University! This summer Hannah will be helping us with blog posts, essay editing, and advising - with a special emphasis on first generation and low-income students applying to college. We're so excited to have her on board!
Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi! My name is Hannah Ajibola and I am from Maryland, although I lived in Texas for many years. I currently live in Silver Spring, MD but I attended high school in Bethesda. I will be attending Georgetown University in Washington, DC. I am really interested in the ways that society and public policy intersects with science and technology and how that affects our daily lives and specifically healthcare. I plan on studying nursing and computer science with a bit of healthcare policy in there as well. In terms of my general interests/hobbies, I love spending time with my friends and family, being involved in my community, reading, playing the violin, doing calligraphy, and running.
What aspects of the college admissions process are you most interested in?
The college admissions process is one that has many extra twists than initially expected. I’m really interested in helping all students but especially first generation/low income students to plan for college and achieve their college goals (goals are more tangible than dreams). I want to use my own experiences and insight I have gained to help demystify the many steps in the college process and give students more confidence in their application by highlighting their strengths and creating college lists that are right for them.
Additionally, one of the main parts of college admissions is actually financial aid which tends to be the most confusing, in my opinion. I hope to learn more about the college admissions process and financial aid while being able to give back my knowledge through tips to current high school students – even if they are applying to college in such an uncertain time, because trust me when I say my senior year and college entrance hasn’t gone the way I would have thought.
What surprised you most about your personal experience applying to colleges?
Foremost, though many people told me I could get into Georgetown, I wasn’t sure. I was surprised, ecstatic, and relieved when accepted, but I kept wondering to myself what made me stand out in the admissions process. However, that was not the only surprise. The shock of moving to a new high school my junior year was large but it also gave me insight into the disparities of the college admissions process. Obviously, we have heard of illegal help in college admissions but there is also legal VERY expensive and extensive help that I saw some of my peers getting at my high school that I could not, whether that be standardized testing tutoring or having a personalized college advisor. There was such an emphasis to go to one of the best universities if you were seen as one of the “smart kids” which can add unnecessary pressure to the process. While I don’t see anything wrong with getting help in this process, I feel the often very high price tag keeps low income or first generation students out of the loop. It is important to provide affordable resources for all students because applying to college takes time and it’s imperative to stay organized and get the help you need. At the end of the day, getting to college is just one step in the process and the actual college experience is whatever you make of it.
What books are on your summer reading list?
The current books on my summer reading list are a lot but to name a few All the Light We Cannot See, Evangelism by Fire, The Kite Runner, Hillbilly Elegy, The Martian, and Chronicles of Narnia (I know what you’re thinking with the last one but I want to enjoy my childhood one last time before I have to be a real adult). For incoming first-years at Georgetown we also have to read Exit West (though I have not quite got to that one yet).
What are your long-term goals after college?
Now that I have written very long responses to these short questions, put simply my long-term goals after college are to make an impact in my community and especially the lives of the youth and those most in need. I plan to study healthcare informatics or go to medical school when I finish my undergraduate degree. After that, I would like to advance technology in healthcare through research, policies, and software development/implementation. I’m not sure what might happen from there but perhaps I’ll become a nursing educator or counselor some day, we’ll just have to wait and see.