Advice for College Applicants

by Adam Dreyfuss

The college application process is one that can be described with a nice plethora of words. I have heard people use the words stressful, nerve-wracking, and exciting amongst others. Personally, I agree with all three words as good descriptions of this process.

Stressful: The college application process can be very stressful. I haven’t found it as stressful as some of my friends have, but I still am feeling a bit of stress about it.

○ The reason that it is stressful is because college applications can be a lot of work.

■ Most colleges require an essay(s), and sometimes short answer responses                                  as well. The essays were stressful to write because it made me think about                                  every little detail that I put into it. “Is this good enough? Does this                                                sentence make sense? They have to be getting better essays from other                                      applicants,”

Nerve-Wracking: This is the word/term that I think best fits the process. As I have already submitted all my applications, that is probably why this word/term is more prevalent for me.

I keep wondering to myself if I am going to get in, despite there literally being nothing I can do to speed the process up. It seems like every 30 minutes I am checking my email to see if any of the college decisions are in.

Exciting: Exciting is a word that would be more appropriate after you have your decisions back. Once you know where you could be going is when it becomes exciting.

○ As I don’t have any of my decisions yet, I can’t make too much of a comment on it.

common-app

Tips

1. Don’t wait for the deadline: The most crucial part is knowing when the deadlines for each application stage is, and not waiting for them.

If the deadline is December 1, don’t do your applications on November 30 . Instead, start doing them right when the applications open, which will help reduce some of the stress.

2. Apply early: A piece of advice that I would give is to apply in the early action stage. Unlike early decision, which is binding, early action is just like the regular process just earlier.

There is no downside to applying early, and in fact, it might be beneficial. For example, the University of Georgia doesn’t reject any early applicants, if you don’t get in they defer you to the regular decision.

3. Talk to your counselor: Your guidance counselor plays a big part in your application process. They can provide beneficial information about scholarships and deadlines.

They also have to write recommendation letters and fill out school reports, so if you talk to them they might get those done a bit earlier. Also, make sure to give them your senior brag sheet before they start doing their process.

4. Get your recommendations started early: I asked the teacher who wrote my recommendation before school let out my junior year.

She ultimately got started with writing her letters earlier and got them in very early. Also, if you approach them early they may be more inclined to write yours before they write others.

5. Don’t get too stressed: At the end of the day, no matter what happens everything will work out in the end. If you don’t get into your dream school, don’t worry.

Whatever school you wind up going to will be great, and if it’s not you can always try and transfer into your dream school.

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