As this summer comes to an end, I would like to help out the rising seniors. These are six tips that I wish someone had told me last fall, and I hope they will help you!
This process of applications is a long and stressful one. It will basically consume the fall semester of your senior year. However, once you’re done, you’ll feel great! So, look for the light at the end of the tunnel; hopefully this list will help you see it more easily!
1. Pick colleges.
This one may sound a bit obvious, but let me explain. Don’t try to apply to 15 colleges, just don’t. I picked my top four and stuck to them. Picking 3-5 practical colleges will make your life ten times easier. For each of those, you’ll most likely have to complete the actual application, write an essay of some kind, obtain teacher recommendations and produce a resume. All of that times four is a lot of work (not to mention your other schoolwork).
2. Visit, Visit, Visit.
This could be the most influential part of your college decision. I would not recommend applying to a college before you’ve visited at least once. Not only will it help you decide what you like, colleges will more likely accept you if they have a record of your visit! However, if you can’t, thats okay too- just make sure to visit before you make a decision.
3. Make a list.
I love to-do lists. They give me a visual of my tasks and it feels great to cross items off. One of the best things you can do is make a list for each college you plan on applying to. Write down due dates, which documents you need, where you need to send things, etc. This is crucial, especially when it comes to due dates, because every college is different and due dates are final.
4. Put everything on your resume.
Yes, even that you were in Ping Pong Club in the ninth grade. The longer, the better and colleges like to see variety. If you participated in something, add it. End of story.
5. Be yourself on your application.
This tip especially applies to your essay or short answers, since they are the places you’ll get to explain yourself the most. While it is important to sound smart and appear to be the perfect student, it is even more important to be you! I know, this sounds cheesy, but a college likes to see individuals who stand out.
This is the most difficult of these tips to follow. Be patient, because the colleges will respond. You will get into the school where you truly belong. This process is long and exhausting, but getting the acceptance letters will make you forget all of the stress behind them!
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