For me I feel like I have been violently thrown into the whole college process. One day I’m enjoying summer and having no stress and the next second I have so many applications to suddenly fill out. The beginning of senior year is a very stressful. You’re at the point in your high school career where you want to enjoy the last few moment of being a teenager with your friends, but you also have to start worrying about your future. That for me (and hopefully many others) is a bunch of stuff we must complete which we have never had to do before in our lives. In my opinion I feel like I’m on my own in this whole college process, especially being the firstborn going into college in my family. Here are some things I wish I have known before senior year and hopefully juniors now will take into account.
- Look into Schools Early.
Many of my friends started looking at schools and taking college visits end of sophomore year. For me, I haven’t had college on my mind till February. Everyone does go on their own pace but it is a lot better to spread it out and get an idea of what kind of school you want to go to. If you have nothing better to do go online and start looking at different schools in your home state and maybe some out of state. Find schools that offer the major you want, how well that program is and tuition.
2. Keep an open mind.
Some people already know that they want to go to a big party school or live in the city. As fun as that sounds also look at some other options like smaller school or schools that have more of a campus setting. You never know what you want until you test out the waters. At first I wanted to go to college with a big campus in the city. But as I went on trips I found myself leaning towards more of the suburban small schools. Keeping an open mind is very important to picking the right schools you want to apply to.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help on college essays.
College essays are a lot different that literary essays written in English classes. These essays are more personal to your life. It lets the college know who you are as a person and why they should accept you. As many schools recommend or require a personal essay sent in, a lot of people (even myself) have no idea what to write about. Ask for help from past English teachers. They would love to read over your essays and help you achieve your goals. They want to see you grow as a person and do what you want to do in life.
4. Don’t do an activity just because it looks good on your application.
Many people want to join a club just because it “looks good on their application”. As good as being on the Science Team may look, if you’re not into it do everyone a favor and don’t do it. Do something you actually want to do because that is what colleges want to see. They want to see the dedication you have for something and how you can make it better. If you stick to something you truly enjoy that is what colleges want to know about you. It also make the people in that activity happy. People can tell if you truly want to be apart of something If you bring negativity into something it doesn’t do any good for everyone else.
5. Answer people positively when they ask you college related questions.
Yes I know this is a very hard one. But people genuinely want to know what you want to do with your future. I’m asked too many times where I’m applying, my top choice and what I want to major in. Every time I’m asked these I groan a little in my mind because I don’t want to think about college at all (even though I have too). But it is inevitable to ignore this question. You never know how other people can help you with your college process until you tell them what you plan to do.