Things I wish I knew before applying to college
Start writing a post
Student Life

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Applying For College That Would've Given Me Some Much Needed Guidance

If you think you've got it all figured out, think again.

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Applying For College That Would've Given Me Some Much Needed Guidance
Phoebe Weisheyer

Around this time last year, I was really starting to think about and prepare for applying to college. I thought I had it all figured out too, but the truth is, I really didn't. I wasn't given much guidance throughout the process, and what I was given wasn't too helpful. So, here are 10 things I wish I had known before/while applying for college.

1. The college you think you want to go to initially probably isn't the one you're going to end up at

I thought I knew exactly where I wanted to go before applying to colleges, but the more I looked into different schools, the more I began to realize there may be better opportunities for me somewhere else. Whether it's because of money, distance, or your interests have just changed, that first school probably won't become your new home.

2. You don't have to apply to a school(s) just because everyone else is

Don't feel pressured to apply to certain schools just because that's where everyone else is applying, I know I did. I knew right off the bat I wouldn't be happy at those schools and still felt that pressure. Fight it!

3. Writing an essay with a 350-word maximum is harder than you think

It takes almost no time at all to surpass that limit by a mile once you get your writing groove on. Focus on what you want these schools to know about you most, but keep it short and sweet. These essays are meant to be like summaries, so spend time perfecting them.


This is the reason I'm putting this out now instead of later in the fall. DO NOT wait until the fall of your senior year to start taking your ACT/SAT or to start looking into colleges. Ideally, this process should begin in the spring of your junior year (maybe even the fall if you really want a head start), but if you're going to push it back, at least begin looking at application deadlines and requirements the summer before your senior year. Some colleges have deadlines pretty early, and you don't want to miss out just because you waited too long to start the process.

5. Don't apply to every school you have a little interest in

Do your research first. I recommend taking college tours before applying (if your timeline permits it) because the way the campus makes you feel can make or break your final decision. The cost of applications adds up quick, and you don't want to be wasting it on school's you definitely won't end up at.

6. Every rejection letters hurts a bit, even if you thought you wouldn't get in anyway

Any kind of rejection, whether it was anticipated or not, is going to make your heart sink a little, but don't stress about it. Trust the process! A rejection letter just means you and your beautiful brain are meant to flourish elsewhere. You will find your place, even if it takes a couple of tries.

7. Don't let all the essays discourage you from applying

I didn't experience this personally, but I know a few people that almost didn't apply to certain schools they actually wanted to go to just because they had to write essays. Don't let this be your deciding factor.

8. Going to community college/a smaller school is totally OK

Funny I say this knowing I'm attending the biggest university in the nation, but at one point I was considering going to either a community college in Florida first or attending a small school in Georgia (only has about 6,000 students). Know that there is nothing wrong with either of those things. Like I said before, just because everyone else is doing one thing doesn't mean you have to as well.

9. Don't apply to a school just because you like their football team

If this is your only reason maybe you should reevaluate why you're going to college… enough said.

10. Trust your gut! There should be no shame in doing what's best for you

If you go to a community college? Good for you! A big university? Awesome! Take a gap year? Congrats! I've said it once and I'll continue to say it again, do NOT choose a school or a particular path just because that's what you're "supposed" to do. You are unique, and everyone has their own course to navigate once you leave high school. College is too expensive for you to end up somewhere you aren't happy. Only you can know what's best for you, so have an open mind and listen to your intuition. You'll be glad you did.

Report this Content
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments