Here Are A Few Chill Pills To Swallow When Applying For Anything

Here Are A Few Chill Pills To Swallow When Applying For Anything

From someone who's done it all wrong or right.

When I was applying to college I did almost everything wrong, while appearing on the outside to have done everything right. I got started in August before my senior year, as soon as the Common Application opened. I wrote draft after draft of my essays. I applied to a wide range of schools and took not just the SAT, but two SAT subject tests and the ACT as well. All this would have been fine, except I didn’t apply to four or five schools. I applied to eleven of them.

By the time the whole process concluded and I was headed to Western Washington University, I was so done with writing essays and filling out forms that I resolved never to do it again – or at least if I did have to do it again, to do it differently.

In the process of applying (and getting accepted!) to graduate school over the past few months, I did almost everything differently. I only applied to one school, I took no tests, and I applied as late as it’s possible to apply and still have a fighting chance. I wouldn’t say that one way is better than the other.

Instead, I’m going to advocate for the most middling of middle grounds when it comes to applying to college, graduate school, or for jobs of any sort:

Only apply to the places you really want to go.

I was either pressured or pressured myself into applying to almost a dozen schools when I applied to college, and I burnt out scarily fast during the application process. This time around, I only applied to one school, and it was a school I really wanted to attend. I managed to avoid burnout and get accepted. So while you should apply to a handful of schools, make sure all of them are places you’re excited about going to.

Get an early start.

This time around I started my application a month before the deadline, which is not enough time. (They ended up extending the deadline, but still). You don’t necessarily need to start the process in August, but giving yourself a good three months to get everything done is probably a good idea. The goal here is to minimize stress, not to make you feel like you wish you’d never heard of college before.

Set deadlines for yourself.

This applies whether you’re starting early or late. Make actual deadlines and pretend they’re as important as the real-world deadlines you’re up against. Otherwise, you will panic, you will find yourself writing the first draft of your essay the night before it’s due, and you will die. (You probably won’t die, but it’ll be very unpleasant for some time).

Know when to say enough.

I had to call my mom for a pep talk in order to psych myself up enough to submit my graduate school application, and one of the things she told me was that at some point, you just have to do the thing. It’s never going to be as perfect as you want it to be, but it’s definitely going to be good enough. Odds are, you're ‘good enough’ is someone else’s ‘very impressive’.

Once it’s over, relax!

I was still struggling with this right up until I got my acceptance letter. Once you hand in your application, you’ve done everything you can do. The part of the process you can control is over, and if you follow the above steps – or at least some of them – you’ll know you did enough to give yourself a good shot at the college, grad program, or job of your choice.

Cover Image Credit: ucentralarkansas / Flickr

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14 Signs You Go To A Small School No One Has Ever Heard Of

"Your class size is what?!?"


When most people are in high school, they look at all of the big schools that are known around the country. Schools like Rutgers, Ohio State, UCLA, University of Pittsburgh and West Virginia University are often at the top of peoples' lists. Believe it or not, some people don't want to attend a huge college. If you're like me, you like having small class sizes where your professors get to know you and you always see someone you know when you're walking on campus.

Once you decide where you're going and become a student there, you constantly hear the same comments from people, whether they be good or bad- but you wouldn't want it any other way. Here are signs that you go to a small school that no one has ever heard of:

1. People always mess up your mascot

Rider University

"Broncs? Like the Denver Broncos?"

"No. Just the Broncs."

2. "Oh I've never heard of that. Where is it?"

3. "Wouldn't you rather go to *insert huge state school here*?"

The answer is always the same — nope.

4. You find people all the time who know or is related to someone who went to your school

"Oh, my cousin's friend went there!"

5. "Your class size is what?!?"

6. You've never had class in a lecture hall

Patricia M Guenther

Or class with more than 50 students.

7. When people come to visit, they can't believe how small your campus is compared to theirs

Well, at least we can get up 10 minutes before class starts instead of an hour to catch a bus.

8. Dining options are limited

Rider University

But you joke around and make the most of it, secretly hoping your campus will open a Panera or Chipotle like every other school.

9. People are amazed that you actually get to know your professors and the people in your classes, and that they get to know you

Not to mention that professors are a great reference for getting a job after graduation.

10. If you went to a big high school, your college isn't much bigger

Rider University

There are about 1,000 students per class, so only around 300-400 more students than you graduated high school with.

11. Your school doesn't have all of the big sports, like football

Jamie Lewkowitz

But hey, at least we're still undefeated!

12. When you get into your major classes, you always have the same people in them

13. You can't find anything with your school's logo on it, so constantly buy more apparel from the bookstore

Rider University

You walk out of there $100 poorer with a new sweatshirt, mug, and sweatpants that you didn't need.

14. You get really excited when someone has actually heard of your school


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I Don’t Want To Admit It, But Math IS Important

Liberal Arts majors, this one is for you.


I hate math with a passion. But I think it's necessary.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about confusing trigonometry or calculus. I'm talking about basic algebra, geometry, and other everyday math functions.

I was never an A+ math student. My dad used to be a high school math teacher, so luckily for me, if I was struggling in my math classes, I would just come home and ask Dad to "tutor" me or prep me for my tests. I feel bad for anyone who had/has a hard time with math and doesn't have such a resourceful person in their life, because I don't think I would've passed my classes without him.

Now, I haven't taken a math class in at least three or four years, but I know that being out in the workforce requires at least basic math skills. How come they teach us how to divide square roots and not applicable things like how to calculate a good tip (shameless plug - always tip your waiters at least 20%) or discounts?

There are so many necessary skills you'll use for your entire life that are not taught in schools.

Long ago when I was in 3rd grade, one of my teachers read us a book called "A Day Without Math." The book basically went through a school day where there was no math. People couldn't see what speed their car was going, cash registers didn't work, clocks were nonexistent...basically, the entire world shut down. Whenever I was frustrated and angry about my math class or a certain problem, I tried to remember that book. As much as I despised going to a math class only to leave in frustration, I knew it was for my own good.

Because when you think about it, our world really wouldn't function without math!

I wish math classes would've focused on the usefulness and practicality of their teachings instead of what was written in the textbook. Having a dad who worked in the school system, I understood that the teachers had to follow a certain curriculum, so in a way, their hands were tied. But then the issue simply gets passed higher and higher up until you reach the people creating the textbooks and curriculum school systems buy and use.

Maybe there's something we can do, whether it's petitioning for more teaching kids more usable math skills or continuously asking your teachers why you're learning what you're learning. Advocate for yourself and for future generations to learn the skills necessary to survive in our modern world, but at the same time remember that the problem doesn't necessarily stem from teachers but the curriculum being decided at levels far above their pay grade.

Moral of the story - even though I know a good majority of us (especially us liberal arts majors) are not fans of mathematics, let's work on learning and remembering the basics so our world can keep on turning.

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