It’s sometimes hard to believe that I’m already a senior in the midst of the college application process. It’s December now and my final four applications are due in a month. It seems like yesterday was freshman year, but now graduation is only half a year away. The college application process has been one of the most challenging and nerve-wracking thing I’ve ever experienced. It’s been tedious, but I’ve learned many important life lessons throughout the whole process.
1. First Impressions
Your college application is full of amazing things you’ve done and achieved. It’s your whole high school life packaged into about 10 pages. It’s the first and only impression the college admission officers will have of you. Some schools offer interviews which allow you to show the admissions officers your personality and why that university is the perfect place for you.
First impressions are important all the time. They’re important when meeting co-workers, making new friends, networking, and in many professional situations. We judge humans subconsciously and I’ve been told many times that it only takes 7 seconds to judge a person. While quick judgments are often wrong, you sometimes may not get a second chance. With college applications, I’ve learned that everything is important in making a first impression, but most importantly to be myself.
2. How to Deal with Competition
Getting into college has grown more and more competitive over the years. Admissions rates have dropped from the double digits to single, students have laundry lists of extracurricular and achievements, and it’s sometimes impossible for me to imagine being accepted into my dream school.
I was able to almost ignore the competition among my peers for my first three years of high school; however, it’s almost impossible for me to ignore it now. Most of the students at my school are applying to the same colleges and I’m subconsciously comparing myself to everyone. I’m not only competing from people from my school, but also people around the world. It’s frightening to think about sometimes. Unfortunately, competition is inescapable. There are competitions in college, for job positions, and other opportunities. The most important thing is to focus on yourself and stop comparing yourself to others. It will make you believe you are lesser, which is far from the truth. Everyone is special and unique in their own way. To help you cope with competitive people, be sure to read this article.
3. Expect the Unexpected
The college application process seems very random from time to time. You never know what to expect and many things can go wrong. It has really helped me prepare for surprises and the process has made me more flexible. If something doesn’t work out, I adjust and try to make the best of the situation. I never expected that I would have to ask another teacher to write my letter of recommendation at the last minute or that I would send my transcript to the wrong address. These situations help me handle unpredicted obstacles. Life is also very unpredictable and there’s no way to plan it out perfectly. There will be many roadblocks in the future that you hadn’t seen coming. Just be yourself and always do the best you can. Everything will work out in the end.
Applying for college is a long and difficult process. It’s a journey and with any journey you learn a lot along the way. Good luck to all the seniors applying to college and may the odds be ever in your favour!