Feeling alone as you swim through the terrifying waters known as the college admission process? Have no fear! We have several seniors blogging about ups, downs, and random in-betweens of their college process for the next 12 months (from June 2015 to June 2016!). Sit back, relax, and get that “OMG I totally get you, bro” feeling. Information for how to contact a blogger will be at the bottom of his/her posts.
October is here, which means Halloween is right around the corner! However, the day that is a million times scarier for high school seniors is the day after: November 1st, aka the deadline for most Early Decision/ Early Action applications. With that date looming in the back of our heads, I thought that it would be best to switch it up a little bit for this blog post. Here are some top ten lists for high school seniors to lighten the mood in the midst of application chaos!
Top 10 ways to motivate yourself to finish applications:
1. Set up deadlines to write supplements for yourself weeks before the actual deadline.
2. Make those pretty brochures that colleges bombard you with visible when doing applications.
3. Find new playlists to pump you up while writing (ideas for that later!)
4. Look at the college’s official Instagram for inspiration.
5. Tour more colleges if that is feasible.
6. If you’re stuck on ideas for the Why This College? essay explore the college’s website- you might find opportunities you never knew existed!
7. Go to college fairs or try to connect with representatives if they come to your school.
8. Think about how great it would be to know you’re accepted somewhere early instead of having to wait until April.
9. If you get distracted easily go to the library or bring earphones with you to a coffee shop and do applications there.
10. If all fails, buy a candy bar and tell yourself that you can only eat it once you are done with an application (though I would eat the candy bar before finishing!)
Top 10 songs that will help you concentrate (taken from Spotify’s “Stress Relief” playlist):
1. X-Ray by Youth Lagoon
2. October by Heinali
3. Empty Thoughts by Kyle McEvoy
4. Northern Lights by Lights & Motion
5. Courage by Patrick O’Hearn
6. Some by Nils Frahm
7. Holding On by Tracey Chattaway
8. Nothing it Can by Helios
9. All the Little Lights by Tracey Chattaway
10. Sway, Sway by Heinali
Top 10 tips for revising essays (from an aspiring English major):
1. Make sure that your best and most distinctive qualities are evident through your writing- ask yourself: what about this essay makes it so that only I could have wrote it?
2. Whatever you write about, make sure that it tells the admissions officer something new about you that is nowhere else on your application.
3. Avoid typoss. But really, try your best to catch errors in spelling and grammar.
4. Try not to use cliches; it is better if you can come up with a more unique way of saying something.
5. If you are going to use an overdone topic like a service trip or the time you went through an existential crisis before skiing down a mountain, try to put an unexpected spin on it.
6. If you are writing about how someone else has impacted your life, make sure to keep the focus on yourself instead of the other person.
7. Try to avoid really broad, sweeping statements at the end (I know, I know, everyone- including me- does this). Instead of talking about humanity as a whole or how exactly the universe functions, try focusing more on what insight you have gained as an individual.
8. Use similes and metaphors sparingly- too many can become confusing and hard to understand. Also try your best to avoid overdone metaphors, this is your time to be creative!
9. Let your personality shine. Never underestimate how a few small asides can add to tone of the essay.
10. Last and most importantly, be authentic. This is so much easier said than done.
I know that this is a stressful time for many students so try your best to relax and enjoy the process. Have fun with the supplements; they are there for a reason. Good luck to everyone applying Early Decision and Early Action! You can do it! 🙂
Want to get in touch with Calley? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with her on Instagram and she’ll write you back ASAP!