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.
May 1st has passed, which means that the Class of 2016 knows where they are going next year! Congratulations everyone! Before I dive into the advice that I have for the Class of 2017 as I reflect on my process as a whole, I would like to share some life updates from over the past month.
The first and most exciting thing I have to share is that I made the Boston College Cheerleading Team! I am so honored to have the opportunity to be a college cheerleader, and I could not thank everyone enough for the support over these past four years. After two nerve-wracking days of tryouts on campus I have met so many people and got a glimpse of what it is like to be a student-athlete.
In other much less exciting news I have finished all of my AP Exams and by the time this is posted I would have finished my last final of high school. I only have a couple weeks left of school and my schedule is as full as ever with concerts, prom, graduation, grad parties, orientation, and the dreaded wisdom teeth removal all in June! It is a little overwhelming, but I’m sure that it is all going to go by like blur. I am trying to hold on to every moment as best as I can before moving on to my future plans, but sometimes I feel like the past is colliding with the future so much that it is hard to have a firm grasp on the present.
As the seniors are finalizing their plans for next year, the juniors are just starting the college application process. I remember how confusing starting to look at colleges was as a junior, so I have some advice to give to juniors (and sophomores) as a senior who has just finished the college process.
1. Keep an open mind when looking at colleges. I really wish I had broadened my search from the start instead of getting hung up over details such as location. When I was starting to look at colleges I really focused on schools that were in warm climates, and I think that in doing so I crossed off many schools that would have good fits in other areas. I think I put too much emphasis on location going in, and I later realized that location was not as much of a factor for me as the fit of the school as a whole. My choices were between Santa Clara in California, Baylor in Texas, and Boston College in Massachusetts, and I ended up choosing the school in the colder climate because it was a better fit for me in every other area.
2. Take your standardizing tests as soon as possible, and try to finish before senior year. I did not do any serious prep for the ACT until the summer, and I was really stressed going into the September testing date because I needed to send scores early. I would also recommend choosing between the SAT and the ACT before prepping because it is much easier to put all of your effort into one test rather than switching between each one.
3. Show interest! I was waitlisted at five colleges where I did not tour or interview, and I think that strongly impacted my decisions. I know that it is difficult to tour colleges that are far away, but try to schedule alumni interviews off campus to show that you are interested. It also can’t hurt to be in contact with admissions with any questions while applying. Colleges want to have high yield rates, so they are going to try to admit students that they know want to attend.
4. Start your Common App Essay and supplements in the summer if you can, because it is difficult to balance college applications with senior year classes. One of the easiest things to do is fill out your personal information first because it is tedious but simple to do in the summer when you are bored. The Common App Essay Prompts are available online, so you can start thinking of ideas. It is best to start early with essays because you will probably change your essay a lot before submitting.
5. Apply to colleges early, especially if they are rolling. It was awesome to know that I was going to go to college back in November because it took pressure off before hearing back from early action/decision schools.
I can’t believe that next month will be my last blog post, and that I will graduate high school and will have finished orientation by then. I want to thank everyone who is reading this right now, and stay tuned for the next post where I write my final reflection!
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