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Applying to Colleges: Advice and Tips!


As many of you know I will be moving into a dorm in just about a week for the first time ever.  As I've just completed the whole applying to college process I thought I'd share some advice for those of you who are just beginning! Applying to college, for me, wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  I ended up being accepted early decision to the only school I wanted to go to and couldn't be more thankful.  I think a big reason I got accepted was because my college counselor worked so hard to get my supplement essays where they needed to be.  I remember the question asked something about why I wanted to go to that school and originally I rambled on about how I loved the greek life and the potential to do a double major, etc.  But, I could've done that at any school.  My counselor told me to be more specific, and it took me about six more drafts to get there but when I finally did I was so proud.  I wrote about how I wanted to continue things I had already been doing (guitar, tennis, etc) but added details that were specific to that college.  I wrote things like "I could see myself playing guitar on the steps of X Hall while meeting new people".  Including little details that were specific to that school helped the reader imagine me at their school.  I think it's really important to have them see you there as much as you see yourself there!

Now onto my tips...

1. Don't let the process consume you.  It's easy to get caught up in the whole process because it is exciting.  You're trying to decide where and how you'll be spending the next part of your life.  So many people get caught up in who got what score or who is looking where, but it just isn't worth it.  In the end everyone will end up where they're meant to be so don't let what you're class mates are doing concern you.  

2. Don't let others affect your decision.  I know a lot of people end up applying places because of what their parents want them to do, or where their counselor told them to look.  In the end, where you go to college should be your decision.  My family has a very strong legacy at a particular college and I know they would've been happy to see me go there, but it just wasn't for me.  It was only about 45 minutes from home and for me that was just too close.  I knew I wanted to take this opportunity to live somewhere outside of my comfort zone and thankfully my family allowed me to do that.  

3. Apply early.  I ended up only applying to three schools.  One early decision and the other two early action.  I heard back from an early action school first and was deferred which honestly surprised me because I thought of that school as a safety.  It got me nervous to hear back from my Early Decision school because at that point I didn't have anything to fall back on.  I wish I had applied to more schools early just so I could've hopefully known I was going somewhere. When I eventually heard back from my ED school (on christmas eve!!!!!) I was absolutely thrilled, but until that point I was insanely nervous.  I was so happy to know where I'd be attending so early in the year.  

4. No "safety" is 100% guaranteed.  Throughout the entire process I hated hearing people say that "Blank University" was their safety.  There are so many factors that play into the decision process that even if you're scores are perfect, you may not be accepted.  In the case of my "safety", I found out that 8 other people from my school applied (and I went to a very small school), as well as 40 people in my town.  My application was compared to the other 48 people that essentially came from the same area as me which made the chances of being accepted much lower.  Another reason I hate the term "safety" is because it can be very offensive to call a school you're "safety", especially if someone listening is trying their hardest to get into that school.  

5.  Senior year counts.  The first semester of senior year is wildly important.  At that point you don't know what the verdict on your applications will be.  Many schools will defer you so that they can see first semester grades.  You may also need to apply to more schools come February and will need those grades to support you.  It would be also to let everything slip just because you gave up on senior year.  

Good luck to everyone beginning the college application process!!!

Emma 




1 comment

  1. Loved these tips! These will help so much for me in the next few months! Have a blast in Dallas!

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